Cochise introduces new women’s basketball coach

Misty Opat, who has over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, has been named head women’s basketball coach at Cochise College.

Opat comes to Cochise College most recently from Chicago State University (CSU), where she served as head coach for the women’s team. Coach Opat spent two seasons with the Cougars.

Before her time at CSU, Opat spent ten seasons at Rock Valley College (RVC) in Rockford, Ill., where she served as head women’s basketball coach and athletic director. She led her team to capture four National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III National Championships and seven consecutive North Central Community College Conference (N4C) titles.

Opat received the Spalding NJCAA D-III National Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2017, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year six times, the Region IV Coach of the Year seven times, the District 2 Coach of the Year five times, and the Coach of the NJCAA D-III National Tournament four times while at RVC.

Prior to RVC, Opat had posted seven years of NCAA Division I experience, which includes assisting the University of Kansas to two Big 12 Conference championships and two NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances from 1995-98 followed by stints at UIC (1999-2002) and Fresno State (1998-99).

Opat earned an associate of science degree from Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kan., where she was a two-year team captain in basketball and named to the all-conference and all-region teams in both of her seasons. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., where she earned NAIA All-American honors as a player. She then went on to obtain a master of science degree in sports administration from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan.