Petree set to lead Belles' basketball

Cayla Petree chosen out of four dozen applicants

By Stephen Cogan
On April 5, 2013

As ASU's athletic director Sean Johnson introduced the new women's basketball coach, he couldn't help but make a reference to March Madness.

"Last week when we hired ASU's new men's basketball coach, we said it was ASU's version of March Madness," Johnson said. "Well, with this announcement, we've moved past the first and second round and past the Sweet 16 and we're on to the Final Four now, so it's another exciting day for us."

The exciting day was focused around Cayla Petree, the ninth head coach in ASU's women's basketball history.

"Man, it's good to be in West Texas," Petree said to open her press conference with her thick Texan accent. "I love it out here. There are good people, they work hard, they're friendly, honest and take a really good approach to having good solid values."

Petree has come to ASU after being an assistant coach at University of North Texas this past year.

Petree has had success at every level of collegiate basketball from junior college to Division I.

She first started her collegiate career as a player at Cisco Junior College. After earning two all-conference honors there, she transferred to Texas Tech University.

As a Red Raider, Petree was a player under Hall of Fame coach Marsha Sharp and was part of a team that made it to the Elite Eight in 2003.

After graduating with a Master of Science in sport management in 2006 Petree was given her first head coaching opportunity at her former alma mater; Cisco Junior College.

"They took a chance on a 24-year old kid six years ago that a lot of people probably wouldn't have taken," Petree said. "If it wasn't for those guys believing in me, I wouldn't be standing up here today."

She coached the Wranglers, a team that had lost 60 consecutive games before she arrived and in her five years, she compiled a 93-61 record with three trips to the Region V Tournament.

In addition, Petree coached 14 athletes to all-conference honors and 16 of her athletes continued onward to play at four-year colleges.

"Our new head coach brings everything to the table that we need," Johnson said. "She's a proven winner, someone who is passionate about the profession, about winning and about giving our student athletes the best experience they'll ever have in college basketball."

Petree has a giant pair of shoes to fill that were left behind by Sally Brooks, a coach who led the 'Belles to three Lone Star Conference Championships and seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament from 2002-2008.

Petree said even though her dream was to coach Division I basketball, this was such a great opportunity and was an easy decision to come to ASU.

"Angelo State has great facilities," Petree said. "I can't wait to get to work; to start recruiting and to start individual workouts with you guys [the players]."

Petree has her goals as high as the sky as she boldly said that she doesn't care that ASU is a Division II school; she intends to try to recruit Division I athletes to ASU.

"You look out there and there are a lot of Division I schools that don't have the resources we have," Petree said. "We're going to get the future students and they are going to choose Angelo State University."

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