Former Lady Saint Lands Heach Coaching Job at Tech
KSCB News - May 20, 2013 1:05 pm
CANDACE WHITAKER NAMED HEAD COACH OF LADY RAIDER BASKETBALL
Former letterwinner becomes the program’s sixth all-time head coach
LUBBOCK, Texas – Candace Whitaker, a two-year letterwinner at Texas Tech
and the point guard for a pair of Sweet 16 teams, returns to her alma
mater to become the sixth head coach in Lady Raider basketball history.
Texas Tech will hold a news conference to formally introduce Coach
Whitaker at 11 a.m. on Wed., May 22, in the City Bank Room at United
"I am excited to welcome Candi back to Texas Tech," Director of
Athletics Kirby Hocutt stated. "It is indeed special to have a former
student-athlete return to lead a program that they were a significant
part of. Her leadership characteristics as a starting point guard and
coach, her ties to West Texas, her experience as a Division I head
coach, as well as the fact that she is a Red Raider makes her the
perfect fit to lead the Lady Raider Basketball into the future."
Whitaker comes home to Texas Tech after spending last season as the
associate head coach at Oklahoma State under Jim Littell. Prior to her
time in Stillwater, she served as head coach at the University of
Missouri-Kansas City for six seasons (2006-2012).
Whitaker’s move to the Big 12 Conference and Oklahoma State was preceded
by a five-year tenure in Kansas City where she became the school’s
second-winningest head coach.
"I think Candi Whitaker is a great fit for Texas Tech and Texas Tech is
a great fit for her," former Lady Raider Head Coach and Hall of Famer
Marsha Sharp said. "Her basketball IQ and work ethic are incredible.
She came out of one of the best high school programs in the country and
was a great point guard at the collegiate level. She made moves early
in her career that prepared her for this opportunity."
In 2011-12, she guided the `Roos to one of the most successful seasons
in school history, finishing with a 22-12 record. UMKC advanced to the
Summit League Tournament title game for the first time since 2005.
Whitaker’s squad capped the campaign with the program’s first-ever
appearance in the WNIT.
Additionally, UMKC’s win total marked the first time the program
eclipsed the 20-win mark since the 1991-92 season.
The 2009-10 campaign saw the `Roos post a 16-16 mark and earn their
first-ever postseason berth with a trip to the inaugural Women’s
Basketball Invitational. Whitaker produced three first-team all-league
picks during her time at UMKC and also had 36 student-athletes receive
academic all-conference recognition.
The Canyon, Texas native began her coaching career at Valparaiso, where
she spent two seasons before joining the staff at UMKC as an assistant
coach in 2004. Whitaker took over the program in March of 2007, becoming
one of the youngest head coaches in the nation at 26.
Her players followed Whitaker’s toughness on the court and in the
classroom. All student athletes who completed eligibility under Whitaker
at UMKC went on to graduate. Whitaker coached 36 Summit League Academic
all-League selections and 14 Distinguished Scholars during her time in
Whitaker’s move to Stillwater also marks her return to the Big 12
Conference where she spent two years as a player at Texas Tech under
legendary coach Marsha Sharp.
As the Lady Raiders’ starting point guard, she directed the team to a
pair of Sweet 16 appearances. Prior to her stint in Lubbock, Whitaker
played two seasons for current OSU head coach Jim Littell at Seward
County (Kan.) Community College. She led the nation in assists during
the 1999-2000 season and was also named an honorable mention NJCAA
Whitaker received her degree in exercise sports science from Texas Tech
and also holds a master’s degree in sports administration from
Valparaiso. She and her husband, Matt, have one child, Westin.