Maurice Stafford is in his fourth season on the Lady Tiger coaching staff, but has new responsibilites beginning this season.
Stafford will serve as the director of basketball operations for the Lady Tigers and will handle various administrative duties, including team travel, budget and recruiting visits. He served the previous three seasons as an assistant coach responsible for post players.
A former University of North Alabama player and coach, Stafford was hired as an assistant for the UNA women's basketball team in Jan. 1996. In 1997-98, the UNA Lions finished with a 17-8 overall record; 9-5 in the Gulf South Conference.
While at UNA, Stafford is credited with recruiting some of the school's top basketball players, including Serita Gauldin, who was the school's first-ever first-team all-American, and Becky Mauck, who led the nation in both three-point field-goal and three-point percentage. He also coached two all-conference players in Yolanda Leslie and LaCongra Pegus.
Prior to his two years at UNA, Stafford was an assistant coach for the women's basketball team at UT-Martin from 1989-95. While at UT-Martin, Stafford coached three OVC all-conference players, including Tara Tansis, who is one of three UT-Martin women's basketball players to have her jersey retired.
A native of Biggersville, Miss., Stafford had the highest field goal percentage in NCAA Division II history in 1984 while leading UNA to a 27-7 record, a Gulf South championship, NCAA South Region championship and a third-place national finish.
Stafford hit 75-percent of his shots from the field, sinking 198 of his 264 shots, and led UNA in scoring with 14.4 points a game. He was selected as a first-team all-Gulf South pick and the GSC player of the year for the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.
Stafford transferred to UNA from Northeast Mississippi Junior College where he led his squads to a 56-11 record in two years (1980-82). Stafford was named all-state and all-region as NEMCC won the North half both years and the state championship in 1982. Stafford led Region 27 in scoring with 22.5 points per game and was named a Who's Who in Junior College. Following his 1982 season, Stafford was named an honorable mention all-American and the Mississippi Junior College Player of the Year.
Following his playing days at UNA, the two-time GSC honoree served as a student assistant coach for the Lions for two seasons in 1985 and 1986. Stafford received his bachelor's degree in physical education/sociology in December 1986.
Stafford, who graduated from Biggersville High School, also had a stellar prep career. In 1980, he was heralded as one of the top five high school basketball players in Mississippi and was named an all-American by Street and Smith.
Stafford is one of four former UNA standouts who were inducted to the UNA Athletic Hall of Fame in October.
Stafford is not the only talented athlete from his family. His sister, Phyllis Stafford Dilworth, played at Northeast Miss. CC and led her teams to a 63-1 record and a national championship in 1986-87. She went on to play two seasons for current-WNBA Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor at Ole Miss. His brother, Fred Stafford, led NEMCC to a 56-7 record and a runners-up title in the national championship tournament, and then transferred to UNA and led the Lions to a national championship title prior to his graduation from UNA. He is currently teaching physical education at Willow Oaks Elementary in Memphis.
Stafford is married to the former Lynette Miller of Jumpertown, Miss. They have one daughter, Sascha, who is in the sixth grade at the U of M Campus School.