Former conference foes meet again
Support Samritan's Feet at Nevada home basketball this week.
Nevada plays second game tonight
Catch President Johnson, Doug Knuth and Pack coaches at the RTO
Six sports set records and 11 improve their scores from last year.
Jane Albright, Danika Sharp, Terilyn Moe and Mimi Mungedi talk to the media following the Wolf Pack's win over Cal State Fullerton.
Jane Albright, Danika Sharp and Arielle Wideman talk to the media following the Wolf Pack's loss to San Francisco State.
Jane Albright, Amanda Johnson, Kate Kevorken and Kayla Williams talk to the media following the Wolf Pack's won over Louisiana Tech on March 3, 2012.
Jane Albright, Kate Kevorken and Kayla Williams talk to the media following the Wolf Pack's win over New Mexico State.
Jane Albright, Channelle Brennan and Kayla Williams talk to the media following the Wolf pack's loss to Fresno State.
When Nevada was looking to fill the women's basketball coaching vacancy in 2007, the Wolf Pack was looking to find someone who could continue the growth and success that the program was enjoying. When the opportunity came along to get 24-year coaching veteran and nationally-respected Jane Albright, Athletics Director Cary Groth didn't hesitate.
"We are so fortunate to be able to bring on Jane Albright as our new women's head basketball coach," Groth said when she hired Albright. "Her character and national reputation are absolutely remarkable. Jane's proven ability to take teams into the postseason is significant, and I am extremely confident she will provide the vision and leadership to get us there."
"I am elated and honored to be chosen as the 'leader of the Pack,'" Albright said. "Kim Gervasoni and her staff did an excellent job of creating the foundation for a bright future in women's basketball at the University of Nevada. On my interview, I was very impressed with the people, facilities and community support for Wolf Pack women's basketball."
That was five seasons ago. Since then Albright has seen a few personal milestones, but led the Pack to even more. She become the program's all-time winningest first-year head coach finishing the year with an 18-14 (10-6 WAC) record. In addition, the 10 WAC wins ties the program record for conference wins in a season. The Pack made the program's first-ever appearance in the final of the WAC Tournament after tying the program record for highest seed earned in the tournament with a three seed. The Pack also recorded the best-ever start to conference play opening 7-0. She led the team to a defeat of No. 7 Louisville to win the championship of the John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic in Reno, the program's first-ever defeat of a ranked opponent.
During her first year at Nevada, she coached the WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, the WAC Defensive Player of the Year, an All-WAC first-team honoree, the Ruth Russell Award winner for the top senior female athlete at Nevada, five Academic All-WAC honorees and a regional finalist for the NCAA Division I State Farm Coaches' All-America team. After the season, Albright was honored at the Final Four by the WBCA with the Kay Yow "Heart of a Coach Award" which is presented annually by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to honor a basketball coach who has exemplified biblical principles over the course of his or her career.
Her second year was a lot of the same. She coached a young squad in 2009-10 without a single senior starter to an 18-14 (10-6 WAC) record and a third place WAC finish. Nevada again earned a three-seed for the WAC Tournament and an automatic bid to face Wyoming in the WNIT, only the second post-season appearance in the Pack's history. That appearance marked the 12th in the postseason for a team coached by Albright. Overall in her career her teams have gone to nine NCAA Tournaments and three Women's National Invitational Tournaments. In addition to tying the school record for conference wins in a season in 2009-10, Nevada also broke the record for points in a season with 2,086 points passing the 1999-00 team's mark of 2,050. Nevada also set a program record for free throws made in a season with 483 passing the 1999-00 team that recorded 482.
In 2010-11 Albright guided Nevada to its first 20-win season in program history, finishing 20-11. The 2010-11 squad accomplished the feat with benchmark wins over NC State and San Diego State at the John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic, followed by home wins over Arizona, BYU and LA Tech. Albright's strong coaching earned the team a WNIT bid in which the team defeated St. Mary's to record its first-ever post-season win. Now entering her sixth year at Nevada and her 30th overall, Jane Albright has established herself as a national name in collegiate coaching. She has led her teams to 10 20-win seasons including a 26-win season in 1989-90 with Northern Illinois.
She picked up her 400th career win on Nov. 28, 2008 when Nevada defeated Northern Iowa and her 44 victories at the helm of Nevada puts her tied for third all-time in the Wolf Pack record books. During her four-year tenure at Nevada Albright has coached two WAC Defensive Players of the Year, four All-WAC first-team selections, a WAC Newcomer of the Year, and All-WAC second-team honoree and a regional finalist for the NCAA Division I State Farm All-America Team. As the team steadily has improved over the last few seasons, Nevada's attendance has as well.
The Wolf Pack has averaged over 1,000 fans per game the last five seasons and its WNIT second-round game against USC in 2011 set a school record in attendance with 3,361 fans packing Lawlor Events Center. Four of the top 10 crowds ever to attend a Nevada home game have occurred since 2009. In the six years before Albright's arrival, Nevada averaged just 730 fans per game at home. While she has shown a tremendous amount of success on the court, Albright is also dedicated to developing the character of her student-athletes as people off the court.
Jane Albright's coaching philosophy centers around a three-sided effort to make each student-athlete's experience at Nevada one that will leave a lasting impression long after graduation. A student-athlete's development must first focus on themselves as a person, second as a student and third as an athlete. A big part of this development is based on not only a commitment to oneself, but in reaching out to serve the community as well. The women's basketball team is one of the most active of the Wolf Pack teams in supporting the community. In 2009-10 alone, the Nevada women's basketball team logged more than 530 hours of community service.
While at Wichita State, Albright signed and coached the 2005 Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year. Her teams ranked in the top 60 nationally in attendance and turned in the top two single-game crowds in the MVC in her final two seasons. They also excelled in the classroom and the community, turning in the second-highest team GPA in school history and averaging over 450 hours of community service per year. Albright is best known for the tremendous success she had in turning around the program at the University of Wisconsin. The winningest coach in Badger history with a 161-107 record (.600) from 1994-2003, Albright led Wisconsin to seven postseason appearances in nine seasons, including five trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Her 1999 team was the runner-up in the WNIT, and the Badgers won the title in 2000. Prior to her arrival in Madison, the program had experienced losing seasons in nine of the previous 10 seasons. Albright led the Badgers to eight consecutive winning seasons, including four 20-win campaigns. Her squads averaged 19.25 wins per year in those eight seasons, including three years with 21 victories, which matched the school record for single-season wins. Wisconsin had won 20 games in a season just twice prior to her arrival. Albright was responsible for six of the best 10 seasons in Wisconsin history, and she is also credited with helping Wisconsin rank in the top 10 in home attendance nationally in every year from 1995-2003. Albright led her first Badger team to a 20-9 record and was named the 1995 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year for her efforts. The team set the school record for winning percentage with a 21-8 record in 1995-96. She led the Badgers to a 16-1 start and the highest national ranking in school history in 2001-02 (No. 5 in the Associated Press poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches' poll). She also coached 41 Academic All-Big Ten selections in her nine years at Wisconsin, the most of any school during that period.
Albright began her collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant for Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee from 1981-83. She assisted with UT's first NCAA Final Four team in 1982. After Tennessee, she spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati in 1983-84 before earning her first opportunity as a head coach at Northern Illinois. The winningest coach in Northern Illinois history with a 188-110 record in 10 years from 1984-94, Albright's Huskie squads turned in five 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament bids.
Northern Illinois also won three conference championships and had three runner-up finishes during her tenure. In addition to her collegiate success, Albright served as the head coach of USA Basketball's gold medal-winning Jones Cup team in 1996. She was an assistant coach on USA Basketball's Junior National team in 1992 and led the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival South team to a gold medal. Albright's Honors & Accomplishments
What They Are Saying About Jane Albright "I am very excited for Jane Albright...a longtime friend and colleague. Jane is a passionate teacher and a player's coach. I am confident that she will do a great job at the University of Nevada. Jane will bring great enthusiasm and energy to women's basketball at Nevada and will embrace the Reno community and fans."
- Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee women's basketball coach "I applaud the hiring of Jane Albright at the University of Nevada. She has a vast skill set from many different experiences in the women's game. The University of Nevada has a very powerful combination in place with a seasoned coach and a supportive administration that 'gets' women's basketball and how to grow it from the inside out."
- Beth Bass, chief executive officer of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association "Jane Albright will bring great experience, expertise and passion for winning to the University of Nevada. With Jane at the helm, the Wolf Pack will be poised to compete for conference championships. Jane Albright is one of the best in the game at creating a program that will excite fans and recruits."
- Deb Patterson, Kansas State University women's basketball coach "Nevada is getting one of the most well-respected and well-liked coaches in the country. Jane is a passionate and caring individual who is committed to the total student-athlete experience. Jane has mentored countless young women, and her student-athletes have always excelled on the court and in the classroom as well as in the community. I am confident that she will continue to build a strong tradition with the Wolf Pack women's basketball program."
- Sue Semrau, Florida State University women's basketball head coach "Jane Albright brings a total package to the University of Nevada. Jane is not only a basketball coach in terms of the X's and O's, but she brings a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the game. She will interact with the community in such a positive way and be a positive role model for the players. She brings so much more than just being a basketball coach and will be involved in all areas of the program. She is a role model who is great for college athletics."