It’s almost July, and Texas Tech women’s basketball coach Candi Whitaker is one member shy of completing her staff for the 2013-14 season.
“It’s been a journey,” Whitaker said. “The most important thing I could do, I thought, was fill my staff. So, I took my time a little bit.”
The newest members of Whitaker’s crew, Kirk Crawford and Melissa Maines, have been hired to fill the assistant coach and director of basketball operations positions.
Whitaker only has the videographer position left to fill.
Crawford comes off a season at Wichita State winning both the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championships as well as advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
He has more than 30 years of experience at both the collegiate and professional levels.
“We just recently hired Kirk Crawford who has been a lot of places on both the men’s and women’s side,” Whitaker said. “He’s unique in that he has really developed his basketball knowledge at a high level. He’s done a lot with the NBA. He works rookies out at their combine. He’s done a lot with the Spurs and has had job opportunities in the NBA and turned them down. He’s just a basketball junkie that I think will bring a lot in player development as well as X’s and O’s. He also has contacts in international recruiting as well as the Midwest.”
While Crawford brings ties to areas outside the state of Texas, Maines is coming home.
A Tech alum and Lubbock native, Maines spent 1998-2000 as the director of basketball operations at Texas Tech before moving over to be Tech’s regional director for women’s athletics until 2002.
After that, she joined the staff at the University of Florida as an assistant under head coach Carolyn Peck.
“It’s good to have her back,” Whitaker said. “She has over 10 years of experience in the director of basketball position at the BCS level which is huge for me. [She can] just hit the road without me having to teach her anything about responsibilities and all that comes with director or basketball, which is a big umbrella. She’ll be fantastic, and I love that she’s a Tech person and a Lubbock person that knows a lot of people and can connect with Lubbock fans.”
Previously this month, Whitaker hired Brett Schneider and Damitria Buchanan to the assistant coach positions.
“(Brett) specializes in post development, just an excellent post coach,” Whitaker said. “He knows the Dallas area extremely well, as well as West Texas. He’s a great addition, and I’ve known him for years. We come from very similar philosophies, as far as basketball is concerned. Then, I hired Damitria Buchanan who played at A&M, won three Big 12 championships as a post player for A&M, has been recruiting at Stephen F. Austin, was with the club team in Houston so she knows Houston inside and out and that was one of the primary reasons I wanted her here, besides her experience being at A&M, it was the amount of contacts she has in the state of Texas, particularly the Houston area.”