Texas Southern athletic director Kevin Granger has had a busy week making key moves in connection with the Tigers’ men’s and women’s basketball programs.
It was announced Wednesday night that TSU announced it has hired former Texas A&M co-associate head coach Vernette Skeete as the 13th women’s basketball coach. A day earlier, the school confirmed that it has extended the contract of men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones through 2026.
Both moves are still pending the TSU Board of Regents’ approval.
Skeete replaces Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dykes as the Lady Tigers’ head coach. Cooper-Dykes suddenly retired from coaching last month.
The Malone, Fla. native comes aboard at Texas Southern with a wide range of experience as a head coach, assistant coach and student-athlete from the power five ranks to high schools. She spent last season as Texas A&M women’s coach Gary Blair’s co-associate head coach. Prior to coaching the Aggies, Skeete served as an assistant coach at Illinois, Marquette and University of Miami. She also served as head coach at Gulf Coast State junior college.
Skeete began her playing career at Gulf Coast State before playing her final two seasons at Alcorn State, where she received a degree in psychology in 2005.
She takes over a program that was up and down this past season, finishing 11-15 overall and 11-7 in SWAC play and losing in the opening round of the SWAC Tournament to Southern.
Jones, meanwhile, was rewarded for elevating the men’s program since coming aboard in 2018. The Tigers have made three consecutive postseason tournament runs with five wins and has finished no worse than third place in the SWAC.
Jones, who recorded his 350th career win in January, has guided the Tigers to back-to-back SWAC Tournament championships and consecutive play-in wins to kick off the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers also made history this past season when they defeated No.20 Florida, 69-54, on the road to become the first team in SWAC history to beat a ranked opponent from the SEC.
Jones and Granger both declined to comment to The Defender as they await the Board of Regents’ approval.