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The Lions Have A New Basketball Coach

Valerie King named A&M-Commerce Women’s Basketball Head Coach.

COMMERCE – Valerie King, a veteran collegiate coach at the Division I level, has been tabbed as the next women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce as announced by Director of Athletics Jim Curry on Wednesday afternoon. She is the ninth head coach in program history. 

“Valerie is a proven winner, teacher, and program builder,” said Curry. “She has enjoyed tremendous success as a coach at multiple Division I institutions and as a hall-of-fame player. Her style of play, competitive spirit, and passion for the game will inspire and excite everyone associated with Lion women’s basketball. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Valerie, Brandon, Camden, and Emersyn to the A&M-Commerce family!” 

King comes to Commerce after spending the last seven seasons on the coaching staff at New Mexico, including serving as associate head coach for the Lobos in 2022-23.

King has had success at every level during her career as a player and coach. During her time at New Mexico, the program went 141-78 (.644), earning a postseason berth five times. 

New Mexico won 20 games or more four times and won the 2020-21 Mountain West Conference regular season title. In addition, the Lobo teams were exceptional on offense during her time in Albuquerque. UNM finished in the Top 20 nationally in three-pointers made in the last three seasons, finishing third in 2021-22.

Before New Mexico, King worked with coach Mike Bradbury at Wright State for six years. Success came quickly as Wright State notched its first two NCAA Division I postseason wins and its first 20-win season as a Division I program. The Raiders made five postseason appearances with King on the staff, including the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14. 

“I am grateful to be named the head women’s basketball coach at A&M-Commerce,” said King. “I would like to thank President Mark Rudin and Director of Athletics Jim Curry for this amazing opportunity. Throughout the process, it became clear that there was an alignment between the administration’s vision for the program and mine. My family and I are so excited to become a part of the Lion community!” 

Before Wright State, King spent three seasons on the staff at Morehead State and helped turn the Eagles into one of the best shooting teams in the country. In 2009-10, Morehead State led Division 1 in three-pointers made per game (10.3). That year Morehead State finished with 22 wins. 

As a player, King was a four-year starter for the University of Cincinnati from 2000-04. She ended her Bearcat career as the all-time leader in three-pointers made with 338, which was also the Conference USA record and is second now. 

To this day, she is second all-time in free-throw percentage, fourth all-time in scoring, and fifth in three-point percentage in the Conference USA record book. In addition, the Conference USA All-Decade team for the 2000s selected her.

King garnered many honors as a player as she earned first-team all-conference honors twice and was named the 2001 and 2002 Conference USA Tournament MVP. She signed as a free agent with the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA. 

A native of Washington Court House, Ohio, King graduated from Cincinnati with a degree in communication and earned a master’s degree from the University of Louisville in sports administration. King and her husband, Brandon, welcomed their first child, Camden, in July 2021 and their second daughter, Emersyn, in July 2022. 

Details will be forthcoming on a Meet and Greet with King. 

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“A&M-Commerce is getting an outstanding coach and a better person. Valerie knows the game and is a great in-game tactician. Her ability to recruit, develop and relate to players will make A&M-Commerce rise to the conference’s top. I have no doubt Valerie will have the Lions playing in the postseason. I’m grateful for her loyalty and commitment for the last 16 years.”

  • Mike Bradbury, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, New Mexico

“A&M-Commerce has hit the jackpot! Valerie was one of the biggest secrets in our profession until today. Her knowledge, work ethic, and professionalism are second to none. Her young women will be challenged to be their best every day. She is a proven winner. I’ve been her teammate, co-worker, friend, and sister for 23 years, and she’s always had the determination for success. There is no doubt she will excel and provide an amazing student-athlete experience for young women.”

  • Katrina Merriweather, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Cincinnati

“I am so excited for Valerie. She is deserving and ready for this opportunity. She has invested in and been a part of building programs at Morehead State, Wright State, and New Mexico. I am better because I had the opportunity to work alongside her. She is a tireless worker who is committed to excellence. She will do great things at Texas A&M-Commerce.”