Kamie Ethridge signs contract extension

Ethridge’s 51 wins in first four seasons lead WSU to new heights



Kamie Ethridge coaches the WSU women’s basketball team on Feb. 2, 2020.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports editor

WSU is keeping its most successful women’s basketball coach on the Palouse.

On Tuesday, Kamie Ethridge, WSU women’s basketball head coach, signed a contract extension that keeps her in Pullman through the 2027-28 season.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding athletics across the country, there is zero uncertainty in my belief in this great university and the leadership we have in place,” Ethridge said in a WSU Athletics article. “I love Pullman and this community and I look forward to continuing to build and grow the success of our program. Go Cougs!”

In four seasons on the Palouse, Ethridge has led the Cougs to 51 wins and two consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament (2021, 2022)  for the first time in program history, according to WSU Athletics.

Prior to Ethridge’s tenure, the Cougs had only visited the NCAA tournament once, in 1991.

WSU’s international recruiting under Ethridge has been top-notch. The 2022-23 women’s basketball’s 13-person roster features players from eight countries including Australia, New Zealand and Estonia.

Eight players, seven of which are actively on the team, have played for their respective countries’ national teams including Ula Motuga (Australia), Johanna Tedder (Estonia), and both Leger-Walker sisters, Krystal, who graduated last year, and Charlisse (New Zealand).

Ethridge’s current roster features award-winners Bella Murekatete, the 2021-22 Pac-12 Co-Most Improved Player of the Year and Charlisse, 2021-22 All-Pac-12 player.

Last season, Ethridge’s Cougs set program records for total regular season wins (19) and conference wins (11). En route to a fourth seed in the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament which guaranteed them a first-round bye.

Ethridge’s prior deal was through the 2026-27 season. Her one-year extension ensures that Ethridge can recruit players with the confidence she is under contract for the next five seasons after 2022-23, which could be the 2023 recruits’ entire college career.

In 2021, WSU paid Ethridge $406,700, according to fiscal.wa.gov.

Academically, WSU women’s basketball has thrived thanks to Ethridge’s leadership with a team GPA of 3.629 in 2020-21, the highest in program history. In 2021-22, WSU was selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the first time in program history. They posted the 20th-best team GPA in all of NCAA Division I women’s basketball. 

“Coach Ethridge continues to lead our women’s basketball program to unprecedented heights,” WSU Athletics Director Pat Chun, said in a statement. “Kamie’s commitment to building a program centered on excellence has been inspiring to watch. We are appreciative of the incredible achievements these past few years and excited for what the future holds.”

WSU women’s basketball opens their 2022-23 pre-season at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 and opens their regular season at noon on Nov. 7. Both games will be played at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.