COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Texas A&M women's basketball head coach Gary Blair announced the completion of his coaching staff Thursday with the hiring of Amy Wright as an assistant coach.
Wright comes to Aggieland after one season as an assistant coach at Arizona State and following a three-year stint at Cleveland State. She was also a four-year letterwinner under Blair at the University of Arkansas, and previously spent time at A&M as an academic assistant and a radio color analyst for road games.
"Amy is one of the rising young stars in the coaching community and we are excited to have her back to be with us at Texas A&M," Blair said. "It is a privilege to watch a former player learn the ropes in coaching and make her mark. It is even more gratifying to have her return to work alongside you, especially here at A&M where we've worked so hard to build one of the top programs in the nation.
"Amy is full of energy and ready to work at the highest level. We are eager for her to put her talents to use to keep us among the elite teams in women's basketball."
Over the nine years of her coaching career, Wright has been a part of eight winning seasons, with each of those eight teams making postseason play (3 NCAA, 5 WNIT). She has worked with five 20-win teams and earned two conference championships.
In her most recent stop, Wright revamped Arizona State's entire recruiting system to help sign one of its highest-ranked recruiting classes. Specializing in out-of-bounds plays, on-court work with guards, and opponent scouting reports, Wright was instrumental in the Sun Devils' 20-win season and a WNIT berth.
"I am very excited to become a part of the Texas A&M women's basketball staff," said Wright. "Returning to a familiar place, with familiar people is a great feeling when entering a new position. Having played for Coach Blair, I am most thrilled with the opportunity to now work with him. I understand the expectations of A&M women's basketball and of being an Aggie, and I look forward to helping carry on a tradition-rich program."
While at Cleveland State from 2008-11, Wright helped guide the program to 59 wins, a conference championship and a pair of postseason berths. She served as the program's recruiting coordinator, assisted with game preparation and player development, and spent her final year as CSU's associate coach.
In 2011, Cleveland State posted its second-highest win total in school history (21), tied the school record for most Horizon League wins (12) and earned a regional top seed in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) where it would go on to earn its first-ever postseason win. One season earlier, the Vikings advanced to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Horizon League Championship. In her first season at CSU, Wright helped develop the 2009 Horizon League's Co-Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Prior to her appointment at Cleveland State, Wright spent one season as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky. The Lady Toppers had a tremendous campaign, compiling a 28-8 record and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship after winning the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Wright began her coaching career at South Florida (2003-06). While at USF, she helped the Bulls amass 54 wins, including a 21-win campaign in 2004-05. During her tenure, USF made three trips to the postseason, earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship in 2006.
As a player, Wright started four seasons under Blair at Arkansas from 1999-2002. She is the only point guard in school history to lead the Lady Razorbacks to four straight postseason appearances, including the 1999 WNIT Championship and a berth in the WNIT semifinals in 2000. Wright is Arkansas' all-time leader in assists (717) and she set the school record for assists in a season as a senior (205). In her final two years, she led the Lady Razorbacks to the second round of the NCAA Championship.
"She was an excellent point guard at Arkansas and called every play for our team," added Blair. "I'm confident that she will continue to develop Aggie point guards to the top level we strive for." An SEC Academic Honor Roll selection as a sophomore (1999-00), Wright never missed a game, playing in a school-record 131 consecutive contests.
Following her collegiate career, Wright participated in the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp and was drafted by the Detroit Shock in 2002. A native of Williamsburg, Ind., and 1998 graduate of Northeastern High School, Wright earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and management from Arkansas in 2002. She will complete her master's degree in sports and administration from Ohio University in December 2012.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT WRIGHT
"I have known Amy since her days as a player at the University of Arkansas and I was given the pleasure to work with her last year. She gave her all in everything she did and the quality of her work was outstanding. There was no job that was too difficult and no job that she did not excel at. Our players loved her for her attention to detail and her fun-loving spirit. I loved her because she gave me the opportunity to be a head coach. I could trust her to do her job and do it well. Her presence each and every day made a tremendous difference in the lives of all she touched. There is no question Texas A&M has hired a coach who is a difference-maker."
- Joseph Anders, Former Interim Head Coach at Arizona State, Current Assistant Coach at New Mexico
"Amy Wright was a great hire for Texas A&M. Coach Gary Blair has known her since she was 16 years old and Amy has blossomed nicely as an assistant coach. She has high character and will do what it takes to get the job done. She has great rapport with the student-athletes, is strong in individual skill training and is a relentless recruiter. This being a technological time, she is well-versed in and can handle anything that relates to technology. She knows how to coach on the big stage and has done so in BCS conferences. Texas A&M will benefit with Amy Wright being a member of the Aggie staff."
- Bret McCormick, Lead Evaluator - All-Star Girls Report
"Amy is a big ball of energy. She separates from others with her work ethic, passion and knowledge of the game. Having a former player that has played in the SEC, at the highest level, knows our system, and has a national network of contacts is critical. This is Amy's second trip to Aggieland. She was vital behind the scenes mentoring our Elite Eight point guard corps. There is no one I trust more to bring a fresh perspective in recruiting and guard development. She has already made an impact on our players. It is not just a career move for Amy, it's coming home to family."
- Kelly Bond, Texas A&M Women's Basketball Associate Head Coach
WRIGHT'S COACHING/ADMINISTRATIVE CAREER
2003-04 USF (Director of Basketball Operations)
2004-06 USF (Assistant Coach)
2006-07 All-Star Girls Report (Marketing and Management)
2007-08 Western Kentucky (Assistant Coach)
2008-10 Cleveland State (Assistant Coach)
2010-11 Cleveland State (Associate Coach)
2011-12 Arizona State (Assistant Coach)
2012- Texas A&M (Assistant Coach)
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.