Hardly more than a sentence removed from announcing Ronnie Hearne's retirement at a press conference in Wisdom Gym Wednesday, Tarleton State athletic director Lonn Reisman named the new head coach of the university's women's basketball program.

Not that she needed any introduction.

Misty Wilson is moving from the second seat on Tarleton's bench to the first, taking the reigns of a program that has seen her grow from walk-on to star player, and now from assistant coach to head coach.

"I remember someone telling me there's a girl playing intramural basketball who could actually play for the TexAnns," Reisman recalled of the day he first heard of Misty (Garvin) Wilson. "I was thinking, 'Yeah, right.' But then she came over and tried out and started whipping up on all our scholarship girls. All of a sudden, Misty began making a name for herself and for Tarleton in women's basketball."

Wilson went on to score 1,440 career points - seventh all-time at the school - from 1998-2002. She is in the top 15 in school history in 11 statistical categories, including second all-time with 326 career steals.

Wilson became assistant coach in 2002-03, the year before Hearne began his 11-year tenure at Tarleton. She is the school's sixth head coach for women's hoops, the second to rise from player to head coach. Jan Lowery played for Tarleton from 1974-76, and coached the team from 1976-96.

"It's an honor to have you trust me to lead this great program," said Wilson. "It's been a whirlwind. I told Coach Reisman this morning that it's bittersweet because I'm saying goodbye to Coach Hearne, but I also get to inherit a wonderful program with wonderful players."

Wilson earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Tarleton in 2001 and 2004, and has been on the bench for 219 wins including all of the 212 under Hearne. She helped Hearne guide the TexAnns to six NCAA Championship appearances including their current run of five straight. Tarleton won the Lone Star Conference regular season and tournament championships with her on the bench in 2012.

"I'm not going to say too much about Coach Wilson because she knows how I feel about her," said Hearne. "We've gone through the highs and the lows together, the laughter and the tears. She knows me so well I'll start to say something and she'll finish it for me before I say it."

Wilson will have to replace herself as assistant coach, and while she has "some names in mind," she said the hiring process could take months. One thing she is certain of, however, is that she is committed to continuing bringing in the same type of players she recruited as an assistant.

"I call it intentional recruiting," said Wilson, who among countless other award winners has helped Tarleton land a two-time LSC Academic Player of the Year in Shelby Adamson and a two-time All-American and Daktronics National Player of the Year in Kiara Wright. "My faith is my foundation and I try to include that in my recruiting."

Guard Kathy Thomas transferred to Tarleton from Iowa last summer and will be a senior on the first team Wilson will serve as head coach.

"It's obviously sad Coach Hearne is retiring, but while we lose him we also gain Coach Wilson. She's been under him, and she knows how it's done," said Thomas. "We're looking forward to a very successful season."

Thomas said Wilson's instant promotion came as no surprise to the team.

"When (Hearne) decided to retire (last summer), Coach Reisman had offered her the job, so with him officially retiring now, we knew she would be the new head coach," Thomas said. "We're very excited about the direction we'll be going under her. We know she'll push us to be our best."