Kyra Elzy is in her fourth season at Kentucky, her second as associate head coach. She was promoted to her current position in August of 2010. Elzy also serves as the recruiting coordinator and is responsible for coaching the guards with Matt Insell.
Elzy, considered one of the top recruiters in the nation, has helped Kentucky bring in a top-10 recruiting class three-straight seasons which has included the signing of four high school McDonald's All-Americans.
Elzy has been instrumental in helping UK advance to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, chart back-to-back 20-win seasons, including two straight seasons with a school-record 11 SEC wins.
Last year, two of Elzy's guards received SEC recognition as sophomore A'dia Mathies was named to the All-SEC Second Team and rookie Bernisha Pinkett was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
In 2009-10, UK won a program-best 28 victories despite being picked to finish 11th in the preseason SEC polls. UK ended its record-breaking season second in the league and tied for ninth in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Kentucky was a force to be reckoned with all year as it marched all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight, upsetting top-seeded and fourth-ranked Nebraska along the way. The Cats fell just one win shy of their first Final Four appearance after falling to Oklahoma in the regional finals.
Under Elzy's tutelage, Mathies received UK's first SEC Freshman of the Year honor in 2010 and was named UK's first freshman All-American since Valerie Still in 1980. Mathies was also named to the SEC All-Tournament team along with teammate Victoria Dunlap.
Prior to Kentucky, Elzy spent four years as an assistant coach at Kansas. As the recruiting coordinator, she helped the Jayhawks land its first top 20 signing class in 2007 under head coach Bonnie Henrickson. She also helped KU earn two post-season bids in her four seasons. In 2006-07, KU finished 17-16 overall and advanced to the third round of the WNIT while guard Danielle McCray was named Big 12 honorable mention.
Elzy also coached at Western Kentucky for two seasons under head coach Mary Taylor Cowles. She coordinated the recruiting efforts for the Lady Toppers and also worked with the guards and handled individual workouts. The Lady Toppers posted 20+ wins both of her seasons at WKU and in 2002-03 WKU won the Sun Belt Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Elzy helped coach Sun Belt Player of the Year Shala Reese and Newcomer of the Year Tiffany Porter-Talbert. In 2003-04, WKU was the Sun Belt runner-up and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.
Before coaching, Elzy spent one year as an administrative assistant under Henrickson at Virginia Tech. She was responsible for team travel, scheduling community service events, and working with the women's basketball summer camps.
As a student-athlete, Elzy tutored under the nation's all-time winningest coach in Hall of Famer Pat Summitt at Tennessee. The four-year letter winner, who actually spent five seasons in a Lady Vol uniform after missing the 1998-99 season with an injury, was a member of two national championship teams (1997 and 1998) and a national runner-up squad (2000). During her time in Knoxville, she played in 126 games and earned the Holly Warlick Defensive Player of the Year award in 1997 and the Unsung Hero Award in 1998.
Elzy became just the fifth freshman in Tennessee history to start her first game as a Lady Vol when she started at guard in the 1996-97 season opener against Austin Peay. She also earned another distinction during her playing career, becoming the first Tennessee player to earn her master's degree while still playing.
Also excelling in the classroom, Elzy was named to the 2000 and 2001 SEC All-Academic teams. She was a three-time Lady Vol Academic Achiever, a distinction given to student-athletes who maintain a 3.0 grade point average for the year and earned Tennessee's Dean's List honors each semester while in graduate school.
The 31-year-old is a 1996 graduate of Oldham County High School where she guided the Lady Colonels to four district championships, two regional titles and a state semifinals appearance during her prep career. Her outstanding prep career earned her induction into the Kentucky Lions Club Hall of Fame in 2009.
Elzy holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in cultural studies in education with an emphasis in sports psychology from Tennessee.
Personal Full Name: Kyra ShaNae Elzy Birthday: August 17, 1978 Hometown: LaGrange, Ky. High School: Oldham County High School College: Tennessee, `01 Degrees: Bachelor's degree in Psychology Master's degree in cultural studies and education with an emphasis in sports psychology
Coaching Career 2008-Current: Assistant Coach, Kentucky 2005-08- Assistant Coach, Kansas 2003-04 - Assistant Coach, Western Kentucky 2002-03 - Administrative Assistant, Virginia Tech
Playing Career at Tennessee Four-year letterwinner who played in 126 games ... Member of two national championship teams (1997 & 1998) and a national runner-up squad (2000) ... Holly Warlick Defensive Player of the Year (1997) ... Unsung Hero Award (1998) ... Just the fifth freshman in UT history to start her first game when she started at guard in the 1996-97 season opener against Austin Peay ... First Lady Vol to earn a master's degree while still playing ... Named to the 2000 and 2001 SEC All-Academic teams ... Three-time Lady Vol Academic Achiever, a distinction given to student-athletes that maintain a 3.0 grade point average for the year ... Earned Tennessee's Dean's List honors each semester while in graduate school ... Member of the 1997 USA Junior World Championship team that went 6-1 in Brazil.
Getting to Know Coach Elzy
Started playing basketball in fifth grade
Daughter of Cheryl Elzy
Coaching mentors: Pat Summitt, Holly Warlick, Mickie DeMoss
Favorite professional sports team: Los Angeles Lakers
Hobbies: Shopping, reading, listening to music, and going to the movies
One thing most people don't know about you: I like to write poetry
Was a high school state champion in the 400-meters as a junior
Favorite music artists: Mariah Carey, Brian McKnight and Alicia Keys
One person you'd like to meet: Oprah
Favorite thing about coaching: It's very rewarding to be able to influence and have an impact on young women in a crucial stage of their life and of course, winning!
On Kentucky: "It's so awesome to be a part of the excitement and tradition that the Kentucky name represents across the country. I'm a Kentucky girl and I love the green grass, the southern hospitality and the horses. It's a beautiful place. I also love working with Coach Mitchell and this staff. Coach Mitchell displays a contagious energy, passion and heart on and off the court. He never lacks enthusiasm."