Karen Aston has been named the new Mean Green women’s basketball coach. Aston, who was an assistant coach at UNT from 1996 to 1998, has spent the last four seasons as the head coach at UNC-Charlotte.
At Charlotte, Aston led the program to record-breaking heights as her teams won 86 games in four seasons, including a school-record 27 wins this past year. Aston led the 49ers to four straight postseason appearances and the 2009 Atlantic-10 tournament title for the second NCAA tournament trip in the school’s history. This past season she led Charlotte to the WNIT Final Four and moved into third place on the school’s all-time wins list.
Aston was an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Austin from 1998 to 2006. During her eight seasons at Texas with Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt, the Longhorns posted a 173-83 record and made seven NCAA tournament appearances, including two appearances in the Sweet 16 and a trip to the Final Four in 2003.
Aston moved to Baylor University during the 2006-07 season as the associate head coach. She helped the Bears, coached by Kim Mulkey, win 26 games and reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.
“We are very excited to be able to land a coach of this caliber,” says Athletic Director Rick Villarreal. “Coach Aston is everything that we’re looking for and is a perfect fit for the direction we want this program to go.”
Aston called UNT a "tremendous opportunity," with Texas having the "best high school girls basketball" in the nation. "Everybody in the country comes to Texas to recruit," she says.
At UNT, Aston was instrumental in the recruitment of two of the greatest players in the program’s history, Jalie Mitchell (’02) and Rosalyn Reades (’02).
Aston is a 1987 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education. UALR and UNT are now both members of the Sun Belt Conference. Aston played two seasons of standout basketball at UALR after transferring from Ouachita Baptist.
A native of Benton, Ark., Aston was a two-time, first-team all-state selection in high school and led her team to the 1982 division championship and overall state title.
Aston replaces Shanice Stephens, who served as head coach for three years.