TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State announced Friday that Southern Illinois University Edwardsville head coach and former Sun Devil women’s basketball standout Amanda Levens has been named associate head coach.
Levens, 33, will be joining coach Charli Turner Thorne’s staff from SIUE, where she led the program during its transition to NCAA Division I status. Despite facing progressively stiffer competition each year, the Cougars improved during each of Levens’ four seasons, going from five wins in 2009 to 18 wins in 2012. Picked to finish eighth in its first season as a full-fledged member of the Ohio Valley Conference in 2012, SIUE came through with a third-place finish (12-4 league record), and Levens was recognized as the OVC Coach of the Year.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to return to Arizona State and once again be a part of the Sun Devil program,” Levens said. “I had a great experience playing for Charli, and I look forward to helping her continue the tradition of success she has established at ASU. Being a former Sun Devil who played on teams that won conference championships, I am familiar with the Pac-12 Conference and am looking forward to contributing to the future success of ASU.
“I’d like to also express my appreciation to SIUE for giving me my first head coaching job. They took a chance on me, and I will always be grateful for that. I want to thank the administration and my staff for all of their support and would like to give a special thanks to the team for always giving everything they had, both on and off the court and in the classroom.”
Levens will be returning to her alma mater, where she was twice named first-team All-Pac-10 (2001-02) and helped lead the Sun Devils to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and the inaugural Pac-10 tournament title in 2002. Levens, who was named an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in 2002, concluded her ASU career No. 2 all time in 3-pointer with 117, and in 2001 she set the single-season school record with 60 3-point field goals.
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“It means the world to me that Amanda has chosen to bring her phenomenal talents back to Tempe,” Turner Thorne said. “As outstanding as Amanda was for us as one of the top guards in the country, she is an even better coach. Her passion and knowledge of the game combined with her relentless work ethic make her one of the rising stars in our profession. She is a Sun Devil, and I know our team and community are truly going to appreciate her love for and commitment to Arizona State University.”
Levens was named the fourth head women’s basketball coach in SIUE history prior to the 2008-09 season. At 29, she was one of the youngest head coaches at the Division I level when the Cougars began play as a D-I program in 2008.
Prior to her appointment at SIUE, Levens was an assistant coach at the University of Nevada-Reno, where she was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the WAC. While at Nevada, Levens was responsible for recruiting a WAC Newcomer of the Year, a junior college All-American and four members of the WAC All-Freshmen team. In 2007, Nevada made its first-ever postseason appearance at the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
Prior to playing at ASU, Levens spent her first two collegiate seasons at Old Dominion, where she helped the Monarchs to a pair of NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances. Following her ASU playing career, Levens signed a free-agent contract with the Charlotte Sting of the WNBA in April of 2002.
Levens, a native of Belvidere, Ill., earned her bachelor of arts degree in history from ASU in 2002 and her master’s degree in higher education administration from Nevada-Reno in 2007.