Tianna Kirkland is entering her fifth season as an assistant coach with the University of Michigan women's basketball program. Kirkland, who has seven years of experience as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level, assists with all on-court coaching and is heavily involved in the recruiting process.
Prior to coming to Michigan, Kirkland spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University under current Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant. The Eagles posted an overall record of 16-13 with Kirkland on the bench, including a 10-6 mark in the Mid-American Conference. Kirkland was involved in all aspects of on-court coaching, with an emphasis on the Eagles' post players. She was also heavily involved in recruiting, scouting and film breakdown. Kirkland oversaw the team's academics and postseason workouts, and she coordinated EMU's strength and conditioning routines.
Kirkland arrived at Eastern Michigan following two seasons as an assistant coach at Butler University (2004-06), where she helped the Bulldogs to a combined record of 29-28 (17-15 Horizon League). In addition to her on-court coaching responsibilities, Kirkland oversaw the team's travel operations and served as the program's camp director. She also assisted with scouting and recruiting.
Kirkland began her coaching career at Central Michigan University, serving as a graduate assistant coach from 2002-04. Her responsibilities included on-court coaching as well as the coordination of the program's film exchange, scout team and team managers. She also had a hand in recruiting and individual skill development.
Kirkland enjoyed a stellar four-year playing career at Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Mich.) from 1997-2001. The team's leading scorer and rebounder in her final two seasons, Kirkland guided the Bulldogs to a combined record of 74-37 and their first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in 2000.
Kirkland put together her finest collegiate season as a senior co-captain in 2000-01, leading Ferris State to a 16-11 record while posting career-high averages of 15.2 points and 9.7 rebounds. She was named a Women's Basketball Bulletin third-team All-American, as well as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Player of the Year. Kirkland was also selected to the All-Great Lakes Region and GLIAC All-Defense first teams in her final season.
Kirkland tallied team-high averages in points (11.9 ppg) and rebounds (9.1 rpg) while leading the Bulldogs to a 22-7 record as a junior in 1999-2000. Ferris State earned its first NCAA postseason berth in 33 years and claimed a share of its first GLIAC North Division regular-season championship (16-3). Kirkland was named to the All-GLIAC second team, as well as the conference's all-tournament and all-academic squads.
Kirkland, who also earned her team's Most Valuable Player (2000-01) and Most Improved Player (1999) awards, closed her career as the school's 10th-leading scorer (926 points), third-leading rebounder (705) and fourth-best shooter (.540, 350-of-648). She also left FSU ranked in the top 10 for blocks (fifth, 40) and free throws made (ninth, 226).
Kirkland also lettered in track and field at Ferris State, earning NCAA Division II All-America honors in the indoor and outdoor shot put and the discus in her final season. A two-time co-captain, Kirkland left FSU as the school record holder in all three events. She also held the second-best all-time mark in both the indoor weight throw and the outdoor hammer throw at the conclusion of her career.
A native of Flint, Mich., Kirkland graduated from Ferris State in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in applied biology.