Weatherspoon to lead Lady Techsters basketball as head coach
Louisiana Tech Athletic Director Derek Dooley made it official Thursday when he named Teresa Weatherspoon the head coach of the Lady Techster basketball program during a press conference at the Charles Wyly Athletic Center.
Weatherspoon took over the program as interim head coach on Feb. 9 and after leading Louisiana Tech to a 9-2 mark down the stretch, the 2009 Western Athletic Conference regular season title and a postseason appearance, it was widely believed that she had earned the opportunity.
On Thursday, that belief was made a reality as Tech officials removed the interim tag from Weatherspoon’s title.
“As a former Lady Techster and a future Hall of Famer, Teresa has a tremendous passion for the game of basketball and for Louisiana Tech,” Dooley said. “After watching her lead the Lady Techsters during the latter part of this season, it was clear that she is as passionate and as gifted a coach as she was a player.”
One of the legendary players in the storied history of the Lady Techster program, Weatherspoon led the Lady Techsters to a 9-2 mark over the final 11 games of this season, including an unblemished mark in her first eight games in which LA Tech went from fifth to first in the WAC standings.
The eight-game winning streak was the longest by a LA Tech team since the 2005-06 season, when the Lady Techsters won 15 straight games before falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
And although the winning streak was eventually snapped by a 91-88 overtime loss to Nevada in the semifinals of the 2009 WAC Tournament, Tech still earned a postseason berth in the WNIT where it dismantled Conference USA champion SMU before falling to Illinois State in the second round.
“This is an unbelievable honor,” Weatherspoon said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to play in such a historic place and then come back and be the head coach. I feel like I’ve come full circle; this is where my development as a player really started years ago and now I get the opportunity to share my experiences with these ladies. I’m extremely honored and grateful to the administration for having confidence in me to get the job done.”
The combination of Weatherspoon’s success on the sideline, legendary status as a player in the Columbia blue uniform in the 1980s, and reputation as one of the WNBA’s all-time greatest players, made the decision an easy one for Tech administrators.
“I am absolutely delighted that Teresa Weatherspoon has accepted this position,” said Reneau. “She is a true Techster, a loyal alumn and a superb coach.”
Weatherspoon was hired as the associate head coach at Louisiana Tech last April after spending eight seasons as a player in the WNBA — seven with the New York Liberty and one with the Los Angeles Sparks.
During her time in the league, Weatherspoon started 220 straight games and led the Liberty to three WNBA championship appearances in 1997, 1999 and 2000. She was a four-time WNBA All-Star, a four-time all-WNBA second teamer and a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
She still ranks No. 3 in career assists (1,338) and No. 8 in career steals (465) in the history of the WNBA.
Her professional playing experience started in 1988 when she went overseas to play. Weatherspoon spent six years in Italy — where she was named a six-time all-star — and two years in Russia.
And as impressive as her professional playing resume is, it doesn’t hold a candle to the one she built as a player at Louisiana Tech from 1984-88.
After signing with the Lady Techsters out of West Sabine High School in Pineland, Texas, Weatherspoon started four straight years at LA Tech where she led the program to a mark of 118-14.
On her way to being named Kodak All-American in 1987 and 1988 and earning the Wade Trophy in 1988 as the nation’s top player, Weatherspoon led the Lady Techsters to four NCAA Tournaments, two Final Fours (1987, 1988) and the 1988 National Championship title.
A member of the 1,000-point club (1,087) at LA Tech, she still ranks No. 1 in career assists (958) and career steals (411).
Weatherspoon also earned distinction in USA Basketball circles, leading the US to the gold medal in the 1988 Olympics and the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics. She also earned gold medals in the 1986 World Championships, the 1986 Goodwill Games and the 1987 World University Games.
Written by Malcolm Butler