Eddie Kite, Head Coach
Eddie Kite comes to Panola after 11 years at Connors State College. Since 2003, the Cowgirls have played in three Region II Championship games, winning the 2009 Region II Championship and advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament as the No. 3 seed. The past six seasons has seen the Cowgirls average 24 wins a season with a 73 percent winning percentage.
At Connors State the Cowgirls won the 2009 Bi-State Conference and Region II Championship to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament with a 30-5 record and the 2011 Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship and played in the Region II Championship game while finishing with a 28-5 record. He was recognized as Conference Coach of the Year in each of those two seasons and 2009 Region II Coach of Year.
Kite is currently the NJCAA Region II Division I Women’s Athletic Director and is serving on the NJCAA National Volleyball Committee.
He served as the Region II women’s basketball committee chairman from 2007 to 2011.
Kite coached at the University of Houston after a two-year stint as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Mobile. Kite helped turn around a program that was 13-19 the year before his arrival to 30-6 during the 2001-02 season. That season saw the Lady Ram program win the GCAC regular season and conference tournament championships, make its first NAIA National Tournament appearance in eight years, and its first ever “Sweet 16″ appearance. The Lady Rams set team records for wins, winning percentage, and overall team defense. The University of Mobile also provided the WNBA with its only non-Division I draftee, 6-6 Edmarie Lumbsley.
Kite began his coaching career as an assistant at Central Florida Community College in 1991. He helped lead the Lady Pats to their first-ever NJCAA National Tournament, finishing second in the national tournament with a 34-3 record. During his stint at CFCC, the program produced two NJCAA All-Americans and the 1993 NJCAA Champion Player of the Year (Connie Thornton, Texas Tech University).
Kite moved to East Texas Baptist University in 1993 to help the Tigers to their first-ever NAIA National Tournament appearance in 1994, finishing the season with a 25-8 mark. Kite then took an assistant’s position at Oral Roberts University before arriving at the University of Montevallo (Al.) in 1996. While Kite was at Montevallo, the Lady Falcons played for the 1997 NAIA Regional Championship and appeared in their first-ever Gulf South Conference Tournament in 1999.
Kite received a Bachelor’s of Art degree from East Texas Baptist University in 1995 and a Master’s Degree in Education from East Central University in Ada, Okla., 2011. He is a member of the NJCAA Coaches Association.
Ashleigh Franklin, Assistant Coach
Ashleigh Franklin begins her second season as the Fillies Assistant Coach. Franklin comes to Panola after spending the 2013-2014 season serving as a Assistant Coach at Dickinson State University, where she helped coach the Lady Blue Hawks. Franklin played two seasons under Eddie Kite at Connors State College from 2007-2009. During her freshman year she helped the team end the season being ranked No. 15 in the NJCAA Women's Basketball poll. Her sophomore year she helped the team to end the season being ranked No.6 in the nation and help lead the Cowgirls to a 2009 Region II Championship and advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament as the No. 3 seed. Ashleigh earned All-Region II selection as a freshman and sophomore and also made the All-Tournament team her sophomore year.
Following her graduation from Connors State, she played two seasons at University of Texas San Antonio from 2009-2011. Franklin earned Southland Conference Player of the week during her 2009-2010 season and Third Team All-Southland Conference her junior and senior year. She was also named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament team during the 2010-2011 season even though her team didnt make it to the championship game.
The Dallas, Texas native is currently working on her MBA in Sports Management from Concordia University Chicago. She graduated from University of Texas San Antonio in 2011 with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts and a Associate of Science Degree from Connors State College in 2009. Franklin's duties involve assisting with academics, recruiting, strength and conditioning player development, and overall basketball operations.
Chelsea Connolly, Athletic Trainer
Chelsea Connolly serves as the Head Trainer for Panola College. Her responsibilities include: maintaining the working order and sanity of the athletic training room, organizing physicals and medical files, orchestrating doctors’ appointments for athletes, evaluating athletic injuries, carrying out treatments and musculoskeletal rehabilitations under a physician's orders. A 2010 graduate from Stephen F. Austin, Connolly completed her Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Kinesiology.
In January of 2007 she graduated from the Hands on Therapy School of Massage in Tyler, Texas. In April of the same year Connolly passed the state licensure exam to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. In 2007 Connolly began attending Stephen F. Austin State University. In the Spring of 2007 she was accepted into the undergraduate Athletic Training internship under the supervision of Sanford Miller, LAT-C and Lorie McCary LAT-C. While working as a student Athletic Trainer Connolly was assigned specifically to the following sports: football, cross country, track and field, and softball. In addition to her primary responsibilities she also assisted with many high school tournaments and meets including tennis, cross country, and football. She also worked as a student Athletic Trainer to provide medical coverage to both day and week camps for softball, boys and girls basketball and soccer. Connolly's responsibilities as a student included, but were not limited to, taping pre-game and post-game treatments, stretching, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, maintaining athletic training room equipment, restocking supplies and keeping inventory of supplies and equipment. Connolly was also a member of the Organization of Athletic Training Students where she served as secretary for two years.