By TONY ADAME
The Wichita Eagle
Newman has hired former New Mexico State and Barton Community College coach Darin Spence as its new women’s basketball program.
The school announced the hiring of Spence on Thursday afternoon.
Spence went 18-13 at Barton this season, his only year in Great Bend. He went 109-136 in eight years at New Mexico State.
Spence replaces Jaime Green at Newman after Green resigned earlier this month after two seasons to take an assistant coach position at Missouri Southern. Green led the Jets to their first NCAA Tournament berth and a Heartland Conference title this season.
Spence has extenive ties to Kansas – he began his coaching career at his alma mater, Marymount College in Salina, in 1987, then spent five seasons as the women’s coach at Butler Community College, two seasons as an assistant men’s coach at Cowley, two seasons as the men’s coach at Colby Community College and five seasons as the women’s coach at Cowley, where he won five Jayhawk East titles.
Spence’s best season at New Mexico State came in 2009-2010, when he went 25-9 and led the Aggies to the Women’s NIT.
“Darin will be an absolute great fit for Newman University,” Newman athletic director Vic Trilli said in a statement. “He has had success at every level of college basketball, including eight years (at Division I). He brings an experience factor and big-time family values that will provide some stability to our program.”
Reach Tony Adame at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-268-6284.