Baylor Women's Basketball vs. Louisiana College - 11/02/2006
On May 4, 2006, Lady Bear head coach Kim Mulkey announced the hiring of Karen Aston, former associate head coach at the University of Texas, as Baylor's associate head women's basketball coach and recruiting coordinator.
"We are very excited that Karen is joining the Lady Bear family," Mulkey said. "She is recognized throughout this profession as one of the nation's premier coaches and recruiters. Karen is a well-known, tireless worker who brings great experience in all areas of the game to our program.
"Anyone who follows basketball knows how respected Karen is in recruiting, both on the local and national level," she added. "Karen will be invaluable as we continue to build this program; this is a great hire for women's basketball at Baylor University."
Aston, who was an assistant coach at Baylor from 1994-96, returns to Waco after spending the last eight seasons (1998-2006) at the University of Texas, including the past six as associate head coach. For the past six seasons she has served as the Longhorns' basketball recruiting coordinator where she excelled in both recruiting and on-court coaching. On the court, Aston was primarily responsible for working with UT's defense and post players. The Benton, Ark., native will have the same duties at Baylor.
"I am incredibly excited and honored to be joining Kim and her staff at Baylor," said Aston. "I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for what they have accomplished at Baylor and look forward to the challenge ahead.
"It is especially exciting for me, as I started my college coaching career here under Sonja Hogg and have a special place in my heart for the Baylor family, the fans and the community," she added. "I look forward to the challenge of helping continue the amazing tradition that has been established in such a short time here, and my goal is to help bring more championships to Waco."
In her six-year span as UT's recruiting coordinator, Aston was instrumental in signing 25 highly regarded and nationally recognized recruits. The Longhorns' last eight recruiting classes were nationally ranked. The class of 2005-06 of seven freshmen was rated the nation's No. 1 recruiting class by the All-Star Girls Report (AGSR) recruiting service, with six of those seven recruits receiving All-America honors. Over the last four years under Aston's guidance, Texas has signed seven McDonald's All-Americans and inked seven WBCA/Nike All-Americans.
Prior to arriving on the Austin campus, Aston spent two seasons at the University of North Texas, where she served as assistant women's basketball coach from 1996-98. Before joining the North Texas Lady Eagle staff, Aston was an assistant coach at Baylor for two seasons (1994-96) under Hogg.
Before entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Aston was recognized as one of the top high school women's coaches in the South. She coached five years at Vilonia High School (1988-93) in Vilonia, Ark., and one year at Fort Smith (Ark.) Northside (1993-94). Her 1993-94 Fort Smith Northside club finished 24-10 and fifth in Class AAAA play, which earned Aston State of Arkansas Northwest Region Coach of the Year honors. While at Vilonia, Aston also was head coach of the cross country and track programs.
Aston was named the State of Arkansas Basketball Coach of the Year in 1992-93 after leading 36-1 Vilonia to the Class AA State championship. Her team was ranked No. 1 in the state. Additionally, two of her Vilonia cross country teams captured Arkansas state titles in 1991 and 1992.
A 1987 graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, where she received her bachelor's degree in physical education, Aston played two seasons of basketball at Arkansas-Little Rock after transferring from Ouachita Baptist University.
A first-team all-state basketball performer at Bryant (Ark.) High School as both a junior and senior, Aston capped her prep career by leading Bryant to both the 1982 Arkansas state championship (Class 4A) and the 1982 Arkansas overall state crown.
"Karen is an excellent coach and recruiter, and even more impressive person. Her appointment is a coup for Coach Mulkey and Lady Bear basketball," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw.