April 28, 2014

Ethridge announced as Bears head women's basketball coach

Collin Boyles

GREELEY – Northern Colorado Director of Athletics Darren Dunn announced that Kamie Ethridge will take over as the 12th head women's basketball coach in program history on Monday.

Ethridge joins the UNC staff after serving the last 18 years as associate head coach with Kansas State and totaling over 500 wins in her coaching career. An inductee of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and gold medalist with U.S. Olympics in 1988, she has played a prominent role in women's basketball in the United States.

"During our thorough search process, we spoke with many different leaders in women's basketball who knew Coach Ethridge well, on and off the court," Dunn said. "Her energy, excitement and commitment to student-athletes were apparent from our first meeting and from many discussions with those who have worked with her. She is extremely prepared for this opportunity and will be a perfect fit for our program, department and community. 

"She is very well versed in the X's and O's, outstanding in player development and is a proven recruiter and relationship builder. She is star in this industry and we're truly excited to have her join our UNC Athletics family."

Ethridge takes over as the Bears finished 14-15 and 8-12 in Big Sky play during the 2013-14 season. The conference's third leading scorer in the Big Sky, Stephanie Lee, and leading scorer from 2012-13, D'shara Strange, return for their senior seasons in 2014-15.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity President Norton and Director of Athletics Darren Dunn have afforded me to be the head women's basketball coach at University of Northern Colorado," Ethridge said. "This is a program that has tremendous potential for achieving academic and athletic success in the Big Sky Conference. I look forward to building a partnership between our program and the UNC faculty, student body, Greeley and the surrounding communities in an effort to create one of the best home court environments in the Big Sky."

Ethridge totaled 350 wins with a .608 winning percentage during her 18 seasons with the Wildcats where she shared the responsibility for all developmental, administrative and coaching aspects of the program. She previously served as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and Northern Illinois. Ethridge advanced to the NCAA Tournament 14 times, including six trips to the Sweet Sixteen, during her career as associate head coach and assistant coach.

While playing for seven national teams during her playing career, Ethridge earned six gold and one silver medal, including playing in the 1988 Olympics with the United States, 1986 World Championships and serving as an alternate for the Olympics in 1984. She also won an NCAA National Championship and MVP while playing for the Texas Longhorns from 1982-86.

Ethridge will be introduced at 2:00 p.m. in the Champions Room of Butler-Hancock Athletic Center on Tuesday, April 29.

Coaching Career
2014-present – Head Coach, Northern Colorado
1996-14 – Associate Head Coach, Kansas State
1991-96 – Assistant Coach, Vanderbilt
1990-91 – Assistant Coach, Northern Illinois
Record Totals - 501-271 (.649)

What They're Saying
"I am so happy for Kamie and Northern Colorado. I knew she was going to be a head coach and I think she will be a great one. UNC is extremely fortunate to have such a great person lead the women's basketball program. Kamie has always been extremely competitive, who has great leadership skills. She has a special ability to connect to young people and is one of the best at player development. I will look for great things from Northern Colorado's Women's Basketball program." - Jody Conradt, Former Head Coach University of Texas

"We are thrilled to see Kamie Ethridge finally get this head coaching opportunity she has long deserved. She is a rare coach who brings championship producing game strategist and teaching skills combined with personal credibility as a Hall of Fame and Olympic gold medalist athlete. Northern Colorado has made a big-time hire. We will be following UNC basketball with great interest. Kamie Ethridge is a winner." - John Currie, Athletics Director Kansas State

"Kamie Ethridge is one of the best teachers in our game. She brings great energy and passion to her job every day. The beneficiaries of which are the student-athletes she works with on a daily basis." - Jim Foster, Head Coach UT-Chattanooga

"Kamie is a proven winner. Her experiences as national champion, gold medalist and successful coach will serve as a catalyst for her success at Northern Colorado. Her skills in areas of player development, recruiting and teaching the game are exceptional. But even more than that, her character and leadership ability set her apart. She is one of the best coaches in our game." – Jane Albright, Head Coach Nevada

"This is news well worth the diligence and wait: Kamie Ethridge is a head women's basketball coach! The Northern Colorado campus community — and especially the student-athletes — will benefit tremendously. Congratulations to Darren Dunn and his team on this hire. The college athletics experience is about preparing for life. Kamie is not just an exceptional basketball teacher and coach. She will instruct her student-athletes about the intangibles derived in being ultra-competitive in practice and competition, and about being dedicated, passionate and accountable to a team. She was a NCAA and Olympic team champion team member and an exceptional coach at many levels during her career. This is validation of a great student-athlete experience eventually translating into an opportunity to transform others' lives through sports and higher education." - Christine Plonsky, Women's Athletics Director University of Texas


Kamie Ethridge Introductory Press Conference (April 29, 2014)