Aston likely to be named coach Tuesday as regents allow hiring

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Former Texas assistant Karen Aston, the head coach at North Texas last year, is set to be introduced as the Longhorns’ head women’s basketball coach after the UT System Board of Regents authorized Texas women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky and school president Bill Powers to make a hire.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The Longhorns got one step closer to signing their next head coach on Monday.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents authorized the hiring of a new women’s basketball coach in a special meeting Monday morning. The regents granted both President Bill Powers and women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky the authority to execute a contract.

School officials have scheduled a Tuesday morning press conference to introduce the new head coach. Although a replacement has yet to be officially named, it appears as if North Texas’ Karen Aston will be next to lead the Longhorns.

Aston, 47, visited the 40 Acres last week to interview with Powers and school officials, and Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey told the Austin-American Statesman this weekend that Aston had text messaged her saying that she would be taking the job at Texas.

Aston spent eight years with the Longhorns as an assistant under Hall of Fame head coach Jody Conradt. Aston was the recruiting coordinator for much of her first stint at Texas, a tenure that included seven trips to the NCAA tournament and a Final Four appearance in 2003.

After leaving Texas, Aston spent a year as Mulkey’s associate head coach at Baylor before starting her head-coaching career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She spent four years with the 49ers before resigning and eventually taking the job at North Texas to be closer to her family in Arkansas. In her only year with the Mean Green, Aston was 15-16. Although her team failed to reach the .500 mark, they were a much-improved squad compared to the previous season when they won only five games.

Aston will be replacing Gail Goestenkors, who resigned on March 20 after five seasons with the Longhorns. After failing to advance past the first round of the NCAA tournament in each of the last four years, Goestenkors said she was “tired” and needed a break from the game of basketball.

Printed on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 as: Aston likely to be named coach today as regents authorize hire