Southern Illinois names Bond-White as new Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Southern Illinois University announced on Thursday that it has named Kelly Bond-White as the 11th women’s basketball head coach in program history.

Bond-White comes to Carbondale after 19 seasons at Texas A&M, including 15 seasons as the Aggies’ associate head coach. During her time in College Station, the Aggies made three Elite Eight appearances, won five conference titles and one National Championship (2011). All told, Bond-White coached 18 NCAA Tournament teams, as well as 18 All-American student-athletes.

At Southern Illinois, she succeeds Cindy Stein, who retired after a 2021-22 season in which the Salukis won their first Missouri Valley Conference championship since 2007 and advanced to the WNIT.

“We feel this hire demonstrates our commitment to sustaining a championship-caliber women’s basketball program,” said Matt Kupec, SIU’s director of athletics. “Kelly understands what it takes to build and maintain a winning program at the highest level. She is highly regarded in the basketball community, is a great recruiter, and will be an outstanding leader for our student-athletes.”

Bond-White’s recruiting ties proved key for Texas A&M, as the Aggies signed recruiting classes that consistently ranked in the top-20 in the nation, including the No. 2-ranked class in 2012, and the No. 8-ranked class in 2017, which included national Freshman of the Year Chennedy Carter.

A Chicago native, who graduated from the University of Illinois, Bond-White will make her head-coaching debut at Southern Illinois.

“I’m excited to return home to the state of Illinois where my journey began,” she said. “The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me and my family. Chancellor (Austin) Lane and Matt flying to Texas to have breakfast in my home and discuss the future of SIU Basketball left an impression on my entire family. What I found in their relentless pursuit were details mirroring my own core values.” 
Bond-White played point guard at Illinois and helped the Illini achieve several milestones during her four-year career, including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. She also led the squad to the 1997 Big Ten Championship. During her junior and senior seasons, the Illini reached the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and posted 20-win seasons. Notably, Stein was part of the coaching staff that recruited and coached Bond-White at Illinois during her freshman season.

“I look forward to engaging with my current student-athletes at SIU and listening to their wants and needs, and bringing my vision of toughness, empowerment, faith, accountability, and a pursuit of excellence in everything we do,” she said. “The gift of the present is all we have and I couldn’t be more excited to get in the gym with our young ladies and hit the ground running in recruiting.”

Bond-White played high school basketball for the late, legendary Chicagoland coach Arthur Penny at Whitney Young High School. She and her husband, Christopher, are the proud parents of Lauryn Christina, born June 25, 2012.

Photo Courtesy SIU Athletics

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