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BREAKING: Kyra Elzy signs extension through 2027 season

Jack Pilgrim04/04/22


Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim
Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio

Kentucky women’s basketball coach Kyra Elzy has signed a contract extension that will keep her in Lexington through the 2027 season, the school announced Monday.

The extension comes after Elzy led Kentucky to its first Southeastern Conference Tournament title in 40 years and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart announced the amendment to the contract Monday. The completed amendment will be posted on the UK Office of Legal Counsel’s website.

“We’re excited to extend Kyra and continue our investment in women’s basketball and in her as a coach and positive role model in our community,” Barnhart announced. “After the adversity the team faced throughout the season, the turnaround at the end of the year was impressive – defeating the eventual national champion and winning our first SEC Tournament Championship in 40 years, a strong step in building the championship vision we all have for this program.”

Elzy guided the Wildcats to the SEC Tournament Championship, the program’s second in history and first since 1982. Kentucky was the second-lowest seed ever to win the SEC Tournament and the fourth team to defeat the No. 1 team in the AP Poll in the SEC Tournament finals. Elzy’s Wildcats became the only No. 7 seed in any power five conference tournament ever to defeat the No. 1, 2, and 3 seeds to earn the conference tournament title.

On the way to the title, Elzy led Kentucky to wins over Mississippi State, No. 6-ranked LSU, No. 18-ranked Tennessee and No. 1-ranked South Carolina. Elzy became the fifth coach in league history to win the tournament title in the first two seasons on the job, joining Joe Ciampi (Auburn), Jim Foster (Vanderbilt), Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt) and Holly Warlick (Tennessee).

“I will always believe that there is no better place in the world for a young woman to live out her academic and athletic careers than the University of Kentucky,” Elzy said in a statement. “I want to thank Mr. Barnhart, President Capilouto and our women’s basketball administrator Tiffany Hayden for believing in me and having a shared vision for this great program. I am 100 percent confident in what we offer our student-athletes here at Kentucky. Our coaches and staff commit ourselves daily to our players. Their individual successes, on and off the court, is our collective success as a program.

“As seasons come and go, our focus and commitment haven’t and won’t waver from the expectations set for this program. We have a core group of talented and driven players returning along with an exciting group of signees that cannot wait to wear those eight letters across the front of their jersey. They model the core values our program will continue to be built on: Accountability, Hard Work, Discipline, Servant Leadership and FAMILY. We are counting down the days until we can all be together again inside Memorial Coliseum. Until then, we will continue to work to bring home more championships.”

Elzy is 37-21 in her two seasons at the helm of the program. In her first season, the native of LaGrange, Kentucky, was tabbed the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year.

In her decade-plus with the school — she was an assistant at Kentucky from 2008-12 and again from 2016-2020 before taking over as head coach — Elzy has helped the Wildcats to eight NCAA Tournaments, including two Elite Eight appearances. In 2012, Elzy helped guide Kentucky to the SEC Regular-Season Championship, which was the program’s first since 1982. All told in Elzy’s tenure on the Kentucky sideline, the Wildcats have won 224 games, including 95 league games and 33 victories over ranked opponents. Six times Elzy has helped Kentucky to a 20-win season, including 28 wins in 2010 and 2012.

At Kentucky, Elzy has coached three SEC Players of the Year (Victoria Dunlap, A’dia Mathies, Rhyne Howard), three SEC Freshmen of the Year (A’dia Mathies, Bria Goss, Rhyne Howard), one SEC Defensive Player of the Year (Victoria Dunlap), two SEC 6th Women of the Year (Keyla Snowden, Chasity Patterson), two SEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year (Alyssa Rice, Maci Morris) and her players have earned 44 All-SEC honors overall.

Now, she’s signed on to be in Lexington for five more seasons.

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