Bob Starkey, widely considered one of the top minds in all of college basketball, is in his first season as an assistant coach at Texas A&M.
Starkey comes to Aggieland after a season as an assistant coach at the University of Central Florida and following 22 seasons at LSU.
"Bob has been on my short list of coaches that I would consider for a long, long time, but I thought he was always untouchable being at LSU for so many years," Blair said. "He's an excellent defensive coach, works with post players, is a great tactician of the game, and helped take LSU to the Final Four five times. He helped develop Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus and LaSondra Barrett and many others at LSU to go on to become All-SEC players, All-Americans, WNBA players and Olympians.
"I think Bob fits my personality and my needs at the present time to be able to join a program that's at the top, and we want to maintain and continue what we've been doing on the floor and in recruiting for a long time to come. Bob comes highly recommended by every coach in the country. As soon as his name goes across the wire it will give us instant credibility with coaches, recruits and opponents."
In his 22 seasons involved with LSU basketball, Starkey was a member of the LSU women's basketball coaching staff for 13 years. He was promoted to associate head coach under legendary coach Van Chancellor in 2007 after serving as LSU's acting head coach during the 2007 NCAA Tournament run that saw the Lady Tigers advance to the program's fourth straight Final Four.
Starkey helped guide LSU to four Southeastern Conference Championships, 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, eight Sweet 16s, seven Elite Eights and five consecutive trips to the Final Four. He was a key component in the Lady Tigers' outstanding record of 326-105 (.756) from 1998-2011.
Starkey worked with all phases of the LSU program, which included post players, breaking down game film and developing game plans while compiling opponent scouting reports. He was very influential in the development of post player Fowles, the second overall pick of the 2008 WNBA draft who currently plays with the Chicago Sky. He also coached other WNBA first round picks including Aiysha Smith (previously with the Washington Mystics), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Temeka Johnson (Tulsa Shock), Marie Ferdinand (Phoenix Mercury), and Scholanda Robinson (Tulsa Shock).
Starkey joined the Lady Tigers' program on a full-time basis in 1998 under legendary coach Sue Gunter. Starkey had previously served as the administrative assistant for both the LSU men's and women's basketball team for two years.
In his first role at LSU, Starkey served as an assistant coach for Dale Brown on the LSU men's basketball staff from 1990-96, during which time the Tigers participated in four NCAA Tournaments. While on the men's staff, Starkey worked closely in developing three first-round NBA draft picks in Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Jackson and Stanley Roberts. As a recruiter, he helped sign three nationally-ranked recruiting classes, including one which was rated No. 1 in the country.
In his 25-year collegiate coaching tenure, Starkey has worked with 16 20-win teams and has been a postseason participant 17 times.
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to become a part of the Aggie family," Starkey said. "Certainly the Texas A&M women's basketball team is among the nation's elite, and I look forward to not only contributing but learning as well. My friendship with Coach Blair goes back to some of our great battles in the Southeastern Conference. I've always respected the way his teams play, but more importantly I have respected him as a person.
"Texas A&M is a university that is steep in tradition and has a culture of excellence both academically and athletically. One of the things I have learned in my many years of coaching is that greatness comes about because of the people involved, and I am eager to be a part of the great Aggie spirit."
Before his extended stretch at LSU, Starkey spent one year as an assistant at Marshall during the 1988-89 season and three seasons at West Virginia State from 1984-87. In his final season at West Virginia State, he helped guide the Yellow Jackets to conference and district titles on their way to the NAIA National Championship game.
Starkey began his coaching career on the high school level as an assistant at Winfield High School in West Virginia.
Starkey, who considers himself a full-time student of the game, has written numerous articles and has authored such basketball books as The 2-3 Match-Up Defense and Motion Offense. His latest project is a Basketball Coaching Series of books that include The Art of Being An Assistant Coach, The Art of Scouting and The Art of Motivation. Starkey is a master motivator and runs his own coaching and player online blog that features daily updates at http://hoopthoughts.blogspot.com.
Starkey is originally from Charleston, W.Va., and is married to the former Sherie Hayslett, also a native of West Virginia.
THE STARKEY FILE
Coaching Records and Highlights: