There will be a new face on the bench Indiana women’s basketball’s bench next season.
The program announced the addition of former Kentucky assistant Amber Smith to the coaching staff yesterday:
Smith will begin her tenure in Bloomington as an assistant coach under reigning National Coach of the Year Teri Moren. She joins the Hoosiers following the departure of longtime associate head coach Glenn Box to Miami (OH).
A former standout guard at Kentucky, Smith has spent the last seven seasons on staff at her alma mater. She served as UK’s director of player development from 2016-18 and as an assistant coach from 2018-23. The Wildcats won their second-ever SEC Tournament and qualified for four NCAA Tournaments during that septet of seasons. Smith also worked as a graduate assistant and assistant coach at Tennessee and Louisiana Tech respectively between playing and coaching in Lexington.
During her playing days Smith made 109 starts for the Wildcats and was a member of the 2008 SEC All-Freshman Team. She also helped lead Kentucky to Elite Eight appearances during 2010 and 2012 and currently ranks second in program history in career assists with 425.
Like Box before her, Smith it appears will be working with Indiana’s backcourt. Take Rhyne Howard, for example. Howard played under Smith at Kentucky from 2018-22 and saw legitimate statistical improvement each season. She finished her Wildcat career winning SEC Player of the Year twice, being named an AP First Team All-American three times, and was selected first overall in the 2022 WNBA Draft.
Smith’s proven track record with guards bodes well for an Indiana group that’s looking to replace program legend Grace Berger. With her guidance, returning starters Yarden Garzon and Chloe Moore-McNeil could be primed to take another step.
Indiana’s full press release can be found here.