Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy is the 2021 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year
From the WBCA:
First-year University of Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy is the 2021 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The award honors a WBCA member NCAA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year on the sideline. It is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, who in her inaugural season as the Army head coach, led the Black Knights to the 2006 Patriot League title and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament. Dixon, 29, died of an undiagnosed heart condition just weeks after on April 6, 2006.
Elzy was named head coach of the Wildcats in December 2020 following the sudden retirement of Matthew Mitchell for health reasons. She directed Kentucky to an 18-9 record and the second round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Elzy was Kentucky’s associate head coach since the 2016-17 season. She had previously served as an assistant coach on the Wildcats’ staff from 2008 through 2012. In between Elzy spent four seasons on the staff at Tennessee, her alma mater, where she played for the late legendary Pat Summitt.
“The WBCA is proud to announce Kyra Elzy as the winner of the 2021 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Success in your first year as a head coach is a difficult feat under the best of circumstances, but Kyra was successful despite unexpectedly taking over a Kentucky program in the midst of a very emotional situation.
“We celebrate her effectiveness on the basketball court as a teacher and equally applaud the extensive role she plays in impacting the lives of her student-athletes.”
“Spalding, together with the WBCA, is proud to celebrate coach Kyra Elzy as the 2021 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year,” said Matt Murphy, Spalding VP and General Manager. “Coach Elzy exemplifies the leadership, mentorship and dedication to excellence that this award is about both on and off the court. We wish Coach Elzy and all of the student-athletes she inspires continued success.”