Original article (Ronald Hughey Introduced as Women’s Basketball Head Coach) on the University of Houston’s athletic website uhcougars.com.
Former Florida State assistant coach Ronald Hughey was formally introduced as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Houston by Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades during a Tuesday afternoon press conference inside the Carl Lewis Auditorium.
Hughey becomes the Cougars’ seventh head coach in the program’s 39-year history, replacing Todd Buchanan, who resigned due to personal reasons last December. Wade Scott took over on an interim basis for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.
“As we went through this coaching search, we spoke with many different people who knew Coach Hughey well, on and off the court. His energy, excitement and commitment to his student-athletes were apparent from our first meeting and from many discussions with those who have worked with him. He has prepared himself well for this opportunity working for some proven head coaches. He is very well versed in the x’s and o’s, player development and is a proven recruiter and relationship builder. He is one of the rising stars in this industry and we’re excited to have him join our University of Houston Athletics family,” Rhoades said.
Hughey comes to Houston with 10 years of Division I coaching experience and is widely thought of as one of the profession’s rising stars, as he has helped guide five different schools to postseason appearances in each of the last seven years, including taking six consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament with four separate programs.
Since 2008, Hughey’s teams have never finished below .500, and he has helped haul in three top-15 nationally ranked recruiting classes over the last four seasons with two separate programs in Florida State and Texas.
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank god because without him none of this would have been possible. I’d also like to thank everyone else who was involved in this selection process and having the confidence in me to come in and take this program back to the top where it belongs. The University of Houston is one of the best schools in the nation and I’m just elated to be here and get this thing going, “Hughey said.
Hughey spent the previous two seasons at Florida State (2012-14), guiding the Seminoles to two consecutive NCAA Second Rounds, while collecting a 44-22 record during his tenure there, that is the most wins he’s collected at any one program.
Known for his keen ability to evaluate talent and recruit, Hughey helped develop Natasha Howard into WBCA Honorable Mention All-American, an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and a Senior CLASS Second Team All-American at Florida State. Howard was recently selected as the fifth overall pick by the Indiana Fever in the 2014 WNBA Draft, making her highest WNBA Draft selection in FSU history.
With Hughey’s assistance the Seminoles tallied a school-record and league-best three players on the All-ACC First Team during the 2012-13 campaign, while he helped develop forward Chelsea Davis, who signed a professional contract overseas with Gran Canaria for the 2013-14 season.
On the recruiting circuit, Hughey played a big part in helping Florida State sign one of the nation’s top classes in 2013, as the group was ranked as the nation’s No. 7 class by All-Star Girls Report and No. 11 by ESPNW HoopGurlz. The group included three top-100 players, including McDonald’s All-American Kai James.
Before coming to Florida State, Hughey spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas. While in Austin, he helped the program advance to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and helped land consecutive top-15 recruiting classes.
Hughey lived up to his reputation as being one of the best recruiters in the game, signing the nation’s No. 12 class in 2012 and country’s 10th best class in 2011.
In addition to his stellar recruiting reputation, Hughey has also shown the ability to develop talent in the state of Texas, as he worked extensively with 2012 Big 12 All-Defensive honoree and post standout Ashley Gayle, while seven different players earned all-league honors during his two-year stint with the Longhorns.
Before heading to the Southwest, Hughey spent the 2009-10 campaign coaching at Rutgers. Under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer, he helped guide the Scarlet Knights to what was then their eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
He played a primary role in Rutgers’ recruiting efforts during his time in New Jersey.
Previously, Hughey served as the recruiting coordinator at UCF during the 2008-09 season. Under the leadership of current head coach Joi Williams, Hughey helped guide the Knights to one of the most exciting runs in program history, as they were able to win four games in four days to claim the Conference USA Tournament crown and the school’s third NCAA Tournament berth. UCF defeated Houston in the quarterfinals of that tournament.
During his stay in Orlando, he enticed Gevenia Carter to sign with the Knights, marking the program’s first-ever Top-100 recruit.
A native of Columbia, S.C., Hughey was also an assistant coach as South Carolina from 2007-08, helping guide the Gamecocks to a WNIT Second Round appearance in the SEC.
He earned his first Division I coaching gig at South Carolina State (2004-07), where he spent three seasons there as an assistant coach.