Ethridge extended through 2029-30 at Washington State

Washington State University Interim Director of Athletics Anne McCoy announced Thursday that Women’s Basketball Head Coach Kamie Ethridge has signed a contract extension keeping her in Pullman through the 2029-30 season.

“Since her arrival in 2018, Kamie has solidified Washington State women’s basketball as a destination where student-athletes can receive a world-class education while competing at the highest levels,” said McCoy. “Her leadership has resulted in historic seasons for WSU, including this most recent campaign when WSU reached the postseason for the fourth-consecutive year, marking another program first. We are thrilled Kamie shares the same love and passion for Washington State that so many of us do and excited she will be leading our program for many years to come.”

Coach Ethridge has continued to raise the bar every season she has been on the Palouse. The Hall of Famer has brought her winning ways to Pullman, quickly elevating the WSU women’s basketball program into the upper echelon of the college women’s basketball landscape. Ethridge has guided Washington State to four straight postseason tournament appearances, and its first back-to-back 20-win seasons.

“Kamie epitomizes hard work, dedication and perseverance, all traits that served her well as a Hall of Fame player and now coaching our student-athletes,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “Noel and I have revered Kamie’s ability to lead young women for more than a decade at two different universities, and we are so pleased knowing she is committed to guiding our Cougar women’s basketball program.”

After seeing its win total increase each season under Ethridge, Washington State continued their winning trend with a second-straight 20-win season in 2023-24. In 2022-23, she led the program to the first Pac-12 title in any WSU female team sport by winning the 2023 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Championship in Las Vegas, navigating the Cougars from the Pac-12 basement to Pac-12 Champions in just five short seasons.

“I want to thank Anne McCoy and President Kirk Schulz for their continued support and passionate commitment to Washington State women’s basketball,” said Ethridge. “I am honored to have my contract extended another year. I look forward to continuing to elevate the standard of national success, attention, and relevance we have established in the women’s basketball landscape.”

Since coming to Pullman, Ethridge has led the Cougs to the 2023 Pac-12 Championship, earned a berth as a No. 1 seed in the inaugural 2024 Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament, made three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2021, 2022, 2023), and set program records for most wins in a regular season with 23 victories in 2022-23, breaking the 44-year-old single-season program record of 21 wins set by the 1978-79 team, and then tying that 21-win mark in the 2023-24 season.

“WSU’s leadership team and I share a mutual commitment to excellence,” Ethridge added. “Establishing WSU as a perennial top-20 program, competing for Conference championships, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, and positioning our program to compete in Sweet 16’s and beyond will continue as the goals and standards for our program. I want to acknowledge and thank our women’s basketball Coug donors, alumni, and the WSU and Pullman community. The growth of our game-day fan base has begun! Let’s continue to create an amazing competitive advantage and fun place to be on Cougar Women’s Basketball game days and nights!

“National caliber success in women’s basketball is only possible through the acts and backing of a strong and committed network of donors,” Ethridge continued. “My most sincere thanks go to each of our donors! To every one of you who has assisted us financially so that we might grow our program and address our needs, my appreciation is without measure. I emphatically believe there exists an army of passionate Cougar women’s basketball supporters who are anxious to impact the experiences, resources, facilities, and opportunities afforded to the young women in this program. I hope you will reach out to me as I look forward to meeting you personally and talking specifically about my vision and the needs of Cougar women’s basketball. It is a great day to be a Coug! Let’s all work together and make some noise.”

Going into the 2023-24 season, the program earned its first-ever appearance in the Preseason Associated Press Top-25 Poll, appearing at No. 24 in the preseason poll. WSU ranked as high as 21 in the 2023-24 season, a ranking that set a program record for the highest ranking in the AP Top-25 Poll in program history. The 2023-24 season also saw the Cougars defeat No. 2/4 UCLA, becoming the highest-ranked team Washington State had ever defeated in program history.

Coach Ethridge brought in arguably her most talented roster to Washington State in the 2022-23 season. The Cougars won a program-record 23 games that year and captured the program’s first-ever Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Championship. Ethridge guided WSU from the No. 7 seed in the tournament to claim the school’s first Pac-12 title in a women’s team sport by winning four games in five days in Sin City.

Ethridge’s success at Washington State during the 2022-23 season earned her National Coach of the Year honors from The Athletic, making Ethridge the first WSU women’s basketball head coach to be named a National Coach of the Year by any National publication.

Ethridge is 95-90 overall through six seasons at Washington State. Her 95 wins are the most by a sixth-year coach in WSU women’s basketball history. Ethridge was named the 2022 Pac-12 Coach of the Year by the media after guiding the Cougars to 19 wins in 2021-22. The Cougs posted a school-record second-place finish in the Pac-12 standings in 2021-22 after winning a program-record 11 Pac-12 games. The Cougars’ 36 Pac-12 wins collected over the last four seasons (2020-24) are the seventh-most Pac-12 wins by a school.

Ethridge has brought in elite talent from all over the globe during her tenure at Washington State, which includes New Zealand native and three-time All-American Honorable Mention selection Charlisse Leger-Walker. WSU players such as Ula Motuga (Australia), Johanna Teder (Estonia), Bella Murekatete (Rwanda), Krystal Leger-Walker (New Zealand) Jessica Clarke (Canada), Tara Wallack (Canada), Astera Tuhina (Kosovo) and Eleonora Villa (Italy) have gone on to play for their national team programs.

WSU has the pieces in place for another run at an NCAA Tournament bid in 2024-25, as the Cougars return three of their five starters from last season’s squad who was one of the first four out of the NCAA tournament, despite losing Charlisse Leger-Walker to a season-ending knee injury. Returning starters include 2023-24 All-Pac-12 Freshman Eleonora Villa, 2022-23 All-Pac-12 Freshman Honorable Mention Astera Tuhina, and Tara Wallack who averaged 10.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game.

Ethridge was named the head coach of WSU women’s basketball on April 15, 2018. She came to Pullman following four seasons as the head coach at the University of Northern Colorado, where she posted a combined 83 victories and led the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017-18, her final season at UNC.