When Jeff Judkins retired after more than two decades as BYU women’s head basketball coach earlier this year, many thought that assistant coach Lee Cummard — who played on the men’s team from 2005-2009 and has been an assistant for both the men’s and women’s squads since — could be in the driver’s seat to replace him.
Idaho high school coach Amber Whiting got the job instead, but on Friday evening, BYU announced that Cummard has been elevated from assistant to associate head coach.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Lee with me as associate head coach,” Whiting said in a news release statement. “Not only was he an amazing player here at The Y, but he brings a wealth of coaching knowledge and experience.
“Lee has established himself as a great recruiter, and I see him continuing in that capacity, along with expounding upon skill development, game prep and in-game tactics/adjustments. I’m looking forward to working side-by-side with him as we take on this new challenge.”
Cummard has been with the women’s team for the past three seasons.
“BYU is a special place,” Cummard said in the news release. “The game of basketball is special. I’m lucky to be a part of this new era of BYU women’s basketball.
“Thrilled to be working alongside Coach Whiting, our staff, with our current players and future players.”
Last season, Cummard filled in for Judkins for three games as Judkins dealt with COVID-19 and went 3-0, which included wins over No. 17 Florida State, No. 22 West Virginia and Utah State.
Prior to joining the women’s coaching staff, Cummard was an assistant on the men’s side during the 2018-2019 season, and he was a graduate assistant two years before that.
As a player, he was a three-time All-Mountain West Conference player, including being named to the First Team twice.
In the 2007-2008 season, he was MWC Co-Player of the Year with New Mexico’s J.R. Giddens, and he received All-America honorable mention recognition from the Associated Press.
As Cummard moves into his new role, BYU is already dealing with attrition that often comes with coaching changes, as the team’s best player, Shaylee Gonzales, formally announced Friday that she’s entering the transfer portal after news broke Thursday that she was doing so.