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Women's Hoops: Gray tabbed as head coach by St. Louis U.


Photo
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
New SLU Billikens head coach "Shimmy" Gray, shown here at a February practice, served as a UA assistant coach for two years.
By Lindsey Frazier
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
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Arizona assistant coach Yeshimbra "Shimmy" Gray accepted the head coaching job at the University of St. Louis, SLU Athletic Director Cheryl L. Levick said yesterday.

Gray officially begins May 2 and is the sixth coach in the 30-year history of the SLU program.

"I am ecstatic to be a Billiken," said Gray in a press release. "All the pieces are in place to turn the program around and be successful in coming years."

The Billikens posted a 4-23 overall mark in 2004 and 3-11 record in Conference USA.

"She's a terrific coach," said Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini. "I know St. Louis will be very happy with her."

Gray was an assistant coach for the past two years and was responsible for recruiting, scouting and coaching of both the guards and post players.

Prior to coming to Arizona, Gray worked as an assistant coach for both the University of Washington for three years and Bellevue (Wash.) Community College from 1999 to 2000.

"I think (her work at Arizona) definitely prepared her," Bonvicini said. "Shimmy is a great person. In the two years she was here, she did an outstanding job. I used her differently than what she did really at Washington. She did a lot more recruiting here. And she really wasn't involved off campus very much there. (She did) a lot more on the floor coaching and individual work."

Bonvicini added that although the basketball program at SLU has struggled of late, she is confident that Gray will succeed there.

"She's got a lot of work ahead of her," Bonvicini said. "But that's not unlike most jobs you take now. I think she'll do great. She is a hard worker. She has great communication skills, she is cutting edge. I really believe that as far as up to date on all the new things - e-mail, text messaging. She's sharp. I really think she'll do a super job there."

Gray, a native of Flint, Mich., played basketball at the University of Michigan from 1991 to 1994 and was a captain her senior year. She played professionally for Olivais Futbol Clube, a first division club team in Coimbra, Portugal, from 1998-1999. Gray also competed with Athletes in Action for two seasons on the Northwest travel team.

"Shimmy's combination on a personal level with all of the various constituencies in the review process and impressed everyone with her leadership skills and vision for the program," Levicks said in a press release.



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