UAFS Coach Lovato Takes Assistant Job At Mississippi State

FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Elena Lovato spent two season as the UA-Fort Smith women’s basketball coach but now she’s headed back to Starkville.

Lovato has resigned from her head coaching position to take an assistant job at Mississippi State, a school where she coached from 2014-16.

“We want to thank Coach Lovato for her two seasons here and her continued excellence on and off the court. Her ability to strive for excellence on the court and in the classroom is a unique talent that she brought to UAFS,” UAFS Director of Athletics Curtis Janz said. “We wish her nothing but success.”

During her tenure at UAFS, the Lady Lions went 37-24 overall with a 20-10 mark in the Heartland Conference. Lovato led UAFS to the NCAA Division-II tournament in 2017-18 after a 20-10 regular season. The Lady Lions were bounced by No. 2 seed West Texas A&M in the opening round.

“Even though you lose good people, you still have the opportunity to build on the success and culture of the program,” Janz said.

Lovato took over for Louis Whorton in 2016-17 after he led the program for 30 seasons and won nearly 650 games.