Brown names Courtney Locke to women's hoops staff
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
By Kirk Downs
Brown names Courtney Locke to women's hoops staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb women’s basketball head coach Greg Brown is pleased to announce the addition of Courtney Locke to his coaching staff. She will assume the duties of associate head coach.  

“I have known Courtney for a long time after working with her at UCF,” Brown said. “First of all, we knew she would fit our mission here at Lipscomb. She wanted the opportunity to go do some things spiritually she couldn’t do at other places and that is what makes Lipscomb unique. 

“Her background speaks for itself. She played collegiately at the highest level while at Rutgers and also we have won some championships together, but the key is that she knows me. She can come straight in with each of us knowing how the other works and there is already a high level of trust and camaraderie that doesn’t have to be developed. And that is exciting anytime you are moving into a new job.”

Locke replaces former assistant coach Cara Cahak, who left the coaching ranks as she is expecting her third child.

“Number one, I wanted to come to Lipscomb because of Coach Greg Brown,” Locke said. “I had the privilege of working with Greg for almost four years at the University of Central Florida and I know his leadership, visions and goals. I think he is going to do a great job here and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Locke one day wants to be a head coach and she views the Lipscomb position as another step towards that goal.

“Working under Coach Brown I know I will have the opportunity to learn and grow as a coach as well as expand my knowledge and roles on the staff,” Locke said. “This is a unique experience for me at a distinctive university and I am very excited to get started.”

Locke joins the Lady Bisons staff after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator in her second stint at UCF under the direction of head coach Joi Williams.

In 2012-13, Locke helped guide the Knights on a magical run through the Conference USA tournament, where UCF came up just short in the title game to Tulsa.

That season, UCF ended an 0-44 streak against Southeastern Conference opponents after defeating Mississippi State 64-56 and snapped the nation’s ninth-longest home-win streak with a victory at Florida Gulf Coast. 

Locke spent the 2011-12 season as the recruiting coordinator under Carlene Mitchell at the University of California Santa Barbara and helped guide the Gauchos to the 2012 Big West Tournament title and an automatic berth in to the NCAA Tournament.

In her first stint at UCF (2008-11), Locke played an instrumental role in helping the Knights to two C-USA Championships and NCAA Tournament berths in 2009 and 2011. Locke was primarily responsible for working with the perimeter players, as well as assisting with the recruiting and scouting efforts before being promoted to recruiting coordinator in 2010.

Locke began her career as an assistant coach at the University of Texas San Antonio from 2006-08  where she served as the recruiting coordinator and camp director. In the 2007-08 season, she helped lead UTSA to a 23-10 record and its first Southland Conference Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in the program’s history. 

From 2002-06, Locke was a four-year standout at Rutgers under legendary and hall of fame coach C. Vivian Stringer. Locke saw action in 126 games as a Scarlet Knight, drawing 26 career starts.

Locke’s has plenty of great memories of her time at Rutgers, but none was more memorable than her senior year where the Scarlet Knights compiled a 27-5 overall record and an unblemished 16-0 mark in Big East play.

During her career the Scarlet Knights advanced to four NCAA Tournaments, making appearances in the Elite Eight in 2005 and the Sweet Sixteen in 2006. 

In a league dominated yearly by the University of Connecticut, Locke helped guide Rutgers to Big East regular-season crowns twice.

“My biggest highlight as a player was when we beat UCONN for the outright regular season championship,” Locke said with a smile. “Coach Stringer taught us a lot about hard work. You couldn’t get through that program without it.

“We had to give our all every single day and we want to instill that into our girls. I want people to see that not only can we win on the court, but that we can also be outstanding women off the floor.” 

The Scarlet Knights were 97-32 during Locke’s career, including a 53-11 mark in league play.

Locke graduated in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports studies.

After spending five years with Locke at UCF, Brown knows her strengths and wants to utilize those to help the Lipscomb program rise to prominence.

“She wanted to grow in her role and that was one of the opportunities of her coming here,” Brown said. “Courtney will assume an associate head coach-type role, meaning she will do a lot more administrative-type duties. Obviously she will lead us in recruiting with her gift and talent of creating relationships. 

“Her interaction with our players and recruits make this hire a win-win for both of us.”

Locke was a prolific three-point shooter while at Rutgers, draining 39.4 percent from beyond the arc during her senior season. She noted that one of her goals is for Lipscomb to be one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country.

“Without any question we want to win at Lipscomb,” Locke said. “One of our goals it to lead the country in three-pointers made and I hope to help contribute to attaining that goal. We are trying to build a program that can win championships and start a tradition of success.”

Although Locke was hired to coach basketball at Lipscomb, she says there is nothing more important than helping the student-athletes get their degrees.

“As a coach we all want to win championships, but there is no better feeling than seeing your kids graduate, get their degree and become successful in life,” Locke said. “When the players you have coached come back and tell you all about the successes and accomplishments they are having in their life that is the most rewarding part of this job.”

Brown feels Locke is the perfect fit not only for his staff, but for Lipscomb University in general.

“As a university she understands that we are going to be intentional about helping our players grow spiritually, academically and athletically to put them in the best possible position for their career,” Brown said. “She wholeheartedly understands that mission and how I want to go about leading this program.

“We are glad to have someone that is excited about being here. I joked with her that we can pay her half as much as what she was making and give her twice as many responsibilities, so she couldn’t turn a deal down like that.”