In her climb up the coaching ladder, Marlene Stollings has changed conferences and continents.
To get the Winthrop job, she had to change her shoes.
The 36-year-old Stollings was announced as the 13th head coach in women's basketball history at Winthrop on Tuesday, replacing Bud Childers.
Winthrop athletic director Tom Hickman caught Stollings in violation of the new Winthrop dress code, as she was buying a pair of new Nikes in an Oxford, Miss., mall when he told her she'd be trading those in for the school's new apparel sponsor.
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"By the end of the call I had adidas," Stollings said with a laugh.
She's also got quite a task on her hands. She's now responsible for turning around a program that hasn't had a winning season since 2007-2008.
Stollings emphasized the need to improve recruiting, and she's hitting the road this weekend for a tournament in Raleigh, N.C. But mostly, she stressed preparation during her introductory press conference, saying "our ultimate goal is to win the conference each year and advance to the NCAA tournament."
Stollings has spent the previous four seasons at the associate head coach at Ole Miss, where she helped develop Bianca Thomas into a WNBA first-round pick. She's also worked as an assistant at Jacksonville, New Mexico State, Wright State and St. Louis before going to Ole Miss in 2007.
She posted a 9-3 record as interim head coach at New Mexico State in 2002, but her most impressive coaching job might have been with a bunch of men who didn't speak her language. She was playing for a club team in Switzerland (Club ABB Baden) when the men's team, eager for some American influence, pleaded with her to coach with the aide of a translator.
"They look up to the American game, and they begged me to coach the team for two weeks," Stollings said. "Finally they stopped me and said 'Tell us what to do.'"
The then 23-year-old coached that team to an undefeated season, and quickly climbed the ladder from the Horizon, Atlantic 10 and Sun Belt to the SEC, where she saw nightly lessons from coaches such as Tennessee's Pat Summitt and South Carolina's Dawn Staley.
"In the SEC, the challenge is you're going against a legend every night," Stollings said.
As a player, Stollings averaged 22.9 points per game to lead the Mid-American Conference as a senior at Ohio University. A former Miss Ohio Basketball, she finished her prep career with 3,514 points, a mark which is the highest for boys or girls, and still stands in the state.