Women’s basketball assistant leaves Harding for A-State
Jameson trading Bison black and gold for Lady Wolves red
A-State Sports The Harding Lady Bisons’ women’s basketball team is saying goodbye to one of its own.
Assistant coach Weston Jameson has accepted an assistant coaching position at Arkansas State’s women’s basketball program alongside Matt Daniel.
Jameson said he is excited to begin a new chapter in his coaching career.
“We are really excited about the opportunity,” Jameson said via text message. “I’ve been very impressed by the job Coach Daniel has done so far and I think the future of the program is bright.”
Harding head men’s coach and Athletic Director Jeff Morgan said Jameson’s “been a big part of Harding basketball both as a coach and a player. He’s a part of a lot of guys that are out there and getting to do some really cool stuff with kids.”
Jameson’s immediate boss, women’s head coach Tim Kirby, echoed Morgan saying, “Coach Jameson has been a huge part of our family. He did a great job for us and will be missed.
We’re excited for him and wish him the best.”
Jameson coached the Lady Bisons alongside Kirby for five years. On the Lady Bisons’ bench, he assisted Kirby and was part of what is widely considered one of the greatest seasons in Harding’s women’s basketball’s history.
During his tenure at Harding, Jameson helped lead the Lady Bisons to a 104-48 record, five Great American Conference Tournament berths, two GAC regular-season championships and tournament crowns, as well as an NCAA Central Region Tournament title and an NCAA Division II Final Four appearance during the 2017 season.
Sydney Layrock, who returned to her hometown of Paragould after graduating from Harding, and averaging just over 12 points per game, and registering nine double-doubles for the Lady Bisons, called Jameson “a great asset to any program, not only him but his entire family.”
“Harding will miss him, and I will miss seeing him at Harding,” Layrock said.
“I am so excited to see him at ASU, and his family just be 20 minutes down the road from me. ASU just got a steal.”
For Layrock, her relationship with Jameson goes back to childhood.
“Weston has been one of my good friends since the eighth grade,” Layrock said. “He was my brother’s college roommate, so we go way back.”
Jameson replaced David Walker as Kirby’s assistant, which seemed to soothe the loss of Walker for Layrock.
“When Coach Walker left Harding, I really struggled with the thought of a new assistant,” Layrock said.
“When I found out it was going to be Weston, I was ecstatic.”
The Lady Bisons finished 17-10 in Jameson’s first season.
“He brought so much energy to our program instantly, and made the transition easier with a familiar face,” Layrock said. “I always thought of him as a brother, but I knew every day he was going to coach me as hard as he could every day and our relationship would be coach/player” Layrock admits that the relationship transition wasn’t automatic. “It was a struggle for me to call him Coach Jameson, that was a joke with all of the girls,” Layrock said. “I was the only one that would get the stink eye for accidentally saying Weston for the first few weeks. “
But things smoothed out and what the Lady Bisons experienced in his second season was magical.
“Coach Jameson helped lead us to the Final Four in 2017,” Layrock said.
That 2017 postseason included a regional championship that no one at Rhodes Reaves Fieldhouse on March 13, 2017 will likely forget.
Trailing by 18 points early in the third quarter, No. 2 seed Harding (30-3) stormed back to stun top seed Emporia State (29-5) 58-56 in the championship game of the NCAA Division II Central Region women’s basketball tournament.
A Sydnie Jones layup with 41 second left gave Harding its first lead since early in the first quarter at 57-56. An Emporia State turnover on the ensuing possession and foul sent Riley Rose to the freethrow line, where she made of one of two for the final margin. The Hornets’ final chance, a 3-point try by Addie Lackey, bounced off the rim at the final buzzer.
Then, there was the Final Four, and it seemed as though for those player it wasn’t as much what Jameson did on the floor as what he was able to do before the game that counted the most.
“One of my favorite memories with him is when we were in the Final Four,” Layrock said. “We were in our travel cars to shoot around and he sang the song ‘Grillz’ with us. He always kept us laughing off the floor, but we knew when we stepped across those lines it was straight business.”
Like Layrock, Jameson’s favorite memories were not necessarily between the lines.
“A lot of things come to mind,” Jameson said. “As a player, so many great teammates – too many to name.
Playing for Coach Morgan and Coach Woods; winning three conference championships. As a coach, I’ve had so many great memories over the last five years. The players are what makes it special. I’ve been blessed to coach great players but even better people.
I’ve enjoyed working with Coach Kirby and learned a lot from him.
“And then two conference championships, a Final Four run in 2017 and all of the team success over the .”
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last five years. Really getting to be around special people is what makes my job so rewarding.”
Layrock reciprocated Jameson’s sentiment.
“He not only is a great coach, but a great mentor,” Layrock said. “When I look back on my time at Harding, Coach Jameson always kept a close eye on his players. He had meetings with each of us to check in, not only to discuss basketball but life. As a player, I learned so much from him, but even more as a person.
“Coach Jameson wants the most out of his players on the floor, but is one of your biggest cheerleaders when you leave campus for the last time. I can say anyone who played under Coach Jameson would say the same.”