University of Massachusetts women’s basketball head coach Tory Verdi welcomes Sheila Roux, Danny Hughes and Candice Walker to his coaching staff, he announced on Wednesday.
“I’m excited to bring Sheila Roux and Danny Hughes to the University of Massachusetts to join Candice Walker and I on staff,” Verdi said. “Sheila and Danny bring many years of coaching experience and player development. In a short time, Candice has proven she’s a valuable asset to the University, our staff and our student-athletes. This is a positive next step in the building of our championship-caliber program.”
Roux joins the Massachusetts staff as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after three seasons at Columbia University and three seasons at Illinois State. She served as interim head coach at Columbia for the 2015-16 season, leading the Lions to their best non-conference record in school history (11-4) and third-best overall record in school history.
Roux served as Columbia’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator in 2014-15 and assistant coach in 2013-14. The Lions’ 2015 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the Ivy League and No. 57 nationally by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Additionally, all three of Roux’s seasons at Illinois State resulted in post-season appearances, including the WNIT Final Four in 2013-14.
“I am extremely excited to join Coach Verdi’s staff at UMass,” Roux said. “The vision that Coach Verdi and the administration have for our program is second-to-none and I am humbled to be a part of it. I look forward to working with our student-athletes to help them become strong, confident young women while competing for championships.”
Hughes will serve as assistant coach and arrives in Amherst after spending the previous seven seasons at SMU. His previous Division I stops also include St. John’s (2008-09) and University of Houston (2005-08). He was interim head coach at UH for the 2007-08 season.
During Hughes’ time at SMU, he was part of a staff that helped lead the Mustangs to back-to-back postseason appearances after a two-year stretch of losing records. SMU won the 2012-13 Conference USA Championship with C-USA Player of the Year Keena Mays.
“I’m excited to be part of a great staff here at the University of Massachusetts,” Hughes said. “I look forward to seeing the program reach new heights in the coming years.”
Walker, who previously served as director of operations at UMass, will move into an assistant coach role. She joined the Massachusetts staff in July 2015. She spent the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons as an assistant coach at Wilmington University.
Walker played in 117 career games at Loyola (Md.) University, the sixth-most in school history. She led all Mid-American Conference rookies in points and assists as a freshman during the 2007-08 campaign en route to MAAC All-Rookie Team honors.
“I am so thankful, humbled and excited for the opportunity to get back on the court and coach under Tory Verdi,” Walker said. “Coach Tory is someone I have grown to admire and appreciate in a short amount of time. He is a first-class coach, a true professional and a proven winner. The offer to be part of his new staff, along with Danny and Sheila, was one that I hoped for and couldn’t pass up.”