With only six weeks remaining before the start of the next school year, Nixa was able to hire Jenny Talbert this week as its next girls basketball coach.
Talbert will go from one Lady Eagles outfit to another, having coached the past 13 years at Fair Grove. She has a total of 18 years experience courtside.
Nixa’s tradition as a consistent winner makes the move attractive to Talbert.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to coach at one of the premier programs in the state,” she said in a statement released by the school. “This is a dream job. I am looking forward to building upon the rich tradition of excellence in Nixa athletics."
Talbert îs fresh from leading Fair Grove to a 28-4 record and the Class 3 state championship this past winter. The Lady Eagles’ post-season trail saw them beat five teams with 20 wins or more.
Among her other highlights at Fair Grove are a 24-win season in 2018-19, 20-win seasons in 2015-16 and 2017-18, a 26-win season in 2010-11 and a 21-win season that included a District championship in 2012-13.
Fair Grove had a winning record in all but two seasons under Talbert.
“We are very excited to bring coach Talbert into the Nixa family and community.,” athletic director Brandon Clark said. “She is regarded as one of the best coaches in southwest Missouri, if not the state, not only for what she produces on the court, but also for the character and leadership she brings to her program.”
Talbert coached against Nixa on two occasions, with Fair Grove falling by 10 points at the Pink & White Tournament in 2018 and by 11 points at the same tourney in 2011.
Talbert may face her former players in as many as two games next season. Fair Grove takes part in the Nixa Invitational Tournament in January. Also, Nixa and Fair Grove are in the Pink & White Tournament in December.
Fair Grove returns the great majority of its team from last season.
Talbert’s arrival comes after Jennifer Perryman resigned the first week of this month as the Lady Eagles’ coach following a 10-year tenure leading their program.
Nixa reached the 20-win mark each of the past three seasons.