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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | Last updated: 12:35am

McEntire a benefit to Arizona women's basketball's coaching staff



After former associate head coach Sue Darling left to take the head coaching position at Northern Arizona University this summer, the Wildcats’ coaching staff had to make a few adjustments.

Brandy Manning moved to the associate head coach position, leaving a vacancy for one of two assistant coaching positions.

Calamity McEntire snatched up the opportunity.

Head coach Niya Butts said she feels fortunate to have McEntire on her coaching staff.

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By John Routh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
John Routh / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA women's basketball assistant coach Calamity McEntire talks during a game against Grand Canyon University.

“Calamity has been on the West Coast for several years and she is a great recruiter,” Butts said. “She will bring a lot of energy to our program.”

Prior to joining the Wildcats, McEntire served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for four years at Boise State.

While there, McEntire brought in five players that made all-freshman conference teams, coached 11 players who received a total of 22 Academic All-conference honors, two league all-defensive team members and two players who earned postseason all-conference honors.

Before starting her coaching career, McEntire played two seasons at Eastern Oklahoma State College where she led the Mountaineers to a No. 4 national ranking and a Region II Championship. McEntire started her coaching career early, serving as a student assistant coach for half of a season at Eastern Oklahoma State College, before transferring to the University of Tennessee to finish her undergraduate degree in education and sports management.

Even at Tennessee, McEntire couldn’t stay away from basketball and ended up working as an equipment manager from May 2001 to July 2003.

Finally in 2004, McEntire started her assistant coaching career at Fresno State and stayed until 2006, helping the Bulldogs advance to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

For a change of pace, McEntire took the position of director of women’s basketball operations at UC Santa Barbara in 2007.

In her first season as assistant coach at Arizona, McEntire will work with the guards alongside co-assistant coach E.C. Hill.

“I really enjoyed the staff first of all,” McEntire said. “I think the staff has a lot of energy and since I’m a graduate from Tennessee, I’ve known coach Butts for a while. When we sat down and talked, she told me her vision for the program and I bought into it automatically.”

McEntire said she knew she would be coming into a program that had several newcomers and found it exciting to be a part of building up the young team’s dynamic.

“In the last four months, I have been very impressed with the work ethic,” McEntire said. “They have been focused on getting into great shape because obviously everyone is talking about how up tempo the level of play is and it’s going to take every one of them [to compete].”

With one game under her belt, McEntire said she finds motivation and comfort in continuing to build her relationship with every single player both on and off the court.

Senior guard Davellyn Whyte said she has been impressed with her new coach so far.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with and getting to know her,” Whyte said. “She is a great person on and off the court and I love her style of coaching.”


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