- Carey still ranks first in UT history in 3-point percentage, fourth in 3-pointers made and second in minutes per game.
- She was the 31st overall pick of the 2005 WNBA draft, and played four years with the Phoenix Mercury and Connecticut Sun.
- The former Pac-10 freshman of the year at Stanford played 96 games for Texas, fueling the Horns' 2003 Final Four run.
During Jamie Carey’s first practice at Texas in 2002, the point guard became agitated when a teammate couldn’t handle her firm pass and the ball skipped out of bounds.
“It was Stacy Stephens, and she didn’t drop too many of them,” recalled Texas head coach Karen Aston, who was Jody Conradt’s assistant back then. “I won’t say exactly what Jamie said, but it was something like ‘Don’t drop the ball again.'”
Carey, who was introduced as UT’s newest assistant basketball coach at Cooley Pavilion on Thursday, smiled as Aston told the story.
“I said ‘please’ and ‘thank you,'” Carey joked.
Aston said that story indicated “how much passion” Carey has for basketball, and that it stamped her as a team leader. It was that kind of on-the-court direction that makes the former Longhorn such a good fit at Texas.
Carey is remembered as a hard-nosed player who earned Pac-10 freshman of the year honors at Stanford before leaving the game to deal with concussion issues. After skipping two seasons, the 5-foot-6 native of Hutchinson, Kan., transferred to Texas and played a key role in UT’s drive to the 2003 Final Four.
Despite playing in only 96 games for the Longhorns, Carey left a mark in many areas. She ranks 37th in team history in total points (1,074), first in three-point percentage (.418), fourth in three-pointers made (193), seventh in free throw percentage (.801) and second in minutes per game (31.4).
Carey, who played four seasons in the WNBA, was assistant women’s national team director for four years at USA Basketball, coached high school basketball in Colorado for five years, and spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the University of Colorado.
Carey, 35, replaces former assistant coach Travis Mays, who recently was named head coach for the SMU women’s team.
“I considered myself a coach the whole time,” Carey said. “I took that role as a player when I was little, and probably in moments I shouldn’t have when I was young. I’ve always been a student of the game my whole life. From a point guard standpoint and the way I was always taught to play, you play a coach’s role as a point guard.”
Texas went 31-5 this past season, including a trip to the Elite Eight. Carey said Texas “has the pieces” to make a Final Four run quickly.
Carey said she will fit in well at Texas, adding, “(Aston) works harder than anyone in the business. I think I align in that way with Karen. That’s something I really appreciate. I’ve known her for a really long time and I trust what she brings to the table.”
Carey was the 2004 recipient of the Jim Valvano Comeback Player of the Year Award, and as a senior in 2005 was named the NCAA Woman of the Year. She was the 31st pick in the 2005 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury and later signed with the Connecticut Sun. She played four years for the Sun, which advanced to the postseason each of those years, including an appearance in the 2005 WNBA Finals.
Carey holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Texas in 2004 and completed her master’s of education in sport management there in 2006. She was a two-time third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection and a two-time first-team All-District selection.
The starting five that led the Longhorns to the NCAA women’s Final Four in 2003 now sit on the bench, where all five help guide college or high school teams. The coaching roster rundown:
• Kala Bowers
Then: A versatile 6-foot-2-inch guard, Bowers started as a sophomore during the Final Four season. She grabbed seven rebounds as Texas lost to Connecticut 71-69 in the national semifinals.
Now: Bowers — now Kala Gaines — coaches the girls basketball team at Sharon-Mutual High School in Oklahoma.
• Jamie Carey
Then: A hard-charging senior point guard who was sidelined for two seasons because of concussion-related health concerns, Carey captained the Final Four squad.
Now: On Thursday, Carey was introduced as a new assistant on Karen Aston’s coaching staff at UT.
• Tai Dillard
Then: A 5-9 senior guard from San Antonio, Dillard averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds during the Final Four season.
Now: In May of 2014, Dillard was hired as an assistant coach at the University of Houston.
• Heather Schreiber
Then: Like Bowers, Schreiber, a 6-2 forward, was a sophomore during the 2002-03 season. She scored 13 points in the Final Four matchup against UConn.
Now: Schreiber — now Heather Stark — coaches the girls basketball team at her alma mater, Windthorst.
• Stacy Stephens
Then: A 6-4 center, Stephens scored a team-high 16 points in the loss to UConn.
Now: Stephens recently completed her second season as an assistant at Sam Houston State.