Edmonds signs new 5-yr deal at Rice

After a historic season highlighted by the school’s first AAC title in any sport, Rice Vice President and Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland announced that Shelley Pennington and Friends Head Coach Lindsay Edmonds has agreed to a new five-year contract that will run through the 2029 season.

“Our women’s basketball program is the embodiment of our goal for every team at Rice, which is to achieve excellence in all that we do,” McClelland said. “Coach Edmonds’ team met many challenges during the year and grew from them, as evidenced by their memorable postseason. We have only begun to see what is possible from this team.  Making this commitment to Lindsay is essential as we build upon the momentum of their championship season.”

“I am so grateful to President DesRoches, Tommy McClelland, and our entire administration for their continued support and this commitment to myself and my family,” Edmonds said. “I am honored to continue to lead the Rice Women’s Basketball program and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to coach the sport I love at such an amazing university. Thank you for believing in me, supporting our student-athletes every step of the way, and for entrusting me with this program going forward. This season was exciting in so many ways, and my staff and I are thrilled about what lies ahead for Rice Women’s Basketball. Go Owls!”

In Rice’s debut season in the conference, Edmonds led the Owls to the 2024 American Athletic Conference Championship, winning four games in four days, defeating East Carolina 61-41 in the championship game to secure the fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.

The 10-seeded Owls (19-15, 9-9 AAC) became the lowest seed to ever win the AAC tournament. Rice’s season came to a close in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in a hard-fought 70-60 defeat to 2023 national champion LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge.

Through her first three seasons at the helm, Edmonds has the most wins (56), was the fastest coach to win a conference title and became the only coach in program history to open their career with three consecutive winning seasons. Earlier this season, Edmonds became the fastest coach to reach 50 career wins at Rice, doing so in just 81 games (previous marks was in 91 games).

Under Edmonds’ guidance, the Owls had their best start to a season in program history at 9-0 during the 2022-23 season, with back-to-back wins over Power-5 opponents at Texas A&M and against TCU.

Several Owls have earned All-Conference accolades under Edmonds’ tenure, including Malia FisherAshlee Austin and Destiny Jackson. This season, both Jackson and Fisher scored their 1,000th career points, becoming the 25th and 26th to do so in program history, respectively. Fisher was an All-AAC Second Teamer and All-Tournament MVP this season, while Jackson and Sussy Ngulefac were also named to the All-Tournament team.

Rice has seen postseason basketball in back-to-back seasons, making the NCAA Tournament this season and reaching the WNIT Second Round last season.

The Owls are set to return 14 of their 15 players next season, including starters Fisher, Ngulefac, Dominique Ennis, and Emily Klaczek. The Owls will also be adding two freshmen to next year’s squad, Aniah Alexis (Waller, Texas) and Jill Twiehaus (Tulsa, Oklahoma).


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