We’ve known about the hire since Sunday, but on Tuesday, new Washington State women’s basketball coach Kamie Ethridge met with the media in Pullman.
It was the first coaching hire for Chun, who has been on the job just over three months. And in his first move, Chun found someone with an impressive resume both on the court and on the sideline.
Ethridge spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Northern Colorado and spent 17 seasons as an assistant at Kansas State before that. But as a player is where Ethridge shines. She led Texas to an undefeated season and a national championship in 1986. She was eventually inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Kamie is a hall of famer in the sport of women’s basketball,” Chun said in the introductory press conference. “But, when you sit down with her for even just a couple minutes you recognize right away that more importantly that she is a hall of fame person.”
“I’ve thought of a million things as I’ve gone through this process and thought about this moment and what I would do with it and I am just thrilled to be starting the next chapter with you all,” Ethridge said. “As the new women’s basketball coach at Washington State I am truly thrilled.”
Of course, the job Ethridge is stepping into is a difficult one. Winning in Pullman is never an easy task and the Cougar women’s basketball team is in a transitional phase. Three seniors graduated last season and three more players - Louise Brown, Nike McClure, and Kayla Washington - all left via transfer. That leaves seven players on the roster, including WSU’s leading scorer from last season Borislava Hristova.
Despite the turnover, Ethridge is excited about who she has in the locker room. “(The Players) sat there and looked me in the eye and said they wanted to be good and wanted to be challenged and want to get started. They wanted to start yesterday.”
“We are going to give them every opportunity and lead them in that direction right away. I love everything about them right now. They’ve not only impressed me, but a lot of people in this athletic department in how they’ve handled everything.”
It will be a long path back to the top for WSU women’s basketball, but Ethridge knows how to get it done. “Recruiting is the answer. We don’t have to get all the great players but we have to get the ones that fit here and want to be here and are committed to being great while they are here.”
For more quotes and video from the press conference, WSU Athletics has you covered here.
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