May 24, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- It's been sort of lonely in the women's basketball half of the office complex in the Davalos Basketball Center, with most of the action centered around new head coach Yvonne Sanchez moving offices, and her racking up minutes on her cell phone. Those minutes paid off, as Sanchez has officially hired her inaugural coaching staff for the 2011-12 season. Sanchez has announced that Anthony Turner from Boise State, Vicky Hall from Miami (OH), and Erin Grant from UT-Arlington. Former assistant coach Dave Shoemate is staying on staff, moving into the position of Director of Operations.
Sanchez' staff is certainly wide-ranging, both in experience and specialties.
Turner is coming to Albuquerque from Boise State, and he brings 11 years of collegiate coaching. Along with his time at the newest member of the Mountain West, Turner has experience at both UNLV and San Diego State, along with Oregon State of the soon-to-be Pac-12.
Turner was with the Broncos for just the 2010-11 season, but Turner's defensive schemes made an immediate impact. The Broncos allowed opponents to shoot just .404 from the field for the season, and only .337 from the three. Turner is known for his west coast recruiting ties, ties that he has cultivated through a career spent in the western United States.
He spent two years with the Beavers of Oregon State, helping them to a 20-12 record in 2008-09, as the Beavers advanced to the second round of the WNIT. In two years Turner helped coach three Beavers to postseason honors, one received All-Pac-10 Third Team honors, one honorable mention and one Pac-10 Freshmen Team recognition.
Prior to OSU, Turner spent eight years in the Mountain West Conference, including six with UNLV. With the Rebels, he tutored a pair of Honorable Mention All-Americans in RanDee Henry and Sherry McCracklin, who both earned the honor during the 2003-04 season. Henry earned Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year honors that season while McCracklin was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Both were also selected to the All-MWC First-Team in 2003-04; McCracklin earned a third-team selection the previous season while Henry was named to the second-team in 2004-05.
An excellent recruiter, Turner assisted with all aspects of recruiting, both on campus and off, and garnered commitments from several top 50 recruits. He recruited Sequoia Holmes, who signed a contract with the WNBA's Houston Comets. Holmes ended her career at UNLV as a three-time All-MWC selection, just the fifth different player in school history to accomplish the feat.
All told, Turner mentored players who earned Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year honors, the MWC Defensive Player of the Year, two league scoring leaders, a MWC rebounding leader and one league steals leader, as well as, numerous All-Conference honorees.
During his tenure at UNLV, the Lady Rebels made four WNIT appearances, including a trip to the final game in 2004. The 2003-04 team posted 26 wins, tying it for third-most in school history.
Prior to joining the staff at UNLV, Turner was an assistant coach at San Diego State from 2000-02. While there, he assisted with the day-to-day operations of the program as well as with recruiting, scouting reports, film exchange, court instruction and conditioning. His primary focus was the team's guard play and directing the Aztecs' summer camps.
"I have known Anthony for a long time, and I am fortunate to hire someone of Anthony's work ethic, knowledge and character to the UNM Women's basketball Staff," said Sanchez. "He has coached in the Mountain West Conference and is familiar with the surroundings, and it's changes. Anthony is a tireless worker with tremendous connections. He is very knowledgeable on the basketball court with player development and basketball situations. I am excited to work with Anthony and build something special here at The University of New Mexico."
Turner is a 1999 graduate of the University of Colorado, and he and his wife Jaime have 1-year old twins, Alexis and Justice.
Vicki Hall is joining the Lobos from the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. Hall, who spent three years with the Redhawks, was a 16-year professional player. She spent time overseas in Switzerland, Greece, Italy, France, and Israel, as well as time with Colorado and Nashville of the ABL and with Cleveland of the WNBA.
Hall spent several years as a member of the United States National Team. She was part of the team that won the World Championship in 1990. She also won gold with Team USA at the Goodwill Games in 1990. She was the named both the Naismith and Gatorade Player of the Year in 1988. She lettered four years at Texas and was named to the Southwest Conference All-Decade team for the 1990s.
An experience teacher, Hall has spent her off-seasons training basketball players of all ages. She conducted her own high skill basketball camp in 1996 and was on the staff of the Nike All American Camp in 1999.
"Vicki comes to us with a tremendous amount of basketball experience having played for a legendary coach in Jody Conradt at the University of Texas and at the professional level. Vicki brings an incredible work ethic and enthusiasm to the game of basketball and is willing to do whatever it takes to help build this program back into its championship level," said Sanchez. "Vicki's experience and knowledge will help in player development and recruiting. I am excited to bring this experience to the University of New Mexico and welcome Vicki to this program."
Also joining the staff is Erin Grant, who spent the last four years with the University of Texas-Arlington as an assistant coach after a stellar career at Texas Tech and a stint in the WNBA with the Seattle Storm and the Houston Comets. With the Mavericks, she also picked up postseason experience, helping the Mavericks to just their second ever WNIT berth.
Grant's specialty is working with guards, of which she is fully versed. Grant spent four years with Texas Tech, where she started 158 of 159 games, helping the Red Raiders to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the 2003 Elite Eight. A two-time First Team All-Big XII pick, Grant still holds the conference's record for career assists with 844. In 2006 Grant was a Kodak/WBCA All-America finalist and AP All-America Honorable Mention and she played in the WBCA All-Star Challenge. She also won gold with USA Basketball at the 2005 World University Games and also played in the 2003 World University Games.
Said Sanchez about Grant, "Erin comes to us with terrific credentials. Playing for the legendary coach Marsha Sharp at Texas Tech, Erin will be a tremendous asset to the UNM Women's basketball program. Her high expectations and phenomenal work ethic will bring an immediate impact with player development and recruiting. I am fortunate to have someone of Erin's credentials working with our players."
The entire staff should be in Albuquerque starting June 1.