Former K-State women’s staff lands at Northern Colorado

By Joshua Kinder

The band is getting back together — at Northern Colorado.

Kamie Ethridge, who served as the associate head coach at Kansas State for 18 years under Deb Patterson and was recently named head coach at Northern Colorado, has finalized her staff with some familiar faces.

On Monday Ethridge named former K-State point guard and assistant coach Shalee Lehning associate head coach, with former Wildcat head coach Deb Patterson and assistant Kelly Moylan serving as assistant coaches.

“In addition to the tremendous expertise, experience and achievements these three bring to UNC, they are first and foremost, people who possess great personal character, integrity and the highest level of professionalism,” Ethridge said in a press release Monday afternoon. “This staff creates a tremendous foundation for greatness in our program.”

Lehning goes to Northern Colorado after spending the last nine years in Manhattan — a four-year starter at point guard and the last five seasons as an assistant and one of K-State’s top recruiters.

“Shalee Lehning is a star in the women’s game,” Ethridge said. “She is a charismatic leader and a strong teacher who is fiercely committed to giving her very best to others. Shalee brings an exceptional work ethic, great passion and a highly successful college and WNBA playing career.

“She connects extremely well with student athletes, coaches and all people who aspire to personal and athletic excellence.”

The first player in Big 12 history to record at least 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 800 assists in a career, Lehning led the Wildcats to a pair of NCAA tournaments, won the WNIT championship and captured the 2008 Big 12 title, earning All-America honors as a senior.

One of just five K-State women’s players to have her number hanging in Bramlage Coliseum, Lehning ranks first in school history for assists (800), first in triple-doubles (5), fourth in rebounds (914), fifth in steals (235), second in minutes played (4,271), and 21st in points scored (1,189).

Lehning proved vital on the recruiting trail for the Wildcats, especially in the past year when she helped assemble one of the best classes K-State has had in recent seasons — highlighted by the signing of eventual All-Big 12 point guard Leti Romero from Spain.
The former Sublette Lark went on to play three seasons for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream — voted the team’s captain in 2010 — and was inducted into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2012-13.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join Coach Ethridge’s staff at the University of Northern Colorado,” Lehning said. “I have a deep respect for Coach Ethridge and her core beliefs. Her character and values transcend her strong basketball knowledge and coaching abilities.

“I feel honored to work with her at a university with such a strong academic and athletic history, beautiful campus, and great administrative support.”

Patterson joins Ethridge’s staff after leading the Wildcats to 350 victories, nine 20-win seasons, 13 postseason appearances and a pair of Big 12 titles as head coach. The two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year served as an assistant coach on the for three gold-medal winning USA Basketball teams, including the 2000 Junior World Championship Qualifying Team, the 1998 World Championship Team and the 1997 World University Games Team. Patterson began her coaching career as an assistant coach with Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt before taking over at K-State.

“Deb Patterson brings the invaluable experience of having been a Division-I BCS head coach,” Ethridge said. “She is highly respected across the women’s game and her expertise in running all phases of a Division-I program will assist us greatly in this transition.

“The coaching and teaching skills she brings to the floor are tremendous as is her ability to inspire and motivate young people to achieve and be their best.”

Under Patterson, K-State placed 105 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 first and second teams, while coaching five Academic All-America selections, five Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalists, 18 CoSIDA Academic All-District VII honorees with five appearances in the WBCA Academic Top-25 Team Honor Roll.

“This is a program with the potential to achieve great success in the Big Sky Conference,” Patterson said. “I look forward to getting to know and working with the young people that are a part of this program. Kamie Ethridge, Shalee Lehning and Kelly Moylan are passionate, caring, ethical leaders who are sincerely committed to providing an academic and athletic environment of excellence. I’m excited to be a part of this staff, program and university.”

Moylan joins Northern Colorado after spending the past eight seasons as an assistant at K-State. She, like Lehning, also played a four-year career with the Wildcats, finishing as one of the top 3-point shooters in the program’s history from 1989-93.

“Kelly Moylan is a proven and dedicated coach who is relentless in recruiting,” Ethridge said. “She is a positive, highly relational person. People are drawn to her by virtue of her warmth and sincere interest in others. Her work ethic and the joy she brings to coaching, teaching and leading young people is contagious. Kelly has an exceptional ability to juggle numerous on- and off-the-floor program responsibilities in a seamless fashion.”

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