Emily Ragsdale comes to GCU after spending a season as the head coach at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Ragsdale was also an assistant under Molly Miller at Drury for three seasons.
Ragsdale was named to the WBCA Thirty Under 30 list in March of 2019. The coaches to make the list “have demonstrated eagerness, effectiveness, loyalty, love of the game and commitment to the student-athlete,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew.
The head coaching position at Roosevelt was a return to her home state as Ragsdale is a native of Ottawa, Illinois and a former standout at Ottawa Township High School.
As an assistant at Drury, she helped the Lady Panthers to three straight Great Lakes Valley Conference titles and NCAA DII Tournament berths. Ragsdale was on the staff that led Drury to three 30-win seasons and a spot in the 2019 Final Four.
Prior to Drury, Ragsdale spent a season at Aurora University and helped the Spartans to a nine-win improvement.
As a student-athlete, Ragsdale was a four-year starter at Judson University. She completed her eligibility as the school’s record holder for offensive rebounds and blocked shots (2011-15).
Ragsdale holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sport Science with a concentration in Sports Administration from Judson. She earned a Masters of Education from Drury in 2018.
Buck Scheel comes to GCU after spending three years as an assistant at Drury.
Scheel helped direct the Lady Panthers to a 108-4 record which included three conference titles, a pair of NCAA DII Midwest Regional championships and a Final Four appearance.
Scheel spent the previous two and a half seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Northwest Missouri State University. Before taking over as head coach midway through the 2015-16 campaign, he served as an assistant with the Bearcats for two years. During his tenure, he recruited and coached several all-conference performers including the 2018 MIAA Co-Freshman of the Year, Jaelyn Haggard.
From 2010-2013, Scheel was the top assistant at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri and helped the program to a 68-28 record through three seasons and a district championship in 2011. He worked as the head women’s basketball coach at Southwestern Community College in Iowa for three years and also served as an instructor for Midwest Elite Basketball where he designed and customized curriculums for players and teams.
Scheel is originally from Columbus, Nebraska. He started his collegiate playing career at Kaplan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, before finishing at Waldorf College in Iowa. He served as a team captain at both programs and graduated from Waldorf with a degree in Business Management. Scheel also earned a Master’s degree in Sports Management from Columbia Southern University in Alabama.
Director of Basketball Operations
Karyla Middlebrook comes to GCU from Evansville. She was hired as an assistant coach in April of 2020.
She was an assistant coach for the Aces for two seasons, following a playing career at Alabama and Kansas State.
In her time with the Crimson Tide, she was a 3-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member. During the 2015-16 season, she helped her team earn its first-ever home win over Tennessee while ending a 42-game winless streak against the Lady Vols. In her time at Alabama, she played in 72 games and made 70 starts while averaging 7.6 points per game.
Middlebrook then went to Kansas State as a grad transfer and immediately made an impact, being named the squads Most Improved Player in 2017. She played in 33 games, making 31 starts in her first season with the Wildcats while reaching double figures in scoring on 12 occasions. Her career game saw her notch 27 points and 7 rebounds at Oklahoma. The 2016-17 team went 23-11 and beat Drake in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. She was limited to four games in 2017-18 due to injury and moved to a student assistant role at that time. In her time in Manhattan, Middlebrook continued to excel in the classroom, being named to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team.
She had aspirations to coach since her time in middle school and assumed a student coaching position after suffering an injury at Kansas State. She also assisted with various camps at K-State while helping her father, who is also a coach at the youth level. She earned a B.S. in Business Management from Alabama and her Masters in Academic Advising from Kansas State. Middlebrook is a native of Blue Springs, Mo., which is a suburb of Kansas City.