A new era in Texas Tech women's basketball began on March 30, 2006, as Kristy Curry was introduced as the head women's basketball coach of the Lady Raider program after spending the previous seven years as head coach at Purdue University.
After establishing herself as one of the most successful women's basketball coaches in school history at Purdue, Curry has taken over the reigns of a tradition-rich program at Texas Tech and has been enthusiastically embraced by the Lady Raider Nation, the Lubbock community and West Texas.
With her enthusiasm, determination, dedication and work ethic, there is no doubt Curry will excel her teams to new heights and keep Tech among the top programs in the country year in and year out, while continuing the success she has become accustomed to throughout her years of coaching. Curry has already taken a huge step toward that as she signed a top 10 recruiting class in the nation in just her first year at Texas Tech.
Entering her second year at the helm of the Lady Raider program, Curry has compiled a career record of 194-67 in her eight years as a head coach. Tech finished the 2006-07 season with a 15-16 record, laying a foundation for the future.
In her first stint as a head coach, Curry was hired as the head coach at Purdue in April of 1999, becoming the first coach in NCAA history to inherit a national championship-winning team. She led her first squad to four-straight wins in the 1999-00 season, extending Purdue's school-record win streak to 34 consecutive games, a mark that ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history.
In her seven years at the helm of the Boilermakers, she compiled a career record of 179-51 (.778) and was 86-26 (.768) in Big Ten Conference games. Curry's teams won two Big Ten regular-season (2001, 2002) and three Big Ten Tournament (2000, 2003, 2004) championships. She also guided her teams to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four and championship game in 2001. Curry became just the second coach in NCAA history to guide her team to the NCAA championship contest in her second year as a head coach.
On Feb. 27, 2003, Curry won her 100th game as a head coach with a 74-48 victory against Indiana. Curry needed only 126 games to reach the milestone, and got there faster than any coach in Purdue history. In addition, Curry recorded her 100th victory quicker than coaching icons such as Pat Summitt of Tennessee, Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, Tara VanDerveer of Stanford and Jody Conradt of Texas.
Not only has Curry had successful teams, but she coached some very successful student-athletes in her time in West Lafayette. Under Curry's leadership at Purdue, Katie Douglas became only the third player in Big Ten history and the first Purdue player to earn two Kodak All-America honors (2000, 2001). Douglas was the 2000 and 2001 Big Ten Player of the Year, and was named the 2001 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. A two-time All-Big Ten pick, Douglas is one of six Purdue players under Curry to earn first team all-conference honors. Shereka Wright, now an assistant on Curry's staff at Tech, was the 2000 USA Today and Gatorade High School Player of the Year out of Copperas Cove, Texas, and finished her four-year career under Curry as Purdue's second all-time leading scorer. Following her senior season, in which she led the Big Ten in scoring in conference games, Wright earned first team honors on the inaugural Wooden Women's All-America Team. Lubbock native Erika Valek, a four-year starting point guard for the Boilermakers, capped her career by winning the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation's top player under 5-foot-8.
The on-court success of her teams has carried over into the classroom as well. Twenty-four times her student-athletes received Academic All-Big Ten distinction since 2000. Every Boilermaker who finished her playing career at Purdue during Curry's tenure graduated.
Curry began her coaching profession in her home state of Louisiana as she started at the prep level at Weston (1988-90) and Mansfield (1990-91) high schools. From there, Curry quickly moved to the college ranks as an assistant at Tulane for two seasons (1991-93). Curry then spent a year at Stephen F. Austin (1993-94) before moving on to Texas A&M for the next two years (1994-96). She then returned to the state of Louisiana to be an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech for Hall of Famer Leon Barmore for three seasons (1996-99). In 1996-97, Louisiana Tech went 31-4 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. In 1997-98, the Lady Techsters posted another 31-4 record and finished as NCAA runners-up. In Curry's last season in Ruston, Louisiana Tech went 30-3 and advanced to the NCAA Final Four.
Off the court, Curry has been very involved with United Way, the Girl Scouts and Habitat for Humanity. A highly sought after guest speaker, Curry has also made personal appearances for fundraising events and has recorded public service announcements.
A native of Olla, La., Curry graduated from LaSalle High School and then went on to earn her bachelor of science degree in health and physical education at Northeast Louisiana in 1988, and her master's in education at Stephen F. Austin in 1994.
She and her husband, Kelly, reside in Lubbock with their two daughters, Kelsey and Kendall, and their dog Maggie.