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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington State rewards head women’s basketball coach Kamie Ethridge with contract extension

Washington State head coach Kamie Ethridge calls out plays to her team against South Florida during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Austin, Texas.  (Associated Press)

Four months after leading Washington State to its most successful season in program history, women’s basketball coach Kamie Ethridge was rewarded Wednesday with a contract extension through the next six seasons.

Monetary terms were not disclosed, but the extension will carry her through the 2026-27 season. Ethridge’s initial contract, signed when she arrived in Pullman three years ago, ran through 2023-24.

Highlights from last year included three wins over ranked teams, the first Top 25 ranking in program history and the Cougars’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991.

“Kamie has rejuvenated our women’s basketball program in a very short time and we are fortunate to know she will be leading the Cougars for many years to come,” WSU Athletic Director Patrick Chun said Wednesday.

Last year, the Cougars overcame the COVID-19 pandemic and a rugged Pac-12 schedule to finish 12-12 overall. It was their first .500-or-better record in six years, and it included wins over three ranked teams.

A 67-63 win over No. 5 UCLA was the program’s first over a top-five opponent. The Cougars also knocked off eventual NCAA finalist Arizona, in overtime in Beasley Coliseum.

“Competing in the best women’s basketball conference in the nation, she has elevated WSU to the national stage and we are excited to see the upward trajectory of this program continue,” Chun said.

Washington State won nine Pac-12 games last year, the second-most conference wins in a single season in program history.

Academically, the Cougars posted their highest cumulative grade-point average in program history in 2020-21 with a team GPA of 3.629.

“I am extremely proud of the historic season we just completed and am proud to be representing Coug Nation as we head into the future,” Ethridge said. ” I love it here. I love what it means to be a Coug. I look forward to recruiting future Cougs who want to help us build upon the amazing energy and momentum surrounding our program.”

Washington State was selected to the 2020-21 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the first time in program history, posting the 20th-best team GPA in Division I.

The Cougars’ season ended with a loss to South Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on the some court where Ethridge rose to fame as a player.

Enshrined almost two decades ago in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Ethridge was an All-American and NCAA champion at Texas and an Olympic gold medalist in 1988.

Ethridge was named WSU’s head coach in 2018 after leading Northern Colorado to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in her final season.