In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Alabama head coach Kristy Curry joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights on longevity in coaching and being too blessed to be stressed.
Since Kristy Curry became the head coach of the University of Alabama’s women’s basketball team in 2013, each season has produced significant wins and new milestones. Curry has been coaching for over 23 years and has an overall head coaching record of 462-281 (.622).
Curry came to Alabama to find a new challenge after leading Texas Tech and Purdue for seven seasons each. She led the Boilermakers to seven NCAA tournaments, including a national championship game appearance, while winning five straight Big Ten titles. She coached the Red Raiders to an upset of No. 1 Baylor and back to the NCAA Tournament in 2011
When Curry came to Alabama from Texas Tech, the Crimson Tide was coming off back-to-back two-win SEC campaigns. Now it has reached 20 wins in back-to-back seasons. In her time at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has returned to the NCAA Tournament, ended a decades-long losing streak against Tennessee and brought the program back to prominence.
The premier moment of the Curry era at Alabama was getting the program back to the NCAA Tournament in 2021 for the first time since 1999. Not only was the Crimson Tide able to get into the tournament, but it earned a win over 10th-seeded North Carolina for its first win in the tournament since 1999.
- Nine NCAA Tournament appearances
- One NCAA Final Four
- Two NCAA Elite Eights
- Four NCAA Sweet 16s
- Six Women’s National Invitation Tournament appearances
- Two Big Ten regular season titles
- 11 20-win seasons
Kristy Curry Quotes:
“I’ve been really fortunate that my beliefs, my values aligned with who I was working for and working with every day. A lot of times in coaching, you’re not that fortunate. But I’ve been blessed to have tremendous staff and players, and recruiting is the lifeblood of every program. So whether you’re recruiting players or staff, I think it’s really important to make sure that those folks in your program line up with what your values are and what you believe in.”
“It’s the longest season, men’s women’s basketball, in any sport. And so, how do you balance being a mom and also being a coach? And how did I balance that when I got married as an assistant coach? And then how do you balance that as a head coach? So, I think I just look at it like this. You’re too blessed to be stressed. It’s the best tired feeling in the world, and you have to be organized, and you have to have a great village around you.”
“We love a five-out system. We love for all five to be able to shoot the three. It’s just something that we feel has given us . . the opportunity to be able to create mismatches. We don’t want to play against a set defense, so we want a 1-second decision. We want to shoot the first open shot, make the first decision we possibly can. And it’s been a fun system and style of play.”
“We love developing three level scorers and we do a good job with that . . We spend a lot of time on our finishes. We spend a lot of time on game like spots and shots and no hesitation and giving our kids a lot of confidence in shooting the basketball. We chart everything every single day. And we work on kids developing a great quick release.”
“We want to make more free throws than our opponent shoots every single game. That’s a game goal.”
“Everything that we try to do is competitive. Whether it’s our shooting times, whether it’s our breakdowns in practice, our shooting drills. We spend a lot of time shooting the three and several drills that we do are game-like game pace. And if you don’t have a certain number, you’ve got accountability at the end that day. We just spend so much time working on the little things, at game pace, that it all becomes repetition.”
“We spent a lot of time on our culture and trying to understand that we’re stronger together than we are individually. We also feel like, in this day and time, you’re going to have to allow young kids to make mistakes and you’re going to have to put them in the game to get better. When you can say that we play that many people , I think it’s going to show your young kids that you’re going to give them an opportunity. What they do with it’s up to them and I think it motivates them for future growth.”
“I know it may sound cheesy and we’re not perfect here, but I’m a really big believer that this is a 50-year plan. It’s not a four-year plan. When you leave Alabama as a female, I want to make sure that you’re able to impact the rest of your life in the most positive way possible in your community.”
Kristy Curry Breakdown:
1:00 – Keys in Longevity in Coaching
3:00 – Bravery
6:00 – Alabama Job
8:00 – Women in Coaching
10:00 – Administrative Support
11:30 – Coach Mentoring Program
14:00 – Embracing Three Point Shot
15:30 – Powerhouse League
17:00 – Talk Matchups
19:30 – Free Throw Ladder
21:30 – Accountability
24:00 – Foreign Trip
25:30 – Defense First
26:22 – 26:58 – B.I. Podcast AD Spring 2023
26:30 – Conceptual Concepts
28:00 – Finishing
31:00 – Playing 10 Players Per Game
35:30 – Managing Your Players
38:00 – Openly Communicate with Coach
40:00 – Challenges in her Program
43:00 – Takeaways From Coaches
47:00 – Coaching Tree
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