Keitha Adams was named the Wichita State Head Women's Basketball Coach on March 29, 2017.
"We are excited to welcome Keitha Adams to Wichita State University as head coach of our women's basketball program," Boatright said. "I admire her experience in various levels of basketball and believe it has prepared her for this opportunity. Keitha has worked extremely hard and has earned everything that coaching has provided to her."
Adams, an Oxford, Kan., native and Southwestern [Kan.] graduate is leaving UTEP after 16 years as head coach to take over at Wichita State. She also coached at Independence [Kan.] Community College, Winfield [Kan.] High School and Belle Plaine [Kan.] High School.
"Today is a very special day in my life," Adams said. "I'm extremely excited about being the head women's basketball coach at Wichita State University. I'd like to thank President John Bardo, Darron Boatright, and Linda Hargrove for this opportunity. I'm a small town Kansas girl who grew up watching the Shockers. I'm honored to now be a part of this great University!
"I'm excited to work with our players to build special memories in Charles Koch Arena that we will all cherish. I look forward to sharing my passion for this great game with Shocker fans, my friends and my family. Go Shocks!"
She is responsible for all four UTEP postseason bids (NCAA in 2012 and 2008; WNIT 2016 and 2014) and all four championships (2016 C-USA regular season, 2012 C-USA regular season and conference tournament and 2008 C-USA regular season) in school history.
UTEP is one of 10 programs nationally (Baylor, Chattanooga, FGCU, James Madison, Maryland, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Uconn) to have won 29+ games at least three times prior to the 2016-17 season.
All six Miner 20+ win seasons were during Adams' tenure, including a school-record tying 29 in 2015-16.
UTEP cracked the top-25 poll in two seasons (2015-16, 2007-08), including being ranked in the final six weeks in '07-08, while receiving votes in eight campaigns total ('15-16, '13-14, '12-13, '11-12, '08-09, '07-08 and '06-07). UTEP has also been mentioned in the preseason poll three times, most recently garnering a trio of votes in 2012-13.
The only three-time Conference USA Women's Basketball Coach of the Year (2016, 2012 and 2008), in league history, Adams graduated every player who exhausted their eligibility at UTEP during her tenure.
UTEP's all-time win leader (284-209, 16 years), Adams is 411-246 overall as a collegiate head coach (21 years).
The Miners had no postseason bids, no conference crowns (let alone finish better than third), never advanced beyond the semifinals in the league tournament nor received a vote for a top-25 poll prior to her arrival.
During the past 11 years, UTEP has an average record of 22-11 and has achieved six top-100 final RPI rankings in that time frame.
UTEP put together one of the finest years in program history in 2015-16. The Miners equaled the school record for wins (29), took home the 2016 C-USA regular-season championship (16-2) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 WNIT.
The Miners received votes in the USA TODAY Sports women's basketball coaches top-25 poll for six consecutive weeks, including breaking into the top 25 (#25) for the second time in school history the week of March 1-6. UTEP also picked up votes for a school-record 14 straight weeks in the AP Top-25 poll.
Adams came to UTEP after several successful years as head and assistant coach at Independence Community College in Independence, Kan.
At Independence C.C., Adams was the head coach for five seasons and guided the Lady Pirates to a 127-37 record, including back-to-back Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference titles in 1999-00 and 2000-01. Her teams also combined for a 35-1 conference record over her final two seasons.
In 2000-01, she paced the Lady Pirates to a 31-2 mark, the conference title and was named the KJCCC Eastern Division Coach of the Year. Her team also led the nation, averaging 94.0 points per game, and she coached the conference's freshman of the year. Independence ended the regular season rated fifth in the NJCAA poll.
During the 1999-2000 season Adams led Independence C.C. to a 28-5 record and her first conference crown. She also took her Lady Pirate squad deep into the Regional Tournament.
In her first three seasons as head coach, Adams's teams won 22, 24 and 22 games respectively and advanced to the Regional Tournament in each of those seasons.
While at Independence, Adams honed her athletes into all-conference, All-American and Academic All-American caliber players. Included were 22 all-KJCCC selections and five NJCAA All-Americans.
Adams also had an impressive track record of sending her student-athletes on to play at four-year schools. Fifteen of her former players went on to play NCAA Division I basketball, including two in the SEC, two in the Big 12, one in the ACC, three in the WAC and one in Conference USA. Svetlana Volnaya, who played at Virginia, was chosen in the third round by the Detroit Shock in the 2001 WNBA Draft.
While at Independence, four of her teams had cumulative grade point averages of 3.20 or better. The 1995-96 team was the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year after posting a 3.59 average. In 1996-97, her team was second in the nation with a team average of 3.29, while her team was fourth in 1997-98 (3.26).
Adams was an assistant coach at Independence C.C. for two seasons (1994-96) prior to being elevated to head coach. As the Lady Pirates' top assistant and recruiting coordinator, she helped the team fashion a 34-4 mark in 1995-96 and finish as the national runner-up at the NJCAA Tournament, limiting opponents to 57.4 points per game, a school record.
She also served as men's and women's tennis coach from 1994-95 at Independence. Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, Adams coached basketball, softball, volleyball and track and field at Winfield High School in Winfield, Kan.
She was also an assistant basketball coach at Belle Plaine (Kan.) H.S., from 1987-89. A native of Oxford, Kan., Adams graduated with a degree in health, physical education and recreation from Southwestern College in 1989.
Adams was Oxford High School's all-time leading scorer and earned all-state honors as a prep. Her jersey was retired in 1986.
Associate Head Coach
Ewa Laskowska begins her first year as Associate Head Coach at Wichita State after being named to the position in April 2017.
She begins her 19th season overall as part of Keitha Adams's staffs dating to the duo's 16 years at UTEP and two years at Independence Community College. Laskowska served as an assistant coach her first 12 years at UTEP, but was elevated to associate head coach at UTEP on July 29, 2013.
Laskowska was an instrumental part in the Miners' success, helping them make four postseason bids (NCAA in 2012 and 2008; WNIT 2016 and 2014) and four league championships (2016 C-USA regular season, 2012 C-USA regular season and conference tournament and 2008 C-USA regular season) in school history.
She was involved with all six 20+ win seasons and seven of the eight with 18+ victories The Miners won 20+ games in four of the the last six seasons, including a school-record tying 29 in 2015-16. Additonaly, they were one of 10 programs in nation to win 29+ games in at least three of past six years.
Laskowska's efforts at UTEP earned her the well-deserved reputation of being an outstanding domestic and international recruiter. In her time in EL Paso, she attracted countless players rated by the All-Star Girls Report, along with securing commitments from some of the top international talent.
Her reputation for international basketball knowledge led to her earning a spot as an assistant coach with the U17 Venezuelan National team in the spring of 2007. Her efforts helped the squad win the South American Championship for the first time in the history of the program.
She assisted in the recruitment of several players who gained postseason accolades for performances on the court and in the classroom. In addition, 20 players coached by Laskowska are now playing professionally, with three having been selected in the WNBA draft.
Laskowska is also involved in assisting with practice planning, on-court coaching, working on scouting reports, skills workouts, game scheduling and academics.
Her efforts helped turn the Miners into a championship caliber program that has drawn notice both regionally and nationally.
Laskowska came to UTEP after serving as Adams' top assistant at Independence Community College from 1998 through the 2000-01 season. She was also a player for Adams from 1995-97 at ICC. During her span as an assistant for the Lady Pirates, she helped the team to back-to-back conference championships.
ICC went 18-0 in the Jayhawk Conference, set a new school record with a 34-game winning streak (over two years) and finished the season 31-2 in 2000-01.
She helped Independence C.C. lead the nation in scoring offense with 94.0 points per game, and a final team national ranking of fifth in the NJCAA poll. Laskowska also helped to oversee the academic progress of the student-athletes.
She assisted in directing a team which posted a cumulative grade point average of 3.26, which was fourth-best in the nation in 2000-01.
Laskowska also assisted in recruiting and coaching two All-Americans, 12 all-conference players and one Jayhawk Conference most valuable player.
Laskowska also worked as coordinator of international students at ICC for one year.
A native of Stalowa Wola, Poland, Ewa Laskowska was one of the top student-athletes in Independence C.C. history.
She was twice named NJCAA All-American and Kodak All-American, in addition to gaining all-region and all-conference honors twice.
Laskowska was the most valuable player at the NJCAA Region VI Tournament and was named to the all-tournament team at the NJCAA Championships.
She was also an academic All-America selection and received the Jim Goodman Fans Favorite Award. As a freshman she helped the Lady Pirates finish second in the nation with a 34-4 record.
After two years at Independence C.C. she earned a scholarship at Kansas State University and she finished her bachelor's degree in psychology at Pittsburg State in 1999.
Kelli Willingham Bagley is in her first year as assistant coach at Wichita State after being named to the position in April, 2017.
A former player under Adams at UTEP, she just completed her second year as assistant coach on Adams' staff for the Miner women's basketball team.
Willingham Bagley, who enjoyed a star-studded career (2010-14) at UTEP, had a memorable year in her first as a member of the coaching staff with her alma mater.
UTEP put together one of the finest years in program history in 2015-16. The Miners equaled the school record for wins (29), took home the 2016 C-USA regular-season championship (16-2) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 WNIT. The Orange and Blue also set single campaign records set for steals (397) turnovers forced (706) with Adams skillfully deploying a mixture of defensive schemes. All four games in the WNIT were played in El Paso, with the Miners averaging 6,405 fans in the time frame.
The Orange and Blue received votes in the USA TODAY Sports women's basketball coaches top-25 poll for six consecutive weeks, including breaking into the top 25 (#25) for the second time in school history the week of March 1-6. UTEP also picked up votes for a school-record 14 straight weeks in the AP Top-25 poll. The team became the first at the school to boast three separate winning streaks of at least seven contests and set the program mark for longest home undefeated surge at 19.
Willingham Bagley returned to UTEP after embarking on her coaching career with Seward County Community College.
As an assistant coach with the Lady Saints, she helped the program forge a mark of 28-6 and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NJCAA National Tournament. Five players from that team went on to ink national letters of intention at four-year institutions, including Miner signee Tamara Seda. Seda was the sixth player in recent years from Seward.
At UTEP, Willingham Bagley's duties included helping with recruiting within the state of Texas, working with the guards, coordinating efforts with life skills and being an ambassador of the program.
Willingham Bagley was a four-year starter for head coach Keitha Adams, and graduated as part of the class with the most wins in program history. During her four years the Miners forged a mark of 96-36, which was helped by three straight 20+ win seasons for the first time in program history.
A member of the 1,000 career point club, she is also a fixture in the UTEP career record books. When her eligibility ended, she owned program standards for starts (117) and three-pointers made (215) while ranking second for assists (373) and minutes played (3,719), tied for second in free-throw percentage (78.8), third in games played (126), seventh in field goals attempted (1,002) and three-point percentage (34.7) and 11th for steals (131).
Two of the Miners’ three postseason appearances in program history occurred during her career. UTEP earned an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Championships after claiming both the Conference USA regular season and tournament championships. The Miners finished the season 29-8, including a hard-fought loss (85-77) to national power Penn State in the first round of the “Big Dance.”
The Miners accepted an at-large bid to the WNIT in 2014, and made the most of their first appearance in the event. UTEP made a magical run to secure runner-up honors. The Miners nearly took home the title, but they were handed a 56-54 defeat at the hands of Rutgers.
Willingham Bagley was a member of the 2011 All C-USA Freshman team. A standout in the classroom, Willingham Bagley was four-time member of the C-USA Academic Honor Roll and recipient of the C-USA Academic Medal.
A native of DeSoto, Texas, Willingham Bagley graduated from UTEP in May 2014 with a degree in kinesiology.
She married former Miner football standout Marcus Bagley on Oct. 3, 2015.
Director of Operations
Jayson Miller enters his first season on head coach Keitha Adams' staff as the Director of Operations.
As the Director of Operations at Wichita State, Miller will handle travel duties, equipment, team meals, community service, team calendar and practice schedules. He serves as the Camp Director while continuing to assist with social media, manage and recruit for the practice squad, help with on-campus visits from recruits and other operational duties.
Prior to Wichita State, Miller held numerous coaching stints at nearby high schools and middle schools. Most recently, he served as the grade school physical education instructor at Pleasantview Elementary School in Derby, as well as the Derby High School assistant girls basketball coach for a season.
From 1998-2015, Miller was the physical education and health instructor at Mulvane High School. While at Mulvane he spent time as the high school assistant volleyball coach, high school and middle school assistant boys basketball coach, middle school assistant cross country coach and high school girls basketball coach.
Miller began his coaching career as the assistant women's basketball coach and tennis coach at Independence Community College.
He received his bachelor's degree in psychology and physical education from Pittsburg State University and master's degree in physical education from Pittsburg State. While working on his master's degree at Pitt State, Miller served as the graduate assistant for the women's basketball program.
Miller and his wife Stephanie reside in Derby, Kan., with their four children - Maddox, Hallacy, Afton and Easton.
Marta Warren has been the Women's Basketball Administrative Assistant since August 2010.
She previously worked at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School as a Development Assistant from August 2000-May 2008.
She graduated from the University of Kansas, with a B.S. in Journalism with emphasis in Public Relations.
Graduate Assistant Manager
Tyler Francis enters his second season with the Wichita State women’s basketball program as a graduate assistant manager.
He is responsible for practice and game video editing, graphic design for social media on the Shockers’ women’s basketball Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in addition to additional managerial duties.
Francis received his bachelor's degree in Pre K-12 physical education from Wichita State and is currently enrolled in the sport management graduate program.
Prior to attending Wichita State, Francis attended Dodge City Community College where he was on the men's basketball team from 2011-13.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Kan., he attended Manhattan High School. He is the son of Terry and Heidi Francis with one older sister and a younger brother.
Graduate Assistant Manager
Ruta Savickaite enters her first season with the Wichita State women's basketball program as a graduate assistant manager.
She is responsible for practice and game video editing, graphic design for social media on the Shockers’ women’s basketball Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in addition to additional managerial duties.
The Vilnius, Lithuania, native graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor's degree in sport management in May 2017. Savickaite spent two seasons on the Southern Indiana basketball team after transferring from the University of Western Kentucky following her sophomore season. She appeared in 52 career games for Southern Indiana and earned Academic All-GLVC accolades as a senior.
While at WKU, she saw action in 34 games and was a member of the Lady Toppers' 2014 Sun Belt Conference Championship squad as well as their 2015 Conference USA title team. Western Kentucky made it to the NCAA Tournament both seasons Savickaite was a member of the squad.
Savickaite graduated from Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2012 and also played for Lithuania's U16, U18 and U20 youth national teams.
She is currently working towards a Master's Degree in sport management at Wichita State.