Tina Langley, who spent the past six seasons at Rice, has been hired as the next Washington Huskies women’s basketball coach, the school announced Monday.

Langley posted a 126-61 record with the Owls and her winning percentage of .673 ranks first in program history. 

She becomes the 12th coach in the history of the Washington program and follows Jody Wynn, who was fired March 15 after posting a 38-75 record, including 11-58 in the Pac-12, during her four-year tenure.

“I couldn’t be more excited and honored to join the University of Washington and be the next head coach of the women’s basketball team,” Langley said in a statement released Monday by UW. “This is an elite institution that offers an unbelievable experience both academically and athletically and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to compete in the best conference in women’s basketball.”

Led by Erin O’Connell, UW’s deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator, the Huskies spent the past three weeks conducting a national search.

Langley received a six-year, $4,050,000 deal that pays her $650,000 during the first two years, $675,000 in years 3 and 4 and $700,000 in the final two years.

Advertising

Washington also is paying Langley’s $75,000 buyout with Rice.

The Huskies are making a significant investment in women’s basketball considering Wynn made $325,008 this season and UW is paying her $700,000 for the remaining two years of her contract.

“We are thrilled to bring someone in of Tina’s caliber to lead our young women,” UW athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement. “Throughout the search process, Tina stood out as the ideal leader for this program. Her commitment to the development of students both on and off the court, combined with her vision for bringing the program back to competing for championships made her a perfect fit for our culture.

“Her basketball accolades certainly speak for themselves and we look forward to watching her build something special here on Montlake.” 

Since advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in 2017 under former coach Mike Neighbors, Washington had fallen out of relevancy with Wynn at the helm. UW hasn’t finished higher than ninth in the Pac-12 in the past four years.

Given their current state and the potency of the Pac-12, which had two teams in the NCAA national championship game, the Huskies needed someone familiar with reclamation projects.

Langley arrives with an impressive track record of revitalizing a downtrodden program.

Advertising

In 2015, the Alabama native made her head-coaching debut and took over a Rice team that hadn’t had a winning season in four years, and posted a 9-21 record before her arrival.

After a 9-22 record her first year, the Owls won at least 21 games the next five years while posting a 117-39 (. 750) record.

During that span, Rice won the Women’s Basketball Invitational in 2017 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT in 2018.

The next season, the Owls went 28-4 and posted a 16-0 record in Conference USA while winning the regular season and conference tournament titles for a 2019 NCAA appearance.

Rice was 21-8 and 16-2 in C-USA in 2019-20 and would have made a second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last season, the Owls went 23-4 and 12-2 in league before winning the WNIT.

Advertising

Langley takes over a UW team that was 7-14 last season and finished 11th in the Pac-12 at 3-13.

It’s unclear how many Huskies will return considering the NCAA granted 2020-21 student-athletes an extra year of eligibility or if anyone will transfer following the coaching change.

Washington has three seniors in guard Alexis Griggsby, forward Khayla Rooks and forward Missy Peterson, who missed last season due to knee injury.

Junior forward Haley Van Dyke led UW in scoring with 12.0 points per game followed by freshman guard Tameiya Sadler (10.4), sophomore center Quay Miller (9.9) and junior center Darcy Rees (8.3).

Langley also inherits an incoming four-player 2021 recruiting class (A.J. Marotte, Marisa Davis, Avery VanSickle and Olivia Pollerd) that’s ranked 16th nationally by espnW. (Jess Finney enrolled midseason and averaged 1.2 points in 14 games.)

It’s UW’s highest-ranked class since it was 11th in 2013.

“It was clear from my first conversations with Jen that we have such strong value alignment and I’m so grateful to her and Erin for giving me this chance to lead a program that’s had so many incredible players and coaches over the years,” Langley said. “I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone at Rice for everything they’ve done for me the last six years, especially the student-athletes I’ve had the privilege of coaching, Joe Karlgaard and Stacy Mosely.

“I can’t wait to get to Seattle to meet the team and get to work.”