Illinois State's Pingeton chosen as Missouri women's basketball coach

Robin Pingeton, a former Iowa State assistant who drove the Illinois State Redbirds to the semifinals of the WNIT this season, has agreed to become the next head coach of Missouri women’s basketball.

MU will hold a news conference at 10:30 Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia to announce a coach has been hired to replace Cindy Stein. Sources have told The Star — as well as newspapers in Columbia and in Normal, Ill., where Illinois State is located — that that coach will be the 41-year-old Pingeton.

According to the paper in Normal, Pingeton met with her Illinois State players on Wednesday afternoon and was to meet with her new players at Mizzou on Wednesday night. MU reportedly interviewed candidates in St. Louis on Monday and Tuesday, including Texas Christian coach Jeff Mitte, who is from Blue Springs.

Illinois State has won three straight Missouri Valley Conference titles, going 81-23 in that span. This season the Redbirds finished 28-8 and defeated Butler, Purdue, Kansas and Illinois in a WNIT run that ended in the semifinals with a 61-45 loss to California.

Stein — after 12 seasons at Missour i— was not offered a new contract for next season. She and the school announced her departure just before the end of the 2010 season.

Pingeton — 144-81 at Illinois State with NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005 and 2008 — is anticipated to bring her Illinois State staff to Columbia.

Pingeton served as an Iowa State assistant under coach Bill Fennelly for three seasons prior to taking the Illinois State job. She also coached eight seasons at St. Ambrose, an NAIA school in Davenport, Iowa, her teams making the NAIA Tournament on five occasions.

The confirmation of Pingeton’s hiring will be held at the Clinton Club at Mizzou Arena, and MU officials have issued a welcome to the public to attend.