Kay James


Kay JamesBorn: June 28, 1947
Hometown: Gulfport, MS
Year of Induction: 2016



  • Named to exclusive Southern Miss Legends Club in 2003
  • Coached Southern Miss for 22 seasons, compiling a 403-224 record
  • Four-time Conference Coach of the Year in Metro Conference and Conference USA
  • Prior to USM, coached Berry College for five seasons, compiling an 85-20 record and winning a national small college championship in 1976
  • Her combined record (USM and Berry) is 488-244, making him one of 40 coaches in NCAA history with 450 or more wins
  • She led Southern Miss to 10 post-season bids
  • Produced 16 All-Conference players at USM, including four Players of the Year and one All-American
  • Coached several Team USA squads in international competition
  • Her 1993-94 USM team won 26, lost 5, ranked as high as no. 16 and earned a Top 20 final national ranking
  • Spent one season on the coaching staff of the Seattle Storm in the WNBA
  • In 2012, James received the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her lifetime of service to women’s basketball

Did you know?

  • Former USM president Aubrey Lucas recruited Kay James from Berry College to USM, hoping to duplicate the women’s basketball success Delta State enjoyed. (Lucas had been the president at Delta State). Lucas had to work at it. Berry turned down the USM job at least twice, but Lucas did not give up.