MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State women's basketball head coach Deb Patterson announced on Wednesday morning the addition of former Wildcat All-American guard Shalee Lehning as an assistant coach.
Lehning replaces former Wildcat All-American Andria Jones, who stepped down to take a job in the private sector in October.
"Shalee Lehning is a tremendous addition to our staff," said Patterson about her new assistant. "Like Andria Jones, before her, she is a KSU women's basketball program alum who epitomizes the excellence of character and achievement, the passion, intensity and loyalty that the Kansas State women's basketball program is known for. Shalee brings a great work ethic and tremendous people and leadership skills to our staff and program. Her passion for and thorough knowledge of our program philosophies and system, her teaching skills and her love of Kansas State University are all attributes that will make her an excellent recruiter and coach."
Lehning, who completed and earned her undergraduate degree (electronic journalism) in December, is a member of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream and will continue to play in the WNBA while also assisting the Wildcats. She is the second assistant coach in the Patterson era to coach and also play in the WNBA at the same time.
With Lehning's help, Atlanta secured a franchise record 18 wins this season after recording just four in its debut season in 2008. The 14-win improvement is the second-biggest turnaround in WNBA history.
The Sublette, Kan., native led the Dream in assists per game at 3.8 (125 total assists) and ranked 10th in the league in the category and was the league leader among rookies. Her assists/40 minutes played average of 7.2 ranked second in the WNBA and first among rookies. Her assists/turnover ratio ranked eighth in the WNBA at 2.31.
Lehning also averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game while playing in all 33 regular season games in her debut season.
"I am extremely excited for this unbelievable opportunity to coach at Kansas State University," said Lehning of her new assignment. "As a former player at K-State, I take great pride in this university and the women's basketball program. I have the utmost respect for Coach Patterson, her coaching staff and this program. I am honored to have the chance to help take our program to new heights."
Lehning finished her career ranked first in school history and second in Big 12 history for career assists with 800, ranked first in school history for career minutes played with 4,271, ranked fourth in school history for career rebounds with 914 and 19th for career points with 1,189. She is the first player in Big 12 history to record 1,000 career points, 900 career rebounds and 800 career assists. Lehning is the eighth guard in school history to register 200 points in every season of her career and her final career point total is the 11th-highest by a guard in school history.
The 2009 Associated Press All-America honorable mention recipient finished her senior season as the Wildcats' third-leading scorer at 10.7 points per game, the team's top rebounder at 7.0 per game and the Big 12 leader and second in the nation in assists per game at 7.6 per contest.
Along with her All-American honor, Lehning was selected to the All-Big 12 first team for the second straight season by the league's coaches. She also became the fifth player in school history to have her jersey retired and the first player in school history to record consecutive 200-point, 200-rebound and 200-assist seasons.
Her 229 assists during the 2008-09 season set a school record for assists in a season and set the Big 12 record for assists by a senior. She became the third player in Big 12 history to record consecutive 200 assist seasons.
During her senior season, Lehning was a candidate for a number of national All-American honors including: a candidate for the Wade Trophy, a State Farm/WBCA All-America finalist, a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, a finalist for the Wooden Award, a finalist for the Lieberman Award and a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. She garnered CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America third team honors, was selected to the Lowe's Senior CLASS All-America first team and earned her third straight Academic All-Big 12 first team citation.
Lehning registered three triple-doubles during the 2008-09 season to set the Big 12 and school records for triple-doubles in a season and owns five for her career, which is tied for third in NCAA history for triple-doubles.