Oak Hill Blog

Oak Hill Academy Stories: Hana Haden ’10

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Photos credited to Harris-Stowe State University Athletics

On June 20, 2015, Hana Haden ’10 was named the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Harris-Stowe State University in Missouri.  As a former player at Oak Hill Academy and, later, at Western Carolina University, Hana’s young age is balanced by a tremendous amount of experience.  It is no surprise that Hana brought her intensity, infectious personality and interpersonal skill to the position and established quick success.   Winning 18 games, the team established the most program wins since 2007 and received votes in the National Top 25 Poll.  Three of her players won conference honors.


Hana’s story reflects many of the most successful Oak Hill stories.  She came to Oak Hill with a very clear intention to maximize the opportunity.  Already a strong student, Hana took many of the toughest courses offered and became involved with many campus activities–enhancing her inherent leadership skills.  On the court, Hana soaked up the experience (the highs and lows) that prepared her for a college career that took her from Missouri back to the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis on a basketball scholarship upon graduation from OHA.  From there she looked for a new opportunity to learn the game at Mineral Area Junior College, which also made her eligible to be recruited by Division I programs–a long-held dream.

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Photos credited to Western Carolina University Athletics

Her career at Western Carolina University fulfilled that dream and Hana was a key component of some of the strongest Catamount teams in recent history as point guard and captain.  Along the way, Hana never lost focus in the classroom and graduated cum laude from WCU in 2014.  With a B.A. in Communication and a minor in  Broadcast and Journalism, Hana returned to UMSL as an assistant to develop her coaching style.  For Hana, each stop was seen as an opportunity to learn and grow in a new environment, which is something that she really values about her time at OHA.  “Oak Hill Academy gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people that I wouldn’t have met in Springfield, MO, my hometown.  I really learned a lot about the dynamics of a success-oriented community and team by attending a small boarding school.  I wouldn’t trade the experience.  By choosing to attend Oak Hill Academy, I learned the benefits of getting outside of my comfort zone to grow, and that lesson has never left me.”

Clearly, Hana hasn’t stopped growing and taking on new challenges.  She is one of the fastest rising young head college coaches in the nation and we could not be more proud of her here.

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