COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair has announced that Kelly Bond has been promoted to associate head coach. Bond is entering her fifth season with the Texas A&M women’s basketball program.
As the reigning Big 12 Conference champions’ top recruiting coordinator, Bond has spent the last seven years on Blair’s coaching staff including his first four at Texas A&M and last three at the University of Arkansas. During that time, she has been apart of five NCAA Tournament appearances with the nationally-ranked Aggies and Razorbacks combined. Her recruiting ties have been key for the Aggies and her contributions on the court have also developed the best guard core in the league. Bond has been instrumental in evaluating and signing recruiting classes that have been consistently ranked in the top 20 in the nation. She has helped bring two of the top guards in the state of Texas, Sydney Colson and Maryann Baker, into the fold for the upcoming 2007-08 season. Colson was the fifth-highest ranked point guard in the country.
“Coach Bond has done an outstanding job of putting Texas A&M back on the map and on the national scene,” Blair said. “With a veteran staff that we have in place at Texas A&M, I felt that she has earned the stature of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. She has been very loyal, has helped us sustain continuity within our staff and has been extremely productive.”
When Blair was appointed to the Texas A&M post back in 2003, he knew of the challenges that lay ahead, especially in recruiting. Bond was someone who knew Blair’s system well and knew the type of players it would take to rise to the top of the Big 12 Conference. As a result, the Aggies have had three top 20 recruiting classes including three Gatorade Players of the Year, three All-Big 12 First Team selections, one John R. Wooden Award candidate, one Associated Press All-America honorable mention honoree and the program’s first-ever McDonald’s High School All-American. Three players were also selected to participate in this year’s USA Basketball National Team Trials. But most importantly, the Texas A&M women’s basketball program has graduated and passed out Aggie Rings to 100 percent of the young ladies who have been brought into A&M.
“I have always believed that the strength of a program lies within the consistency of your staff,” Blair said. “I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by (associate head coach) Vic Schaefer and Kelly Bond for a combined 17 years. The chemistry of our staff is a direct reflection of the success we’ve had in the past and our recent successes in the Big 12 Conference which culminated this past spring with a Big 12 Championship title.”
Prior to A&M, Bond served as an assistant coach at Arkansas (2000-03) and Providence College (1999-00). A former student-athlete, she played point guard for the University of Illinois and helped the Illini achieve several milestones during her four-year career including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Bond also led the squad to the 1997 Big Ten Championship. During her junior and senior seasons, the Illini reached the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and posted 20-win seasons.
“Coach Bond is one of the best young coaches in the country with her knowledge of the game, her preparation for an opponent, her ability to recognize and make adjustments in a game and her ability to communicate the game to our young ladies,” Blair said. “With the changing stature of the women’s game today, these accomplishments make her deserving of this promotion to associate head coach. I am very blessed to have a veteran staff that believes we truly are Building Champions at Texas A&M.”
A 1998 graduate of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Bond played her high school basketball for the late legendary Chicagoland coach Arthur Penny at Whitney Young High School in her hometown of Chicago, Ill.