Schneider Hires Buchanan, Retains O’Connor
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball head coach Brandon Schneider announced two members of his coaching staff on Tuesday afternoon, as Damitria Buchanan has been hired and Katie O’Connor has been retained as assistant coaches.
Buchanan joins the Jayhawks after spending the past two seasons at Texas Tech. While in Lubbock, Buchanan mentored the front court and assisted with scouting, recruiting and academics. Prior to her three-year stint with the Lady Raiders, Buchanan was a part of the coaching staff at Stephen F. Austin under Schneider. She helped guide the Ladyjacks to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship and a 23-win season in 2011-12.
“I believe Coach D is one of the top up-and-coming assistants in the country,” said Schneider. “She is a relentless recruiter and has a unique ability to build and cultivate relationships with players. She will be a terrific role model for our student-athletes.”
A two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection and team captain at Texas A&M, Buchanan helped the Aggies to three Big 12 titles and four top-25 finishes, including three top-10 finishes in each of her final three seasons. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M in 2010 and remained in the College Station area to pursue a master’s degree while serving as a teacher and coach at A&M Consolidated Middle School.
Along with the hiring of Buchanan, Schneider also announced that O’Connor, who has spent nine seasons on the sidelines at Allen Fieldhouse, will return for her 10th year with Kansas women’s basketball.
“From afar, I’ve always admired the job Coach Katie does both in recruiting and coaching on the floor,” said Schneider. “I greatly respect the role she played in the development of front line players like Crystal Kemp, Carolyn Davis, and most recently, Chelsea Gardner. Her work ethic is second to none and I’m elated we could convince her to remain a Jayhawk.”
Over the last two seasons, O’Connor aided in the development of Gardner, who finished her career 12th all-time in Kansas women’s basketball history with 1,516 points. Under O’Connor’s guidance, Gardner was a two-time All-America Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 First Team selection and was selected in the Second Round of the 2015 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever. In all, O’Connor has coached two WNBA draft picks, three All-Americans and 17 all-conference selections.
“Coach D and Coach Katie will be outstanding assets in all phases of our program,” Schneider said.
Schneider still has one assistant coach vacancy to fill before the KU women’s basketball staff is complete.
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