Skip to Content

UTEP adds big names to women’s basketball coaching staff 

Photo Courtesy: UTEP Athletics

EL PASO, Texas - UTEP head coach Keitha Adams has added to her staff ahead of the 2023-24 season.

For assistant coaches, Adams is keeping it in the Miner family by bringing home UTEP Athletics Hall of Famer Jareica Hughes and three-year team captain LuLu McKinney.

She is also adding Chelsie Johnson, who will be the Director of Basketball Operations and Video Coordinator. 

Hughes was most recently an interim head coach at Colby Community College in Colby, Kan.

In addition to traditional basketball duties, she aided in academic support and strength and conditioning. 

“The first time I watched Jareica play I knew she was special,” Adams said. “She was a difference maker and an impact player right away. Jay played a huge part in our first championship in program history. She’s coached high school, AAU, and junior college. Her love for UTEP and El Paso is very real. She will be very active in recruiting future Miners.” 

Before CCC Hughes was the head coach for freshmen and junior varsity and assistant coach for varsity basketball at Birmingham Groves HS from 2020-21.

Prior to that she was the junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach at Southfield High School of the Arts and Technology for four years (2016-20).

The team reached the final four of the state tournament twice during her tenure, including a trip to the championship game in 2019. 

Hughes also has experience at the AAU level, serving as a head coach for the ninth grade Michigan Storm (2017-21). 

Hughes played for the Miners from 2006-2010 and was one of the players that helped put UTEP women’s basketball on the map.

During her tenure, UTEP won a conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

She was a two-time C-USA Player of the Year (2008,2009) and three-time All-Conference selection (2008,2009,2010).

Hughes led the team in scoring and assists in all four seasons, and in steals and free-throw percentage on three occasions. 

In her first campaign at UTEP she was named 2007 C-USA Freshman of the Year after leading the team to its first 20-win season (22-8).

As a sophomore, Hughes helped the Miners to a then school-record 28 wins (28-4).

The team recorded 23 consecutive wins and became the first C-USA women’s team to go undefeated in league play (16-0) on the way to claiming the program’s first conference championship.

That year they routed WKU 92-60 in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid. 

Hughes still holds the school records in career assists (599), steals (277), and minutes played (3,777), while ranking second in points (1,555), made free throws (359), and games started (114).

She is third all-time in field goals made (527) and fourth in three-pointers (142). 

She was inducted into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018 and is a member of the UTEP Women’s Basketball Centennial team. 

McKinney spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois University, where she helped the Salukis advance to the quarterfinals in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. 

“I am thrilled to have Lulu on our staff,” Adams said. “She and I worked together as point guard and coach at UTEP, and we won a championship. She is very competitive and knowledgeable about the game. She will play a big role in recruiting future Miners to our program. She loves UTEP, El Paso, and Texas. Her passion for the program will be felt and hear by our recruits and our players.” 

Prior to joining the coaching staff at SIU, McKinney spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Southern University, helping the Tigers to a 36-35 overall record (29-20 SWAC).

Over the course of her tenure at TSU, six student-athletes received All-Conference honors, including 2020 SWAC Player of the Year in Ciani Cryor in her first season.

That campaign saw the Tigers go 20-10 (14-4 SWAC) and advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament. 

Before making the jump to TSU, McKinney was the assistant coach for one year at East Mississippi Community College, where she helped lead the Lions to an 11-13 overall record (8-4 MACCC), with Tye Metcalf being named to the MACCC All-State/North Division First Team. 

In her collegiate career, McKinney played three seasons with the Miners before spending her final year at Texas A&M. At UTEP, she averaged 7.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.

She helped the Miners win the 2016 C-USA regular-season championship and advance to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.

She led the team in assists per game twice in her three years and ranks seventh all-time at UTEP in assists with 308.

She is also ninth all-time for three-pointers made with 107. In her inaugural campaign, McKinney was named to the 2015 C-USA All-Freshmen Team and was voted C-USA Freshman of the Week on three occasions.

In her Miner career she played in almost 100 games, amassing over 2,500 minutes.

As a senior at Texas A&M, she appeared in 33 games for a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.   

Johnson comes to UTEP after a four-year stint as the Wichita State Women’s Basketball video coordinator. 

“Chelsie brings a great work ethic to our program,” Adams said. “Her passion for video and photography makes it so much fun for our players. She’s very creative and builds great social media content that helps promote our program. She will play an important role as part of our team.” 

Before joining the Shockers’ staff, she spent six years as a director, editor, and videographer for The Golf Warehouse. 

She graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. in August 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in cinema and video production and a minor in photography. 

“It’s very exciting to put this special group of people together to be a team,” Adams said. “El Paso, this staff loves you, the city, and UTEP! Together let’s show the world what a truly special place this is. Picks Up and Go Miners!”  

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

Jump to comments ↓

UTEP Athletics


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content