Galesburg, Illinois — Today, Knox College Director of Athletics Daniella Irle announced that Kira Mowen has accepted the role of Knox College Prairie Fire Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “I am thrilled to announce Coach Mowen as our next head women’s basketball coach. She is committed to providing all players an environment where they feel comfortable, but challenged, to grow as students and as athletes,” said Knox College Director of Athletics, Daniella Irle. “Coach Mowen brings a passion for basketball, and a desire to develop players, to the gym every day. She will help our program be the best version of itself possible. She also appreciates the value of a holistic education and her role in preparing all of her players for their respective futures after their playing days have ended.”
Mowen comes to Knox from Monmouth University in New Jersey. At Monmouth University, Mowen was the associate head coach and recruiting director for the women’s basketball program. Mowen helped lead the program to their best regular season finish in the MAAC, coached a top ten NCAA 3-point scorer, and assisted the program to a NCAA top 50 in scoring defense (35th). Prior to Monmouth University, Mowen was the assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee where she helped guide the Panthers to their best regular season win total in history (20). Before UW-M, Mowen worked as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Davidson College. Mowen spent her collegiate career playing at the University of Illinois and Youngstown State. As a member of the Fighting Illini, Mowen played under Theresa Grentz, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach, and 1992 Team USA Women’s Basketball Head Coach.
"I would like to thank Daniella Irle, President McGadney, and the search committee for this amazing opportunity. I am extremely humbled to be joining the Knox College community. The support and guidance I felt throughout this process has been tremendous. Every person I spoke with gave me a genuine insight about Knox and what the College represents,” said Mowen. The 2021 squad has a young core along with an impressive group of junior and senior leaders who played in the MWC tourney in 2020. Only graduating one player from the previous year, Mowen inherits a total of 19 returning players. This team boasts nine juniors and seniors and a sophomore class of seven, each having four years of eligibility remaining. A talented three player incoming class adds depth to a team and rounds out the roster to 19 players. The program is in a great position to compete for a spot in the MWC Tournament. “Knox stood out as a perfect fit for me, my family, and my coaching philosophy, combining high achieving academics with elite basketball. The young women of the program impressed me throughout the process, and I am eager to begin the work of building the Knox women's basketball championship tradition with them." said Mowen. Mowen earned her Bachelor of Science in Applied Science at Youngstown State University in 2008, and received her Masters of Education at Texas State University in 2010, where she also served as a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball program for two seasons.