Drury University's Amy Eagan smiles on the sideline during a recent Lady Panthers game. (Photo: Drury University)

Drury University’s women’s basketball program again is a victim of its own tremendous success, losing its head coach to a Division I program.

Amy Eagan, who compiled a 87-9 record in three seasons and sustaining the success achieved under previous coach Molly Miller, is accepting the head-coaching position at NCAA Division I Lindenwood University in St. Charles.

Drury announced the move in a news release March 28. Eagan was promoted to be Drury’s head coach three years ago after Molly Miller took a Division I job at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

“I want to thank Amy Eagan for everything she did for Drury University and the Lady Panthers basketball program,” Drury Director of Athletics Nyla Milleson said. “Four years ago, she chose to come to Drury as an assistant, having already established herself as an outstanding head coach. 

“As she now moves to the highest level of college basketball, I have no doubt that her teams will continue to accomplish great things and she will make everyone associated with the Lady Panthers proud.”  

Milleson said a national search for Eagan’s replacement is underway. 

Eagan will inherit a program-building situation at Lindenwood, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference that just completed its first season in Division I. Lindenwood won only two games in 2022-23.

“I want to thank Drury University, the athletics department, my players, my staff, boosters and the Springfield community for all their support the last four years,” Eagan said in a news release. “The memories made here will last a lifetime and I will forever be grateful. Drury will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Eagan led the Lady Panthers to a 31-2 record in the recently-concluded season, including a third straight Great Lakes Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championship. Drury, ranked second nationally the last month of the regular-season, lost to No. 5 Grand Valley State in the Midwest Region.

Drury has won seven straight GLVC titles in the run that began under Miller. Eagan was named the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in 2021 and was the GLVC Coach of the Year in 2023.

Drury women’s basketball coach Amy Eagan says building relationships with players is a key element of her coaching philosophy. (Photo by Drury University Athletics)

“After an extensive search that featured tremendous interest in the position, it was clear that the right and best candidate was only a few hours away,” Lindenwood AD Jason Coomer said. “Coach Eagan is a proven winner as demonstrated throughout her career as a student-athlete, coach and mentor.  We are thrilled that she will be bringing her exciting style of play to St. Charles as this will certainly be intriguing to players and fans alike.”

Eagan arrived at Drury as an assistant coach in 2019, leaving her post as the head coach of her alma mater, Truman State, after six seasons. Eagan took over at Drury in 2020-21, inheriting a squad that was faced with the losses of All-Americans Hailey Diestelkamp and Dejah Bernard.

Drury compiled a 24-2 record and a national runner-up finish that season before a 32-5 record in 2021-22. 

Eagan is 275-151 overall as a head coach. In addition to Drury and Truman State, Eagan was the head coach at St. Ambrose (Iowa) from 2005-07 and Ashford (Iowa) from 2010-13.

In a 2022 story in the Springfield Daily Citizen, Eagan said positivity is a big part of her coaching philosophy, both on and off the court. 

“I’m very relationship-based, I would say,” Eagan said. “Just having relationships outside the Xs and Os and wins and losses is important to me with the kids, with the (coaching) staff, the people around the program and those kinds of things.”

Guard Kaylee Damitz said Eagan’s energy and positivity resonate with the players.

“And I think she’s just very smart and confident in the way she presents stuff to us,” Damitz said. “She’s very energetic at practice and always encouraging. She’s very smart in how she presents stuff to us. I love playing for her.”

Basketball has been a lifelong passion for Eagan, who was a standout guard at South Shelby High School in northeast Missouri and voted all-state in Class 2. She went on to a playing career at Truman State, earning all-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association honors all four years.

After a brief professional playing career in Norway, Eagan went into coaching and her teams have had winning records in 14 of 17 seasons.

Lyndal Scranton

Lyndal Scranton is a Springfield native who has covered sports in the Ozarks for more than 35 years, witnessing nearly every big sports moment in the region during the last 50 years. The Springfield Area Sports Hall of Famer and live-fire cooking enthusiast also serves as PR Director for Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and is co-host of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast. Contact him at Lscranton755@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @LyndalScranton. More by Lyndal Scranton