March 10, 2003
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
The Mountain West Conference announced the 2002-03 all-conference team as selected by head coaches. Utah freshman Kim Smith became the first student-athlete to capture MWC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors, while Utah head coach Elaine Elliott was named Coach of the Year, marking her third honor in four years. UNLV senior Julia Gray was Defensive Player of the Year.
Smith is the second Ute player in three years to earn individual honors (Amy Ewert co-Player of the Year in 2001). UNLV has earned individual honors four straight years.
Eleven seniors, three sophomores and a freshman made up this year's all-conference team. Colorado State and New Mexico led the way with three selections each, while BYU, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming had two honorees. San Diego State had an all-conference and honorable mention selection, and Air Force had an honorable mention performer as well.
Kim Smith joined four four-time honorees on the MWC first team, including Erin Thorn (BYU), Jordan Adams (UNM), Constance Jinks (UNLV) and Ashley Augspurger (CSU). Three-time MWC all-conference honoree Carrie Bacon (Wyoming) joined four first-time selections on the second team in Chelsea Grear (UNM), Shona Thorburn (Utah), Danielle Cheesman (BYU) and Shannon Strecker (CSU). Jamey Cox (SDSU), Sherry McCracklin (UNLV), Mandi Moore (UNM), Ann McColl (Wyoming) and Katie Borton (CSU) rounded out the third team.
Elliott was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Utes to their third league title in the last four years. In 20 years with Utah, Elliott has amassed a 411-169 and produced 14 20-win seasons, while taking the Utes to the NCAA six of the last eight years.