(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -Jody Adams-Birch will be taking over as the next leader of the NM State women's basketball program.
NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced Thursday evening that Adams-Birch will become the Aggies' 12th head coach in program history.
"Having known Jody for over 15 years I couldn't be more thrilled that she will be the new head coach of our women's program," said Moccia. "Jody has an impeccable pedigree in college basketball from her playing days and a tremendous winning record wherever she goes."
Adams-Birch brings with her 27 years of coaching experience which includes six NCAA Tournament appearances at three different schools and 185 wins as a Division I head coach.
She was also the starting point guard on the Tennessee Lady Vols' 1991 National Champion squad during her time as a player – learning under the late, great Pat Summitt.
"I am so excited and grateful to be the next leader of the New Mexico St women's basketball program. To be wanted, needed and surrounded by people of excellence is a dream come true for me," Adams-Birch said.
Adams-Birch carries a tradition of excellence everywhere she goes – helping lead seven different teams to conference championships as a head coach while reaching the postseason eight times in 10 seasons.
She also signed a total of five top-40 recruiting classes during her years with The University of Missouri-Kansas City and Wichita State in addition to helping sign a top-five recruiting class at Minnesota that eventually reached the Final Four in their senior season.
Adams-Birch has also been a part of a series of firsts at several stops along the way.
Most notably, she led Murray State to its first Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title while also leading Wichita State to its first Missouri Valley Conference regular season title, first MVC Tournament title and first NCAA Tournament appearance.
"I know I was not the author of this plan but so very grateful to be at my dream job here at New Mexico State," Adams-Birch added. "I would like to thank Chancellor Arvizu & Athletic Director Mario Moccia for entrusting me with this incredible opportunity to empower young women of our future and help guide them through the culture we will build of winning ways.
"My heart is wrapped around us becoming family, owning the moment & the passion for growth. With this heart-driven mindset I know, this is a great start in winning the Aggie way – in the classroom, on the court and in our community. I can truly say on this day my heart is filled with joy to be an Aggie and for Las Cruces to be called our home."
She will inherit a women's basketball program with an impressive amount of recent success as the Aggies have claimed the WAC regular-season title in five of the last eight seasons.
NM State has also earned four NCAA Tournament bids and four WAC Tournament titles since 2015.
"I have seen her up close at Southern Illinois and Wichita State and I know she will bring an incredible hunger to win, and I can't wait for her to start her tenure in Las Cruces," Moccia added.
Her time at Wichita State also happened to overlap with a pair of coaches that Aggie basketball fans are familiar with as both Chris Jans and Greg Heiar were assistant coaches on the Shockers' men's staff during her stretch in Wichita, Kan.
"The connection Jody had in Wichita with both our current and former head men's basketball coaches was exceptionally strong," Moccia continued. "Chris Jans and Greg Heiar could not say enough about how good of a coach they feel she is."