Angelo State’s new women’s basketball coach Ellis aims for the top
Angelo State University women’s basketball head coach Alesha Ellis isn’t limiting what the Belles can accomplish when they start a new chapter with her this coming season.
“We think we have a legitimate chance to win a national championship,” said former Wayland Baptist head coach and Texas Tech player, speaking to local media for the first time on Monday afternoon in the VIP Room. from ASU’s Junell Center.
“It’s one of the goals I’ve always had is to win a national championship. I’m still looking for it and I hope to do it here. We want to win, but at the same time I think it’s very important that we were teaching life lessons and being successful in the classroom. “
Ellis was hired earlier this month after accomplishing great things in eight years as a coach at Wayland.
The Flying Queens finished 31-2 two seasons ago, and they were 13-1 last season on their way to second in the NAIA overall standings entering the Championship tournament.
Wayland won 75.9% of his games during Ellis’ eight-year tenure and the Flying Queens have hit their ticket to the NAIA tournament every season. The Flying Queens have scored at least 19 victories each season under former Lady Raiders and Plainview High School.
Ellis really appreciates Wayland for giving him the opportunity to be head coach for the first time.
“We’ve done a lot of great things together and we’ve had a lot of success,” said the former Flying Queens coach. “They have been very supportive of me and I wish the Queens the best in their new adventure and I hope they will be successful.
“However, I’m great, super excited and excited about this new challenge and been looking for it. I feel like I’m ready and I feel like we’ve got what it takes together to win this thing. You guys know this – we are in a big conference, probably the best in the country and I love it. “
Ellis replaces former ASU head coach Nate Harris, who went 19-23 in two seasons with the Belles after serving as an assistant.
ASU was 18-10 overall and 14-8 in the Lone Star Conference in its debut season, but the Belles managed to go just 1-13 last spring with just three players. back from the previous season.
When Harris resigned to become an assistant at the University of Montana, Ellis jumped at the chance to replace him.
“It’s always been a place where I can see myself,” Ellis said of training at ASU. “I said (to my husband), ‘When this job opens, I’ll get it.’ I’m very glad I did. We’re very, very excited to be here.
“I want to thank my husband, Andy, and my two grandchildren (Kingston James and Laiken Jo) for all they have done for me. It’s nice to marry a basketball player because he supported me and helped me through this trip. And I want to thank my family back home, my mom and everyone for their support. “
Ellis played for legendary Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp at Texas Tech, and she won all 12 All-Big honors each season. She ended her career with the Lady Raiders as the eighth highest scorer in program history with 1,571 points. She ranks 11th in career rebound (741).
“I was lucky enough to play for Danny Wrenn at Plainview, then Marsha Sharp at Lubbock and surprisingly their playstyle was very similar,” said Ellis, whose husband played for Bobby Knight at Texas Tech. “So I only know one way to play and I thought it was the only way to play until I started coaching.
“I just stick with that way of playing, and it’s playing fast and getting the ball around the court, making good shooting selections and executing and playing basketball as a team. We are high on defense and rebounds and if you see our former teams you will know it.I will say my former coaches have had a huge impact on my life and I want to be like them.
Ellis plans to hire excellent assistants who can help the Belles turn things around quickly and get back on their way to victory.
“Coach Harris has done a great job recruiting and we think we have what it takes to be successful and run this year,” she said.
Les Belles’ new braintrust gave a little insight into what she looks like as a person.
“I put God first,” Ellis said. “There are times when I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and he’s always there to take me through those times and we somehow get it right. It just reassures me that God is in there with me, and I feel like when I do his will, he is going to help me be successful in whatever we do.
“I’m a very competitive person and I’m up for that challenge. I know there’s going to be some learning curves and all that, but we think we have what it takes to catch this bunch of kids and build a champion team and win it all. “
Former Wall High School star Sawyer Lloyd is halfway through his college career and Belles’ junior guard is ready for this new chapter.
“We are very excited by the way she talks about what she is going to bring to the program and everything she puts first, her morals and her values,” said the Les Belles’ top scorer. last year with an average of 14.2 points per game.
“It’s very aligned with what I think and believe and I think basketball should be about. All of the feedback is super excited and we can’t wait to date her.”
Lloyd expects Ellis to have an immediate impact on the team’s success.
“With the mindset of the coach, I think we’ll be there, especially with the girls she brings and the girls we have,” Lloyd said. “I think with his coaching style and with everything that is going on, I think we will be there with the best dogs again.”
Charles Bryce is a sports reporter covering West Texas. Send him a news tip at [email protected] Consider supporting West Texas journalism with a subscription to GoSanAngelo.com.