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Sytia Messer has returned to Georgia Tech women's basketball as associate head coach after spending the previous three years as head coach at Tennessee Tech, Yellow Jacket head coach MaChelle Joseph announced Friday.
Messer took the helm of the Golden Eagles after spending five years on the Georgia Tech staff. She compiled a 54-41 record during her three years in Cookeville, Tenn. Messer was named the 2010-11 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year after the Golden Eagles won the 2011 OVC regular season with a 23-8 overall record and a 15-3 mark in league action.
"I am extremely excited to return to Georgia Tech," Messer said. "I have learned a lot from being a head coach the past three seasons. I believe that I can use those experiences to impact the Georgia Tech program to help Coach Joseph build on the success she has had and continue taking the Yellow Jackets to new heights."
Under Messer's tutelage, Tacarra Hayes was named the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Hayes earned her second straight selection to the All-OVC First Team. Freshman forward Molly Heady played in every game for Tennessee Tech as a rookie, finished second on the team in scoring with 274 points and led the OVC in free throw percentage (85.5), helping her earn OVC All-Newcomer Team accolades.
"We are excited to bring Sytia Messer back to Georgia Tech as our associate head coach," Joseph said. "Sytia was instrumental in helping us build this program and to have her re-join our program at a time when we have reached new milestones is exciting.
"Sytia had a very successful run at Tennessee Tech as head coach," Joseph added. "She brings great basketball knowledge, experience and energy to our staff. I have tremendous respect for Sytia and I am thrilled to be working side-by-side with her again."
During her first stint with the Yellow Jackets, from 2004-09, Messer helped guide Georgia Tech to three 20-win seasons, three trips to the NCAA Tournament and the program's first NCAA Tournament victory, a 55-54 win over DePaul in 2007.
While at Georgia Tech, Messer served as recruiting coordinator and helped land recruiting classes that have set school winning records each of the last five seasons. Prior to her arrival on the Flats, Messer was an assistant coach at Memphis and Arkansas State.
Messer was a standout player at Arkansas where she finished her career ranked in the top 10 in Razorback history in points scored (7th, 1,379) and rebounds (10th, 603). She played in 131 games while in Fayetteville, including setting the program record with 128 straight games played. Messer was named the 1998 NCAA Tournament West Regional MVP as the Razorbacks made an improbable run to the Final Four. During her senior season, Messer led Arkansas to the 1999 WNIT Championship.