Indiana women’s basketball head coach Teri Moren has announced the hiring of Amber Smith as an assistant coach to her staff.
Smith arrives in Bloomington after a total of seven seasons with Kentucky Women’s Basketball. She served as an assistant coach for the last five seasons (2018-23) and two seasons as director of player development (2016-18).
“I am thrilled that Amber is joining us in Bloomington” Moren said. “Amber is passionate, high energy, excellent at building relationships and is the ultimate competitor that will fit in perfectly to our culture. We are excited that she has decided to become a part of our Hoosier family.”
A native of Winter Haven, Florida, Smith helped the Wildcats to four NCAA Tournament appearances in her seven seasons and was instrumental in development of Kentucky’s guards including the overall 2022 No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 12-time All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year Rhyne Howard. In five seasons as an assistant coach, UK won the 2022 Southeastern Conference tournament title and finished in the top four of the conference on multiple occasions. Smith helped develop starting point guard and freshman Jada Walker, who averaged 10.4 points per game on 41.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.5 percent from long range. Walker was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
While serving as the director of player development, Smith helped coordinate student-athlete community service, while working with the players in a variety of other areas. Her development work has been rewarded by UK producing the SEC Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. The UK women’s basketball program also made history under Smith’s leadership with two players selected in the 2017 WNBA Draft in third-overall pick Evelyn Akhator and 33rd-overall pick Makayla Epps. Akhator was the highest draft pick in program history.
Smith returned to Lexington in the spring of 2016 as the director of player development after spending three years in the coaching ranks at the Division I level. Smith started her coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Tennessee before a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech, where her main roles were recruiting and on-court development. During her time in Knoxville, the Lady Vols won 29 games, including winning the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
A member of the most successful senior class in Kentucky women’s basketball history, Smith played in 123 career games for UK at guard with 109 starts. She was a member of the 2008 SEC All-Freshman Team and ranks sixth all-time in program history in assists and eighth all-time in assists per game. During her tenure, Smith averaged 7.0 points per game and 3.4 assists per game, helping Kentucky advance to four consecutive postseason tournaments, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
A May 2011 graduate from UK with a bachelor’s degree in integrated strategic communications, she recently earned her Master’s in sports management from Morehead State University in May 2020.