May 17, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming head women's basketball coach Joe Legerski, Wednesday, announced the hiring of Kristin Becker and Katie Kern as assistant coaches with the Cowgirl program. They replace Jaime White, who took the head coaching position at Northern Colorado, and Abby Conklin, who left for the University of San Francisco as an assistant. Their duties will officially begin on June 1, 2006.
"I'm pleased that we are able to get the caliber of coaches in Kristin and Katie here at the University of Wyoming," said head coach Joe Legerski. "They both bring valuable coaching experience to the table, which will help our program continue to grow."
Becker comes to Wyoming after spending the last two years as the project manager for the Fort Riley Housing Expansion Project in Manhattan, Kansas.
Prior to that, she was an assistant coach at Kansas State University for six seasons (1998-2004). She served as the recruiting coordinator for the Wildcats, helping to bring in some of the program's best players including WNBA draft pick Nicole Ohlde. During that time, KSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament three consecutive years, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2002. The team also won their first ever Big 12 Title during the 2001-02 season while finishing with a mark of 26-8 overall and 11-5 in the league. The previous two seasons, she served as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt under veteran coach Jim Foster. In each of her years with the program, the Commodores qualified for the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the 1997 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, and finished with an overall record of 40-20. From 1994-95, she served as an assistant coach at Loyola University in Chicago before becoming the interim head coach for one season (1995-96). Her professional coaching career started as a graduate assistant at Southern Illinois University from 1992-94.
She began her college career as a student-athlete at Vanderbilt playing for the Commodores from 1987-90 and was a member of the program's first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance team in 1990. A three-time All-SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, she earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors and was named Female Commodore of the Year her senior year.
After her collegiate career, Becker played professionally for two years in Spain for La Universidad Compultense de Madrid before moving on to Southern Illinois as a graduate assistant.
A native of New Berlin, Wis., she graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt in 1990 with a degree in secondary education. She went on to earn a master's degree in Spanish and linguistics from Southern Illinois in 1994.
"I am very excited to become a part of Wyoming women's basketball and to have the opportunity to work with Joe, his staff and the team," said Becker. "The tradition and enthusiasm they have built in just three years is tremendous, and the administration and community are so sincere in their commitment to women's basketball. It is truly a privilege to become a part of this program, university and community"
Kern joins the program after spending the last three seasons as the top assistant coach at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She was involved in the day to day operations of the program including academics, assisting with practices, recruiting and scouting.
She began her college basketball career as a student-athlete at the University of New Mexico for head coach Dan Flanagan. A four-year letterwinner for the Lobos, she was a first team All-Western Athletic Conference selection in 1999, while being named to the WAC All-Tournament Team (1998) and the All-Newcomer Team (1996). Over those years, the team had a combined record of 82-39 overall and 36-22 in the WAC, which included a 24-7 record, a 12-2 conference mark and a first place finish in the league during the 1998-99 season. Kern also ranks among the top 15 in school history in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. A three-time Academic All-WAC selection, she earned her bachelor's degree in communications in 1999 and her master's degree in physical education and sport administration in 2003 both from the University of New Mexico. Following her career, she played two seasons of professional basketball in Germany and Luxembourg.
Kerns' professional coaching career begin at the University of New Mexico as a graduate assistant coach from 2001-2003. During that time, she assisted in several aspects of the program including on campus recruiting, film exchange, game day operations and organizing all recruiting mail-outs. She then moved on to the University of Alaska Anchorage as an assistant coach, where she has been for the last three years.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work for head coach Joe Legerski and the University of Wyoming," said Kern. "I have known Coach Legerski for many years and have a great respect for him. I am thrilled about the future of the Cowgirl Basketball and know there are great things ahead for this program."