Texas introduced a new member to its coaching staff Thursday afternoon. Jamie Carey, a former Longhorn player from 2002 to 2005, replaces former Texas assistant head coach Travis Mays.
Mays was named the women’s head basketball coach at SMU earlier this month. He is the second Texas assistant coach to accept an NCAA head coaching position in as many years, a sign that Texas is cultivating not only players, but coaches, too.
“It is a huge compliment to our basketball program, and in particular to The University of Texas and what it obviously means to the national scene for two coaches in two years to be able to take head jobs,” head coach Karen Aston said.
Carey was a member of the 2003 Texas team that made it to the Final Four. The Longhorns competed in the Elite Eight last month and are searching to get back to the Final Four for the first time since Carey’s trip there.
“No question I see the pieces,” Carey said of the current team’s setup toward reaching the Final Four. “It’s a huge draw, and it’s one of the reasons I’m here — to try to help get our program get back there.”
Carey played four seasons in the WBNA, joining current Texas assistant coach Tina Thompson as Longhorn coaches with professional playing experience.
Carey comes to Austin after two years as an assistant coach for the University of Colorado. Before coaching, Carey was the assistant women’s national team director at USA Basketball.
“It is a good place where you can have [coaches] that have been there and done that,” Aston said of Carey and Thompson. “They’ve walked it, they’ve talked it – they’ve done it all.”
Carey’s experience with high-level basketball programs is vital to a Texas team that is just scratching the surface of being an annual championship contender under Aston.
The transition from player to coach is one that Carey can certainly handle. In her eyes, it’s not one she made before coaching in Boulder — it’s one that she made some time ago.
“I’ve considered myself one the whole time,” Carey said. “I’ve taken on that role as a player since the time I was little. I’ve always been a student of the game my whole life.”