Women's Basketball Staff
BJ Smith led the Scotties to their best season in school history(30-6), a Region Championship as well as a 5th place national tournament finish in 2013. The Scotties were ranked #1 in the Nation for a period of time as well as being in the top 10 all season long. For his efforts Smith was named the 2013 region 6 coach of the year. As a Head Junior College coach Smith is 176-28 (251-62 overall) with an 87% winning percentage, 4 national tournament appearances and a National Runner-up finish.
.In B.J. Smith’s initial season as the Highland head coach, the Scotties finished with a record of 28-4 in 2011-12, finished second in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, achieved a top five national ranking for most of the season, and had the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year in Kat Thomas who was also a First Team All-American. For those accomplishments, Smith was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association national Coach of the Year.
Smith came to Highland with a tremendous track record of success as a coach and motivator. Smith has coached players from all over the world who have made All-American teams, been drafted into the WNBA, played in the Olympics, and played professionally overseas.
Coach Smith has been a coach at every level (high school, community college, NAIA, NCAA Division I) and has proven the ability to teach. As the head coach at Southeast Missouri State, he led the Redhawks to their four most successful NCAA Division I seasons in the history of the program and an Ohio Valley Championship along with qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the first time in the history of the school. As a community college coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (99-7), he developed one of the top programs in the country, winning the powerful Bi-State Conference three years in a row as well as finishing fourth in the country in 2000 and National runner-up in 2002. He also started the men's and women's track and cross-country programs at Phillips University. They both finished in the top 20 nationally in their first year.
As a community college head coach, Smith has graduated 100% of his players and had them go on to play at places like Oklahoma, Memphis, Depaul, Arkansas State, and numerous other universities across the country
Title: Women's Basketball Assistant Coach
Jillian Palan has been instrumental in the establishment of Highland Community College women’s basketball as a national power. The Scotties are 58-10 since her arrival in 2011 with A region 6 Championship and 5th place national tournament finish. They have been ranked #1 in the country for 4 weeks as well as being in the top 10 for 2 seasons. The Scotties have had 3 all-Americans, 4 all-Conference and 6 all-Region players as well as 3 academic all-Americans. Palan is the recruiting coordinator as well as being in charge of post players amongst other on court and game day duties. Jillian is no stranger to success as she led North central Missouri to a 6th place national tournament finish as well as being a part of the post season at the division 1 level playing for Tricia Cullop’s Evansville Aces in the women’s postseason NIT