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UConn women’s basketball hires Morgan Valley as new assistant coach

The Huskies will replace Shea Ralph with one of her former teammates.

Syndication: Burlington PAUL LAMONTAGNE/for the Free Press, Burlington Free Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC

UConn women’s basketball will hire former Husky and current Hartford head coach Morgan Valley as its newest assistant. She will replace Shea Ralph, who is now the head coach at Vanderbilt.

“Words cannot express how honored and excited I am to come back home and represent the University of Connecticut,” Valley said in UConn’s release. “I am so grateful to Coach Auriemma for this amazing opportunity. This is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get started.”

“I was not planning on leaving Hartford until I received the call from UConn,” she said in Hartford’s announcement.

Valley has spent the last two seasons at UHart, where she went just 4-37 at the helm. With the school considering a move down to Division III for its athletic programs, Valley will opt for the stability that comes with being on Geno Auriemma’s staff at UConn. Prior to her tenure with the Hawks, Valley spent 14 years as an assistant coach at seven different schools including Arizona, Washington and Virginia Tech.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Morgan come on board,” Auriemma said. “We wanted to get someone in here who had varied experiences, and certainly Morgan, since her playing days at UConn, has had an impact at numerous schools around the country. We thought it’d be the perfect situation for us. Morgan is familiar with who we are, what we stand for and what our goals are. I think they’re perfectly aligned with Morgan’s values and goals, and we’re just excited to have her back with our program.”

During her tenure in Washington, the Huskies reached the program’s first-ever Final Four in 2016 and made the Sweet Sixteen again in 2017. Valley also helped develop Kelsey Plum, a two-time All-American who became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer on the women’s side.

She joined Adia Barnes staff at Arizona ahead of the 2017-18 season and the year after, the Wildcats won the WNIT.

Valley played at UConn from 2000-04, where she was part of three consecutive national championship teams in her final three years. After graduating, she spent the 2004-05 season as a student assistant on the Huskies’ staff.

With Valley joining Jamelle Elliott on the staff, this will be just the third time that two former UConn players have coached alongside Auriemma and Chris Dailey. Wendy Davis and Meghan (Pattyson) Culmo were both assistants in 1993-94 while Elliott and Ralph made up the rest of the staff in 2008-09.