Utah State head women’s basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner announced Monday that Crystal Robinson will be joining the Aggie coaching staff beginning in May.
Robinson comes to Utah State with both extensive playing and coaching credentials. She has been the head coach of Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla., since 2009. The Lady Aggies had an overall record of 79-37 under her watch.
“I have known Crystal as a coach and opposing player relationship probably over 20 years ago. Crystal is probably the best female basketball player I have ever seen at the college level. And through the years, she has an outstanding resume of experience as player and also as a coach both at home at the college level and the WNBA level and internationally in Italy and Russia. Her resume just says ‘been there done that.’ So we are looking forward to her expertise on our staff, her recruiting contacts and everything that comes with Crystal Robinson,” Finkbeiner said.
Robinson had a storied collegiate career at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla. She was an NAIA All-American from 1994-96 along with earning Player of the Year honors as a senior in 1996. Robinson was named NAIA National Championship Tournament MVP two-straight seasons after leading the Lady Savages to back-to-back second-place finishes.
She averaged 27.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game during her final two collegiate seasons. Robinson scored a career-high 65 points in a single game during the 1995-96 season at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
She went on to play in the American Basketball League and the Women’s National Basketball Association. In the ABL, she was named Rookie of the Year in 1999, playing for the Colorado Xplosion. In the WNBA, Robinson played for the New York Liberty (1999-2005) and the Washington Mystics (2006-07). The Mystics advanced to the WNBA quarterfinals in 2006.
Internationally, Robinson also had extensive experience, earning a FIBA Euro Cup Championship in 2006. She played in the Israeli League Championship and was a finalist for the Israeli Cup Championship in 2005. Robinson was also an Italian League all-star in 2002.
She began her coaching career as an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics in 2005. Her focus with the Mystics was player development, strength and conditioning, as well camps and clinics. She then returned to the Sooner State as the head coach at McAlester High School in McAlester, Okla. She led the Buffaloes to the 2010 5A State Championship.
Her next coaching move was to Tishomingo as the Murray State College head coach in 2009.
She graduated with a degree in health and physical education. Robinson was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
She replaces Robert Donaldson who left Utah State to pursue other professional endeavors. She joins current assistant coaches Stu Sells and Micah Thompson, rounding out Finkbeiner's coaching staff. The Aggies ended the 2012-13 season with an 18-14 in Finkbeiner's first season. USU had a 10-4 conference record and advanced to the Women's Basketball Invitational.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.