Tangela Smith Named Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Northwestern

Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown announced the addition of Tangela Smith to the Wildcats’ staff as an assistant coach Friday.

Smith, a standout student-athlete at Iowa, comes to Chicago’s Big Ten Team after spending four seasons on the sidelines at Western Michigan.

“We are really excited to have Tangela join our Wildcats coaching staff,” McKeown said. “She brings incredible experience as a player in both the Big Ten and the WNBA and as an assistant at Western Michigan. Tangela impressed us with her drive, knowledge of the game, and unselfish attitude. She will be a great role model for our student-athletes and brings tremendous energy and real-world experience to Northwestern.”

Considered one of the top players in WNBA history, the Chicago native became just the seventh player in league history to record 4,000 career points during her 14-year career. She retired from the WNBA in 2012, ranking in the top-10 in history in points, rebounds, blocks, field goals made, field goals attempted, and minutes played.

While at Iowa, Smith was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 1998 and was a first team All-Big Ten pick in 1996 and 1998. She led the Hawkeyes to Big Ten championships in both of those seasons and a conference tournament title in 1997. She finished her collegiate career ranked first in school history in blocks, third in rebounds, and seventh in scoring.

Smith attended George Washington High School in Chicago, where she was named a 1994 Kodak High School All-American. She also earned All-America honors from the WBCA and played in the WBCA High School All-America Game.

She was the No. 12 overall pick by the Sacramento Monarchs in the 1998 WNBA draft and played for the Monarchs, the Charlotte Sting, the Phoenix Mercury, and the San Antonio Stars in her career.

Smith earned a bachelor of science degree in sports, health, leisure, and physical studies from the University of Iowa in 1998 and is currently pursuing a master’s in sports management from Iowa.

Photo Courtesy NU Athletics


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