Former Western Kentucky standout Crystal Kelly will be an assistant at Bellarmine University this season, the school announced Monday.
The job will be the first coaching position for the Louisville native Kelly, who is WKU’s all-time leader in points and rebounds.
Bellarmine’s new head coach is Chancellor Dugan, the longtime coach at Sun Belt Conference member Florida Atlantic. Dugan also announced the hire of Shannon Litton, who has assisted Dugan for 18 years.
“I feel very fortunate to add Shannon and Crystal to my staff,” Dugan said in a release. “They are both great teachers of the game and are going to be tremendous additions to the program.”
Kelly won the 2004 Miss Basketball award as a senior at Sacred Heart High School in Louisville and led the Valkyries to three straight state championships.
Her 2,803 points at WKU – the highest total for the men’s or women’s program – rank her 23rd all-time in Division I. She is one of three Lady Toppers to have their jersey retired by the school and was the only player to receive the honor while still playing in college in 2008.
“Coming off a tremendous playing career, Crystal is ready to get her coaching career going,” Dugan said. “She knows the city of Louisville and her experiences bring another huge advantage to our program.”
Kelly was drafted in the third round of the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Houston Comets. She moved several times in three years in the league, and also played overseas during a career that included stops in Italy and Brazil.
“I’m ready to learn from two great coaches in Chancellor and Shannon but also to teach the team what I’ve picked up during my collegiate and professional playing days,” Kelly said in the release.