Nevada Picks Former Assistant Levens to Lead Women's Basketball Program
University of Nevada Director of Athletics Doug Knuth announced Friday that Amanda Levens has been named the head women’s basketball coach for the Wolf Pack.
University of Nevada Director of Athletics Doug Knuth announced Friday that Amanda Levens has been named the head women’s basketball coach for the Wolf Pack. Levens replaces former head coach Jane Albright, who announced her retirement earlier this month.
“We are thrilled to have Coach Levens return to Nevada to lead our women’s basketball program,” said Knuth. “She has a great mix of head coach and major program experience to go along with her strong knowledge of our department, university and community. She is a winner and will build our program into a winning program on the court and continue our excellence in the classroom and in the community.”
Levens joins the Wolf Pack after five seasons as the associate head coach at her alma mater, Arizona State, where she coached seven All-Pac 12 honorees. During her five year appointment the Sun Devils collected over 100 wins, posted four 20-win seasons and finished as the Pac-12 regular season champions in 2015-16. ASU has made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2014-15. During its most recent trip to the tournament this year, the Sun Devils nearly knocked off No. 1 seed South Carolina in the second round. In addition, the Sun Devils have been ranked academically in the top 25 by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
“I am absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to be back at Nevada. Having gotten my coaching start here it has always been a special place to me,” said Levens. “I want to thank Doug Knuth, Rhonda Bennett, Andrea Pearson and all of the members of the search committee for all of their hard work to make this possible. I grew up going to Jane Albright’s summer basketball camps, watching her teams play and those played a big role in my love for the game. To have the opportunity to lead the program she has led the past nine years is an exciting opportunity. I believe Nevada has all of the necessary resources to build a championship women’s basketball program. I strive to continue to develop a culture of excellence academically, athletically and socially for women’s basketball. My family and I look forward to being part of this great community.”
Prior to her appointment at Arizona State, Levens was the head coach at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and led the program during its transition to Division I. Hired at the age of 29 she was one of the youngest head coaches at the NCAA Division I level. During her four-year tenure, Levens took the Cougars from five wins in 2008-09 to 18 wins in 2011-12. She was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year after her team finished 12-4 in league play and secured third place after being picked eighth in the preseason poll.
Levens is no stranger to Nevada as she previously served as an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack for five seasons under former head coach Kim Gervasoni. During her first tenure with the Pack Levens was responsible for recruiting the 2005-06 Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, Brandi Fitzgerald, along with a junior college All-American and four members of the WAC all-freshmen team. In total she helped develop 16 student-athletes who earned All-WAC academic honors. Additionally Nevada made its first-ever postseason appearance in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament in 2006-07.
As a player in college Levens began her career at Old Dominion University where she helped lead the Monarchs to a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. After two years at ODU she transferred to Arizona State and played her final two years from 2000-02. While at ASU she twice earned first team All-Pac-10 honors and was named an AP honorable mention All-America in 2002. Levens finished her Sun Devil career as one of three players to score 1,000 points in two seasons. She was inducted into the Arizona State University Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Following her collegiate career she signed a free agent contract with the Charlotte Sting of the WNBA.
Levens is a native of Belvidere, Ill. where she was a three-time all-state selection at Belvidere High School. She had her No. 11 jersey retired at Belvidere High School in 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Arizona State in 2002 and earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from Nevada in 2007.
A formal press conference to introduce Levens will be held next week with a day and time still to be determined.
What they’re saying about Amanda Levens:
“We are so excited for Amanda to go back to Nevada to take over the women’s basketball program. We are so grateful for everything that she has done at Arizona State, both as a player and as associate head coach. We will miss her but are incredibly excited for this opportunity she’s been given. We know she will do an amazing job. Amanda is a great coach and a great person. The student-athletes, university and community are going to love having her as a leader.”
-Charli Turner Thorne
Head coach – Arizona State University
“Amanda will always be a Sun Devil and a part of our family here. We wish her the best of luck in
her new endeavors.”
Senior Associate AD – Arizona State University
“Amanda is like family to me and I am beyond thrilled for her, the university and the women’s basketball program. I have a lot of love for Amanda and she is the perfect fit to lead this program. She is a great person who is extremely loyal, funny, kind and who relates well with her players. Some of her best attributes are her player development skills. You won’t believe the improvement her players will have from their freshman to senior year. Nevada is getting an amazing basketball coach with an incredible basketball mind who can see the game before it’s happening.”
Former head coach – University of Nevada
Nevada Press Release