EUGENE, Ore. – Women’s basketball assistant coach Kai Felton has announced today that she is leaving her position at the University of Oregon to pursue other professional opportunities.
Felton has spent two seasons at Oregon, after being hired by head coach Paul Westhead in April of 2009.
“This was a difficult decision for me,” Felton said. “I have enjoyed my time at the University of Oregon with the coaching staff, administration and student-athletes that I have had the privilege to work with.”
During her time at with the Ducks, Felton worked with Oregon’s backcourt, coaching Pac-10 all-conference guards Micaela Cocks, Nia Jackson and Taylor Lilley.
“It was an amazing opportunity to work with coach Westhead over the last two seasons,” Felton said. “He is a remarkable mentor, and I was fortunate enough to learn from and coach alongside him, but this was both a personal and professional decision that I needed to make at this time in my career.”
Off the floor, Felton aided Oregon in recruiting, and after two years of tireless efforts, the Ducks brought in what was considered to be by ESPN, the 48th-ranked class in the country in 2011.
Last season, Felton worked with Pac-10 all-conference guard Nia Jackson as the junior produced the best season of her career in coach Westhead’s uptempo offense. Before two knee injuries caused her to miss the second half of the Pac-10 season, Jackson led the Pac-10 in scoring (17.0 ppg), assists (5.7 apg) and assist-to-turnover (1.9).
With Jackson out of the lineup, Felton worked with true freshman Ariel Thomas to take over starting point guard duties as the rookie averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game during the final nine games of the season.
Felton spent the majority of her time recruiting in California, helping bring in Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.), Deanna Weaver (Santa Clara, Calif.), and Janitah Iamaleava (Long Beach, Calif) as part of the Ducks’ 2010 and 2011 classes, respectively.
During her time at Oregon, the Ducks totaled a 31-33 record. Oregon set countless offensive records including points scored in a season (2,767; 2009-10) and 3-pointers made in a season (284; 2009-10).
For the last two seasons, Oregon’s offense has ranked in the top-15 in the country in scoring, including ranking second in the nation during the 2009-10 season averaging 81.4 points per game.
From 3-point range, Oregon also ranked in the top-10 in back-to-back seasons, including finishing third in the country last season knocking down 8.5 3-pointers per game.
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