Jaime Green on leaving Newman for Missouri Southern

Newman women’s basketball coach Jaime Green resigned Wednesday night after two highly successful and sometimes controversial seasons with the Jets to take an assistant coach position at Missouri Southern State, her alma mater, and to work for her college coach, Maryann Mitts.

Green went 42-14 in her time at Newman, won two Heartland Conference titles and, this season, led the Jets to their first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance.

Green’s tenure at Newman was also marked by an infraction reported to the NCAA where Green asked a player to pay for two Division I transfers’ parking fines at their schools because, the player said, Green paying for the fines would be a violation of NCAA rules.

Green admitted to the violation and served a one-game suspension in December. The program also self-imposed a penalty of a loss of two book scholarships and a reduction to eight recruiting visits. The NCAA has yet to formally rule on the violations.

Also, two Newman’s players – Kellindra Zackery and Alex Adekunle – were arrested on multiple drug charges in December for allegedly selling cocaine and marijuana, and Adekunle is set to stand trial next month.

On March 23, working on a tip, I texted Green to ask if she’d accepted an assistant coach position at Missouri Southern, she replied: “I am the Head Coach at Newman University.”

Green responded to a phone message Thursday afternoon via text, saying that she couldn’t speak today because she had family and other company with her, but offered to answer questions through text message. Here’s the exchange:

Did the problems with the NCAA have anything to do with you leaving? Why be an assistant coach on the D2 level when you’re already a D2 head coach?

GREEN: Absolutely not! I am returning home to my alma mater. I have the opportunity to learn from (my) mentor and be less than an hour away from my family in Arkansas. Moving from a head coaching position in the Heartland (Conference) to an assistant coach in the MIAA is not a step backwards or a lateral move, but in my opinion, a step forward. The MIAA is the best D2 conference in the nation and the fact that my it is my alma mater and so close to my family was a no-brainer.

How did you tell (Newman athletic director) Vic Trilli that you were leaving?

GREEN: Vic Trilli is my number one fan and hands down one of the most respected professionals in my life. When I took over at Newman, he agreed to take me under his wing to continually guide my professional career and make sure that the proper growth and maturation were occuring and when we both felt the right opportunity came along, we would sit down and discuss my next jump. Vic and I are both very similar so we both processed what was best both for my family and for my career and we felt that it is a once in a lifetime chance to your alma mater win a title and so that is where we both came to an agreement that this timing was both special and unique.