Texas Tech head women's basketball coach Kristy Curry enters her seventh season at the helm of the Lady Raider basketball program, leading the Lady Raiders to their second consecutive 20-win season and third consecutive postseason appearance.
With a record of 109-87 in her six years at Tech and a career record of 288-138 in 13 years, Curry guided Tech to a 21-14 record in 2011-12 and appearance in the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Tech won its first two round games over Eastern Illinois and Tulane to make the WNIT Sweet 16 for only the second time in program history.
With Lady Raider Nation at its side, Tech finished the 2011-12 season with the 11th-highest attendance mark among all NCAA Division I schools. A total of 133,855 fans packed the United Spirit Arena in 2011-12, giving Tech an average of 6,693 fans per game at home. More than 10,000 fans came out to United Spirit Arena on three separate occasions.
On Nov. 27, 2011, Curry led Tech to its 800th win in program history, making it just the 15th women's basketball program at the time to surpass the 800 mark.
Several Tech players picked up postseason accolades under Curry. Junior guard Monique Smalls was named as one of five players on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season. Senior Jordan Barncastle and junior Mary Bokenkamp were named to the Big 12 All-Academic Team while Barncastle was also recognized as one of 12 members on the 2012 Big 12 Winter Chick-Fil-A Circle of Champions.
Tech finished the 2010-11 season with a 22-11 record and made their 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament after a five-year hiatus as Curry was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by the Dallas Morning News while several players received Big 12 honors. Chynna Brown led the way being named the Big 12's Sixth Man of the Year, while Kierra Mallard was selected All-Big 12 second team. Teena Wickett and Casey Morris were All-Big 12 honorable mention and Monique Smalls was named to the All-Defensive team.
After establishing herself as one of the most successful women's basketball coaches in school history at Purdue University, Curry took over the reigns of a tradition-rich program at Texas Tech on March 30, 2006, and has been enthusiastically embraced by the Lady Raider Nation, the Lubbock community and West Texas.
With her enthusiasm, determination, dedication and work ethic, Curry has continued the success she has become accustomed to throughout her years of coaching and in just her first year at Texas Tech, Curry signed a top 10 recruiting class in the nation.
On Nov. 23, 2007, Curry added another milestone to her resume as she captured her 200th career win in a 78-56 victory over Kennesaw State in the Basketball Travelers Classic in Lubbock. The 2007-08 season also saw the Lady Raiders return to postseason play as they competed in the Postseason WNIT. Another highlight for Curry was seeing Dominic Seals, who was among those in Curry's top 10 recruiting class, named the 2008 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. During the 2008-09 season, the Lady Raiders upset two top 10 teams, while Kierra Mallard emerged as one of the top freshmen in the Big 12.
In her first stint as a head coach, Curry was hired as the head coach at Purdue in April of 1999, becoming the first coach in NCAA history to inherit a national championship-winning team. She led her first squad to four-straight wins in the 1999-00 season, extending Purdue's school-record win streak to 34 consecutive games, a mark that ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history.
In her seven years at the helm of the Boilermakers, she compiled a career record of 179-51 (.778) and was 86-26 (.768) in Big Ten Conference games. Curry's teams won two Big Ten regular-season (2001, 2002) and three Big Ten Tournament (2000, 2003, 2004) championships. She also guided her teams to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four and championship game in 2001. Curry became just the second coach in NCAA history to guide her team to the NCAA championship contest in her second year as a head coach.
On Feb. 27, 2003, Curry won her 100th game as a head coach with a 74-48 victory against Indiana. Curry needed only 126 games to reach the milestone, and got there faster than any coach in Purdue history. In addition, Curry recorded her 100th victory quicker than coaching icons such as Pat Summitt of Tennessee, Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, Tara VanDerveer of Stanford and Jody Conradt of Texas.
Not only has Curry had successful teams, but she coached some very successful student-athletes in her time in West Lafayette. Under Curry's leadership at Purdue, Katie Douglas became only the third player in Big Ten history and the first Purdue player to earn two Kodak All-America honors (2000, 2001). Douglas was the 2000 and 2001 Big Ten Player of the Year, and was named the 2001 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. A two-time All-Big Ten pick, Douglas is one of six Purdue players under Curry to earn first team all-conference honors. Shereka Wright, now an assistant on Curry's staff at Tech, was the 2000 USA Today and Gatorade High School Player of the Year out of Copperas Cove, Texas, and finished her four-year career under Curry as Purdue's second all-time leading scorer. Following her senior season, in which she led the Big Ten in scoring in conference games, Wright earned first team honors on the inaugural Wooden Women's All-America Team. Lubbock native Erika Valek, a four-year starting point guard for the Boilermakers, capped her career by winning the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation's top player under 5-foot-8.
The on-court success of her teams has carried over into the classroom as well. In her five years at Texas Tech, 11 times her student-athletes have received Academic All-Big 12 honors and five times they have been Academic All-District. Twenty-four times her student-athletes received Academic All-Big Ten distinction during her time at Purdue. Every Boilermaker who finished her playing career at Purdue during Curry's tenure graduated.
Curry began her coaching profession in her home state of Louisiana as she started at the prep level at Weston (1988-90) and Mansfield (1990-91) high schools. From there, Curry quickly moved to the college ranks as an assistant at Tulane for two seasons (1991-93). Curry then spent a year at Stephen F. Austin (1993-94) before moving on to Texas A&M for the next two years (1994-96). She then returned to the state of Louisiana to be an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech for Hall of Famer Leon Barmore for three seasons (1996-99). In 1996-97, Louisiana Tech went 31-4 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. In 1997-98, the Lady Techsters posted another 31-4 record and finished as NCAA runners-up. In Curry's last season in Ruston, Louisiana Tech went 30-3 and advanced to the NCAA Final Four.
Off the court, Curry feels strongly about giving back to the community. She has been heavily involved with several organizations including, the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer, Joe Arrington Cancer Center, Junior League, Inc., of Lubbock, Salvation Army, South Plains Food Bank, Women's Protective Services, Komen for the Cure, Ronald McDonald House, UMC Children's Center, AMBUC's of Lubbock, Shoes for Orphan Souls, Toys for Tots, United Way, Girl Scouts and Habitat for Humanity. A highly sought after guest speaker, Curry has been a keynote speaker for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's "A Time for Women" and is a spokeswoman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Aisles of Smiles". Curry has also made personal appearances for fundraising events and has recorded public service announcements.
A native of Olla, La., Curry graduated from LaSalle High School and then went on to earn her bachelor of science degree in health and physical education at Northeast Louisiana in 1988, and her master's in education at Stephen F. Austin in 1994.
She and her husband, Kelly, reside in Lubbock with their two daughters, Kelsey (11) and Kendall (8), and their two dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier, Maggie, and a West Highland Terrier, Daisy.