Yvonne Sanchez Named Head Women's Basketball Coach at the University of New Mexico
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/22/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 22, 2011

Albuquerque, N.M. --- In a search that spanned coaching candidates across a myriad of time zones, the replacement for legendary women's basketball coach Don Flanagan was about 15 feet away. Yvonne Sanchez, a New Mexico native who has served as the associate head coach and an assistant coach for the past 11 years with the Lobos, was named the fifth head women's basketball in UNM history. The announcement was made by Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs, and is pending approval.

Sanchez takes over for her mentor Flanagan, who retired on April 4 as the winningest coach in Lobo history. Yvonne becomes just the fifth head coach in the 33-year history of the Lobo women's basketball program. She just completed her 11th season with the Lobos, and her third as the associate head coach.

"After conducting a national search, we realized that the best candidate was right here at the University of New Mexico," said Paul Krebs, vice president of athletics. "Yvonne is passionate about Lobo basketball, she brings great energy, and is an outstanding recruiter. Her reputation within the coaching community is outstanding, and she is the right person to lead this program into the future."

Sanchez joined the Lobo staff in 2000, and immediately saw the program surge to new heights, winning 20 games in each of her nine seasons as an assistant coach. In her first year, 2000-01, the Lobos advanced the the championship game of the WNIT before advancing to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments, winning two regular season Mountain West titles and five MWC tournament championships.

With Sanchez on the Lobo sidelines, she helped build UNM's reputation for defending The Pit, going 155-44 in 11 years, a .779 winning percentage. The Lobos won double-digit home games in 10 of her 11 seasons as an assistant/associate coach, including a three-year stretch where the Lobos were a stellar 45-5.

Among her many duties, Sanchez served as recruiting coordinator, working with Lobo guards during practice, film breakdown and scouting of opponents.

"I am thrilled to be the next head coach at the University of New Mexico," said Sanchez. "Coach Flanagan has been such a mentor and positive influence in my life, and has prepared me for this opportunity. Being a native New Mexican, the passion and pride I have for this university and athletic department is tremendous."

"I am honored and humbled to take over a program of such success and tradition, and I am ready to lead it back to one of the best teams in the Mountain West Conference."

Sanchez is highly respected in the basketball coaching community. She currently is the only assistant coach in the 2010-11 Women's Basketball Coaches Association Board of Directors. She also in the only assistant coach on both the State Farm All-American committee, which selects the nation's top 10 players, and the WBCA Coach of the Year selection committee.


"I'm very excited about Yvonne getting this opportunity. She has worked very hard for Lobo basketball and is very deserving of this opportunity and I think she will do a terrific job."
--- Lobo head men's basketball coach Steve Alford


Sherri Coale, Oklahoma head coach and past president of the WBCA, said of her national recognition, "I've had the privilege of working with her on various committees and boards through the WBCA, and her commitment to both our game and young people is extraordinary. Yvonne is known across the country as a tireless, energetic recruiter. Now that same energy and passion will undoubtedly be breathed into every aspect of the New Mexico program."

Over the past 11 seasons, Sanchez has helped coach seven first team All-MWC performers, 10 second teamers, and nine third teamers. Also in that time, the Lobos had six players earn honorable mention honors, three earn all-defense (a fairly new category), and two players earned Mountain West Newcomer of the Year honors.

In addition the Lobos earned 33 MWC Player of the Week awards, 82 Mountain West All-Academic selections, six Academic All-District selections, one Academic All-American, and one Kodak All-American. Five times in her 11 seasons, the Lobos were recognized by the WBCA for ranking in the top 25 nationally in team grade point average, and twice the team finished the season in the national top 25 polls as well.

Over her 18-year career she has helped coach 10 first team all-conference picks, 13 second team all-conference picks, nine third team picks, 15 honorable mention picks, and 47 players of the week. Sanchez has been a part of 12 20-win seasons in her 18 years in collegiate basketball.

With Sanchez at the helm, she continues the Albuquerque connection for the Lobos in the top spot. The Albuquerque native was a three-year letterwinner under Don Flanagan at Eldorado High School from 1982-85, during which time the Eagles won a state-record 74 consecutive games and two 4A state titles. She was twice named to the all-state team and was also tabbed as the state 4A Player of the Year by the Albuquerque Journal.

Yvonne Sanchez in action

Sanchez spent the 1999-00 campaign as an assistant at San Diego State for former head coach Barb Smith. While with the Aztecs, she was responsible for recruiting and compliance in addition to coaching post players.

Prior to her stint with the Aztecs, Sanchez spent six years (1993-99) in Las Cruces, N.M., as an assistant for the New Mexico State Roadrunners. At NMSU, she recruited throughout the nation, developed scouting reports and coached post players and perimeter players. Sanchez got her coaching start in 1989 at Academy of Our Lady of Peace, a high school in San Diego. She led the squad to CIF championships in 1990 and 1992, and was named the 1990 San Diego prep coach of the year, despite not having an indoor facility. During her tenure at OLP, the Pilots compiled a 76-39 (.661) record.

While in San Diego, Sanchez worked as a child care worker at a detention facility for boys and girls that were placed in protective custody. Her responsibilities included the supervision of residents until suitable placements could be found. She later became the Program Director for a 26 to 28-bed facility. Sanchez's responsibilities included the hiring and supervision of staff, resident intakes and all other decisions within the facility. She also worked directly with court officials, law enforcement officers, social workers and county mental health officials.

The 43-year old Sanchez is a 1989 graduate of U.S. International University in San Diego, where she was a four-year letterwinner. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from USIU.

Yvonne Sanchez YEAR-BY-YEAR

                                        Overall 	       Conference
Year 	School 		         W-L	 Pct. 	W-L 	Pct. 	Finish 	Conf. Tournament 	Postseason
1993-94	New Mexico State		24-8	.750	14-4	.778	T2nd	BWC Semifinals	WNIT First Round
1994-95	New Mexico State		20-9	.690	14-4	.778	1st	BWC Semifinals	None
1995-96	New Mexico State		20-10	.667	14-4	.778	3rd	BWC Semifinals	None
1996-97	New Mexico State	 	11-16 	.407 	8-6 	.571 	T2nd-E 	BWC Quarterfinals 	None
1997-98	New Mexico State	 	7-19	.269	2-12	.143 	5th-E	--------- 	None
1998-99	New Mexico State		7-19	.269 	4-10 	.286 	4th-E	---------	     None
	N.M. State Totals		89-81	.523	56-40	.583			1 appearance
1999-00	San Diego State 		9-19 	.321 	4-10 	.286 	T6th 	MWC Quarterfinals 	None
	San Diego State Totals	9-19	.321	4-10	.286		
2000-01	New Mexico 		22-13 	.690 	8-6 	.571 	T3rd 	MWC Semifinals 	WNIT Championship Game
2001-02	New Mexico 		22-9 	.709 	10-4 	.714 	T2nd	MWC Semifinals 	NCAA 1st Round
2002-03	New Mexico 		24-9 	.727 	9-5 	642 	2nd 	MWC Champions 	NCAA Sweet 16
2003-04	New Mexico 		23-8 	.742 	12-2 	.857 	T1st 	MWC Champions 	NCAA 1st Round
2004-05	New Mexico 		26-5 	.839 	12-2 	.857 	T1st 	MWC Champions 	NCAA 1st Round
2005-06	New Mexico 		22-10 	.688 	11-5 	.688 	T3rd 	MWC Quarterfinals 	NCAA 2nd Round
2006-07	New Mexico 		24-9 	.727 	11-5 	.688 	3rd 	MWC Champions 	NCAA 1st Round
2007-08	New Mexico 		20-13 	.606 	9-7 	.562 	4th 	MWC Champions 	NCAA 1st Round
2008-09	New Mexico 		25-11 	.694 	9-7 	.562 	4th 	MWC Semifinals 	WNIT Elite Eight
2009-10	New Mexico 		19-13 	.594 	9-7 	.562 	T4th 	MWC Quarterfinals 	WNIT Second Round
2010-11	New Mexico 		13-18 	.419 	5-11 	.312 	7th 	MWC Semifinals 	None
	New Mexico Totals		240-118	.670	105-61	.633			10 appearances
Totals 	18 years 		        338-218 	.608 	165-111 	.598 			11 appearances

The Sanchez File
Birthdate: December 5, 1967
Birthplace: Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Alma Mater: U.S International, '89
Coaching Experience:
Head Coach: Academy of Our Lady of Peace HS, San Diego, Calif. (1989-92)
Assistant Coach: New Mexico State University (1993-99)
Assistant Coach: San Diego State University (1999-2000)
Assistant Coach: University of New Mexico (2000-present)

New Mexico Head Coaching Records

Name 		Years 		Won Lost	 Pct.
Kathy Marpe 	1974-80 		79 - 58 		.577
Doug Hoselton 	1980-87 		89 - 105 		.459
Maureen Eckroth 	1991-95 		14 - 96 		.127
Don Flanagan 	1995-11	 	340 -168	 	.669
Yvonne Sanchez	2011-current
What They Are Saying About Yvonne Sanchez

Tara VanDerveer, head women's basketball coach, Stanford Cardinal
"I'm really excited for Yvonne, this is a great opportunity for her. There is no one that will work harder and no one who loves the University of New Mexico more than her. I think that there is no one that is a better representative of the university. If you are a player, you want to play for her, as she is upbeat and full of energy. She has had great experience working under Don, and New Mexico has great tradition and she will continue it."

Kelly Graves, head women's basketball coach, Gonzaga Bulldogs, former UNM player (UNM '88)
"I am so happy for Yvonne and UNM that she is the head coach. I have been an admirer and friend of Yvonne for a long time and am confident she'll do a tremendous job there. There is no question in my mind that Yvonne will continue the great tradition that is Lobo Basketball. She is a tireless worker with the kind of personality that will attract recruits and support into the Lobo program. As a UNM alum, I'm also proud that someone of Yvonne's character and vision will be leading that program. Yvonne exemplifies everything that is good about intercollegiate athletics"

Steve Alford, head men's basketball coach, New Mexico Lobos
"I'm very excited about Yvonne getting this opportunity. She has worked very hard for Lobo basketball and is very deserving of this opportunity and I think she will do a terrific job."

Charli Turner Thorne, head women's basketball coach, Arizona State
"Yvonne Sanchez is more prepared to move the University of New Mexico Women's Basketball program forward than any Coach in the country. She is one of the hardest working, personable and talented coaches around, and she is a Lobo through and through."

Debbie Antonelli, ESPN/Westwood One women's basketball analyst
"Yvonne Sanchez has worked every job in basketball except the job that required an 18-inch seat change. She has studied, recruited and marketed the UNM basketball program with passion and patience as she prepared for an opportunity to be Head Coach. Her work ethic and desire to provide the total student athlete experience will make `The Pit' a better place for fans and tougher for opponents. Yvonne's integrity and resourcefulness will allow New Mexico basketball to return to the dominant power in the Mountain West."

"Congratulations to Paul Krebs and his staff for devising a detailed and exhaustive search. It proves New Mexico, under Mr. Krebs' leadership, cares about the student-athlete experience. Coach Sanchez will teach, mentor and prepare her student-athletes for competition on the court and the competition that comes in life after college."

Sherri Coale, head women's basketball coach, Oklahoma Sooners
"Yvonne Sanchez is one of the hardest working coaches in our game. She's also one of the most invested. I've had the privilege of working with her on various committees and boards through the WBCA, and her commitment to both our game and young people is extraordinary. Yvonne is known across the country as a tireless, energetic recruiter. Now that same energy and passion will undoubtedly be breathed into every aspect of the New Mexico program."