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Keitha Adams rehired as UTEP women’s basketball head coach

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
UTEP Athletics welcomed head coach Keitha Adams Wednesday, April, 12 at the brand-new Gordon Family Courtside Club located in the Don Haskins Center.

Editor’s Note: this story is following Coach Baker’s resignation.  

Keitha Adams has returned to the Sun City as the new women’s basketball head coach. Adams is known as the winningest head coach in the history of UTEP women’s basketball history. 

Adams had a historic season from 2007-2008 where the team had 28 victories, a 23-game winning streak, an undefeated run in conference play during the regular season and the Miners’ first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Miners went on to win the first round of the “Big Dance” against Western Kentucky 92-60.  

Four years after that, Adams led the Miners back to the NCAA Tournament, setting a school record of 29 wins. The Miners finished 15-1 in the Conference USA (C-USA) regular season. UTEP went on to win the C-USA conference championship game against Tulane, 69-65.  

The Miners tied the school record of 29 wins two more times (2013-2014 and 2015-2016). In the 2013-2014 season, the women’s basketball team filled the Don Haskins Center for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) against South Dakota State and Rutgers. In the 2015-2016 season, the Miners advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT against Oregon.  

Adams was able to lead the Miners to the top-25 poll during the 2007-2008 season and the 2015-2016 season.   

“We are thrilled to welcome Keitha back to UTEP and El Paso,” said Director of Athletics, Jim Senter in a press release. “Her first stint as head coach of the Miners produced unprecedented success for our women’s basketball program.  She loves UTEP and she loves this community, and she is so excited to be coming back. We look forward to creating more magical moments with her back at the helm of Miner Basketball.” 

During her time in El Paso, Adams coached 13 players to All-Conference honors: Starr Breedlove, Gloria Brown, Jareica Hughes (2008 and 2009), Natasha Lacy, Kimya Murray, Jenzel Nash, Izabela Piekarska, Anete Steinberga, Sparkle Taylor, Kayla Thornton, Cameasha Turner, Vaida Zagurskyte and Dragana Zoric. Lacy and Thornton received honorable mentions for the All-American team in 2008 and 2014 and have played in the WNBA. Thornton currently plays for the New York Liberty. 

“Today is a very special and unique day for me. I’m thrilled and grateful to be returning as the head women’s basketball coach at UTEP,” said Adams in a press release. “The love I have for this University, community, and program runs deep in my soul.  I want to thank President Heather Wilson and Director of Athletics Jim Senter for this opportunity.  I’d also like to thank committee members Jeff Darby, Daniel Garcia, Julie Levesque, Charley Thrash and Taylor Vena for their support in this process. I would like to congratulate Coach Kevin Baker and this year’s team for their successful season and WNIT postseason berth.  I’m excited to meet with the players and start working towards next season. I look forward to coaching again in the greatest basketball venue in the country, the Don Haskins Center, and making more special memories.  I can’t wait to get started with the team, connecting with Miner fans, and reconnecting with El Paso. It’s a great day to be a Miner!” 

Katrina Villarreal is the multimedia editor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Katrina Villarreal
Katrina Villarreal, Multimedia Editor
Katrina Villarreal is senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in theatre at UTEP. She is going into her second year at The Prospector and is currently the Multimedia Editor. Once she graduates, she plans on becoming a sideline reporter for the NFL or ESPN.  
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
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Keitha Adams rehired as UTEP women’s basketball head coach