GREELEY, Colo. – Northern Colorado Women’s Basketball head coach Kamie Ethridge announced the addition of three coaches to her staff on Monday, reuniting with her former coaching staff at Kansas State. The hiring of associate head coach Shalee Lehning and assistants Kelly Moylan and Deb Patterson will finalize the coaching staff for the Bears.
“I am thrilled to announce the addition of Shalee Lehning, Kelly Moylan and Deb Patterson to our University of Northern Colorado women’s basketball coaching staff,” Ethridge said. “In addition to the tremendous expertise, experience and achievements these three bring to UNC, they are first and foremost people who possess great personal character, integrity and the highest level of professionalism. This staff creates a tremendous foundation for greatness in our program.”
Lehning comes to Northern Colorado after serving as an assistant coach with Kansas State for five seasons, playing in the WNBA for three seasons and finishing as one of the most prolific guards in KSU’s women’s basketball program history. The Wildcats made two trips to the NCAA Tournament and one to the WNIT during her time as assistant coach.
Her exceptional playing career includes earning All-American honors as a member of KSU’s squad from 2005-09. She finished her career with the Wildcats as the best assist creator, ranking first in program history with 800 assists. She also ranked first in total minutes played, fourth in rebounds and 19th in career points with 1,189.
After finishing her playing career at Kansas State, Lehning played three seasons with the Dream. The squad qualified for the playoffs three times, including a franchise record 20 wins during the 2011 season, and an appearance in the 2010 WNBA Finals, in which she was voted team captain during the season.
“Associate Head Coach, Shalee Lehning is a star in the women’s game,” Ethridge said. “She is a charismatic leader, and a strong teacher who is fiercely committed to giving her very best to others. Shalee brings an exceptional work ethic, great passion, and a highly successful college and WNBA playing career. She connects extremely well with student athletes, coaches and all people who aspire to personal and athletic excellence.”
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join Coach Ethridge’s staff at the University of Northern Colorado,” Lehning said. “I have a deep respect for Coach Ethridge and her core beliefs. Her character and values transcend her strong basketball knowledge and coaching abilities. I feel honored to work with her at a university with such a strong academic and athletic history, beautiful campus, and great administrative support.”
Moylan also joins Northern Colorado from Kansas State, spending the past eight seasons as an assistant coach and totaling a 151-113 record with the Wildcats. She, like Lehning, also played a four-year career with KSU, finishing as one of the top 3-point shooters in program history.
The Wildcats qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times and the WNIT twice during Moylan’s five seasons, including a Big 12 Conference title in 2007-08. Moylan and KSU finished with four 20+ win seasons and two 19-win seasons over the past eight years.
Moylan left Kansas State as one of the best 3-point shooters in program history, ranking 11th all-time in both career 3-pointers made (108) and 3-pointers attempted (281). She also ranks seventh all-time in career 3-point field goal percentage (38.4) during her playing career from 1989-93.
“Kelly Moylan is a proven and dedicated coach who is relentless in recruiting,” Ethridge said. “She is a positive, highly relational person. People are drawn to her by virtue of her warmth and sincere interest in others. Her work ethic and the joy she brings to coaching, teaching and leading young people is contagious. Kelly has an exceptional ability to juggle numerous on and off the floor program responsibilities in a seamless fashion.”
“I’m honored to join Kamie Ethridge’s staff at the University of Northern Colorado,” Moylan said. “Kamie is a tremendous teacher of the game and anyone who has worked with her knows she brings great passion, energy and commitment to all she undertakes. I am also very excited about getting to know the university community and becoming a part of the city of Greeley.”
Patterson rounds out the assistant women’s basketball staff after coaching the past 18 years with Ethridge at Kansas State. She led the Wildcats to nine 20-win seasons, nine NCAA postseason appearances, four WNIT appearances and two Big 12 Championship titles from 1996-2014. The Wildcats advanced to six Sweet Sixteen appearances while also winning the WNIT Championship in 2006.
During her 18 seasons with KSU, Patterson earned 15 Coach of the Year awards from the league, regional and national levels, including being named the Big 12 Coach of the Year twice (2002 and 2008). The Wildcat program had not posted a winning record in Big Eight Conference play for five consecutive years prior to her arrival. In her first year at Kansas State, she guided the Wildcats to the school’s first NCAA Tournament bid in 10 years and to the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament.
Patterson also put emphasis on academics while placing 105 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 first and second teams, coaching five Academic All-America selections, coaching five Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalists including one national winner, 18 CoSIDA Academic All-District VII honorees and five appearances in the WBCA Academic Top-25 Team Honor Roll.
The international basketball level provided a platform for Patterson as she served as an assistant coach for three gold-medal winning USA Basketball teams, including the 2000 Junior World Championship Qualifying Team, the 1998 World Championship Team and the 1997 World University Games Team. She began her coaching career as an assistant coach with Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt, recording eight consecutive 20-win seasons.
“Deb Patterson brings the invaluable experience of having been a Division I BCS head coach,” Ethridge said. “She is highly respected across the women’s game and her expertise in running all phases of a Division 1 program will assist us greatly in this transition. The coaching and teaching skills she brings to the floor are tremendous as is her ability to inspire and motivate young people to achieve and be their best.”
“I appreciate the opportunity Kamie Ethridge has afforded me to become a member of her excellent staff at the University of Northern Colorado,” Patterson said. “This is a program with the potential to achieve great success in the Big Sky Conference. I look forward to getting to know and working with the young people that are a part of this program. Kamie Ethridge, Shalee Lehning and Kelly Moylan are passionate, caring, ethical leaders who are sincerely committed to providing an academic and athletic environment of excellence. I’m excited to be a part of this staff, program and university.”