Friday, April 4, 2008

New Women's Basketball coach

Arizona has hired Kentucky assistant Niya Butts as the new head coach of the women's basketball team.

Butts played for The University of Tennessee under famed women's coach Pat Summitt. 30 year-old Butts won two National Championships while at U.T. (1997, 1998).

She replaces long time head coach Joan Bonvicini who was let go at the end of the season.

"I’m just so excited about everything that is going on," Butts said. " I can’t express it enough."

It's been a long few years for the Arizona program. Following the death of Shawntinice Polk in 2005, the program really feel of the map. Butts has her work cut out for her to get the program back on the map.

"I know that Arizona will soon move towards the top of that conference I’m hoping here in the near future, and I will work tirelessly to make that happen," Butts said. "But I think that in the Pac-10 definitely Arizona can be one of the top teams, and I’m just looking forward to getting to work and making that happen."

Butts will hire staff of the next few weeks.

This could be a critical hire four Arizona A.D. Jim Livengood, who over the past few years has taken heat for not turning around the football program and mishandling the Lute Olson leave of absence. The department could also use some of the revenue that could be raised by a women's basketball team that draws more fans.

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