April 7, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. - A former WNBA player and coach from a strong pedigree that resurrected the Utah State program has been hired to lead the Bulldog women's basketball team. Fresno State Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh announced Saturday the hiring of former Utah State head coach Raegan Pebley to the same position for the Bulldogs' women's basketball program.
Pebley (pronounced Pee-blee) becomes the ninth head coach in Bulldog history, replacing Adrian Wiggins. After revitalizing the Utah State program in 2003 that had been dormant for 16 years, Pebley guided the Aggies to a program record 21 wins last year and was one of eight coaches in the nation to be a finalist for the 2012 WBCA National Coach of the Year award.
"We are thrilled that Raegan will lead and build upon the recent success of our women's basketball program," Boeh said. "Throughout the search process Raegan continually displayed an extraordinary combination of expertise, awareness, insight and personal character. Her extensive experience and accomplishments as a Division I head coach, combined with her close ties to our primary recruiting locations, makes her a perfect fit for Fresno State."
Pebley was hired on May 1, 2002 as the coach to take over the Utah State program that reinstated women's basketball in 2003. She built the Aggies from the ground up to a team made two WNIT appearances in the last two years and finished second in the WAC last season, right behind the Bulldog program she now inherits.
In 2011, she was named the WAC Coach of the Year and this past year was the 2012 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA Region 7 Coach of the Year.
"It is such an honor to be the new women's basketball coach at Fresno State," Pebley said. "I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the character and class that these women have always competed with and I am humbled that I am now a part of them. We will continue the tradition that has already been established and strive for even more success.
"All of the pieces are in place: the women have character and talent, there is strong administrative leadership, tremendous fan support, engaged alumni, the competitive Mountain West Conference, and amazing high school and club coaches in the area that I will learn from, support and lean on."
At Utah State, Pebley led her team to its first postseason appearances since before the program had been dropped in 1987 by finishing third in the WAC in 2011 and second this past year. She went 39-25 in her last two seasons with the Aggies and 110-155 in her nine years building that program from scratch.
Coaching is not only in her blood, but she comes from a highly acclaimed coaching lineage.
Before taking over the Utah State program, Pebley was an assistant coach at George Mason from 1997-99 under Jim Lewis and Debbie Taneyhill and at Colorado State from 1999-01 under Tom Collen.
At CSU, Collen, Pebley and the Rams went 48-17 in her two seasons with the team reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and the semifinals of the WNIT in 2000. Collen is now the head coach at Arkansas and like Pebley this year, was one of eight finalists for the 2012 WBCA National Coach of the Year award.
Coaching has also been in her family as her father, Ray Scott, has coached women's basketball for more than 30 years at almost every level of women's basketball. He got his start in the late 70's and early 80's with the Dallas Diamonds and New Orleans Pride of the old ABL.
Pebley played two seasons in the WNBA after being drafted 21st overall in the third round by the Cleveland Rockers in 1997. She spent the 1997 season with the Utah Starzz and 1998 with the Rockers.
A graduate of the University of Colorado, Pebley led the Buffs to a 106-24 overall record in her career, four conference championships and she was selected All-Conference twice. CU made two Sweet 16's during her career and in her freshman season, made it to the Elite 8 by winning a school record 30 games (30-3 overall). Colorado had won 25-straight games that season and finished the year ranked No. 5.
Pebley, whose maiden name is Scott, is one of nine players in CU history to score over 1,000 career points (1,045) and collect over 700 rebounds (701). She played under legendary head coach Ceal Barry at Colorado, who in 2004 became the 24th coach ever in women's NCAA history to reach 500 career wins.
Pebley and her husband, Keith, have one son, Joseph (8), and one daughter, Harper (5).
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