Originally published May 15, 2013 at 1:54 p.m., updated May 15, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.
SAN DIEGO San Diego State University has hired a San Diego native, Stacie Terry, as head coach of the women's basketball team. Terry replaces Beth Burns, who retired under mysterious circumstances on April 16th. Burns was the most successful coach in SDSU women's basketball history, going 295-186 in two eight-year stints, which culminated in a school record 27 wins this year.
"Coach Burns did a great job here. She has laid an obvious winning tradition, a foundation here that I want to build on," Terry said. "These young ladies I think are excited but very nervous for the change, so my biggest challenge I think will be getting them to buy in. We're going to start from the beginning with team bonding, team chemistry, because I think to be a championship-type program, there has to be high trust, a high level of trust, and we're going to start with that."
Terry, 36, played basketball for El Capitan High in Lakeside, where she still holds the career scoring record.
"I am so excited to be home. I think that's one of the most important parts of it," Terry said. "As you get older, it really is important to be with family. And I'm looking forward to creating a San Diego State family, and even better: my family will be able to watch it while we do it."
She went on to play basketball for the University of Texas, Arlington, from 1994 to 1998, and then played professionally in Poland for one year. She then spent 12 years as a Division I assistant coach at Louisville, Dayton, Illinois, UCLA and most recently Louisiana State University.
"Basketball has afforded me so many great opportunities, and as a coach, I am so excited to give those opportunities to the young women who I will have the pleasure of coaching," Terry said. "I think it's important to empower these young women with knowledge and the skill set to excel outside of basketball, off the court. The basketball is going to stop bouncing at one time, so I want them to be prepared to get out and be productive women in society."
During her two seasons as assistant coach at LSU, the Lady Tigers earned a 45-23 record and two NCAA tournament bids.
Terry will need to work hard to spur interest in the women's team, which is often overshadowed by the great success the men's team has had in recent seasons. The SDSU men's basketball team ranked fourth in the Mountain West conference this year, with a 23-11 overall record.
"Coach Fisher's done a great job, and they deserve it. They're a great product on the floor, the fans love them, and they're winning. They're just exciting and fun to watch," Terry said. "I want to put something on the floor similar to what the men do, an exciting brand of basketball. If you win games, people are going to come. If you build relationships, people are going to come. So those are my first two goals: really just building relationships with our supporters, our fans, our community, to get them excited about SDSU women's basketball."
In a statement put out by San Diego State, Men's Basketball Head Coach Steve Fisher said he is excited about Terry joining the Aztec family.
"I had an opportunity to spend some time with her during the process and am impressed with her experience and the success she has been a part of, most recently at LSU and UCLA. She has a wealth of experience and has shown the ability to recruit wherever she has coached," Fisher said. "Having gone to high school here and having family in the area, she is very familiar with the San Diego high school scene. I am happy that she is in our basketball family and look forward to watching her carry on the successful tradition of Aztec women¹s basketball."
This will be Terry's first head coaching job and she will be the eighth head coach in the history of the SDSU women's basketball team.