Former longtime TCU assistant coach Tonya Benton joined the University of Houston women's basketball program as an assistant coach, head coach Ronald Hughey announced on May 19, 2014.
Benton's coaching success has been well documented throughout the state of Texas, as she comes to Houston with 12 years of Division I coaching experience, all at TCU, as she helped guide the Horned Frogs to 11 consecutive postseason appearances and nine trips to the NCAA Tournament, while never posting a losing season during her time there.
"Tonya brings a wealth of winning experience to this program," said Hughey. "She's someone who understands the state of Texas and what this place has to offer basketball wise. She's a proven winner, a great x's and o's coach, and most importantly shares my same vision. She understands just how special Houston can be. We're extremely excited to have her here."
The Horned Frogs enjoyed arguably the most successful decade in program history during Benton's tenure, as TCU was able to claim three regular season conference championships, three conference tournament titles, five NCAA Tournament wins, and seven postseason victories overall. She guided TCU to an overall record of 260-126 (.626) and a league mark of 135-47 (.742) during her 12 seasons on the bench.
In addition to her on-the-court success, Benton's talents extended to the recruiting circuit as well, serving as the team's recruiting coordinator for five seasons (2007-12). She helped oversee the development of two All-American guards and seven First Team All-Mountain West Conference players during a six-year span.
Under Benton's leadership, the Horned Frogs made history during the 2010-11 campaign, reaching the 22-win plateau for the seventh time in school history, while also becoming toe first team in Mountain West Conference history to obtain at least 11 league wins and a top three finish in six straight seasons. TCU also advanced to the MWC Tournament finals for the first time in program history that season, becoming only the second team in the state of Texas to make 11 straight postseason appearances.
Benton coached guards Helena Sverrisdottir and Emily Carter to first team all-league accolades that season, Sverrisdottir was also named to the Wooden Award and Naismith Award Watch Lists.
In 2006-07, Benton helped tutor Adrianne Ross to one of the finest seasons ever experienced by a TCU player, as she earned honorable mention All-America honors by the Associated Press and was named MWC Co-Player of the Year. Ross was also a WBCA/Kodak All-America finalist after leading the league in scoring and in steals. In addition to her success, fellow guard Ashley Davis earned second-team All-MWC honors and led the league in three-point field-goal percentage and three-pointers made.
Ross eventually went on to make school history, becoming just the second Horned Frog, and the first TCU guard to reach the WNBA when she appeared on the San Antonio Silver Stars' opening night roster to begin the 2008 campaign.
In Benton's first season at TCU, the Frogs took the basketball world by storm. It was a season of firsts for TCU, which set numerous school records including overall wins (25) and league triumphs (13). The Frogs also won their first conference title of any kind by snagging both the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament crowns. TCU landed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time and pulled off the largest first-round upset that year as a No. 11 seed by upending sixth-seeded Penn State, a Final Four team from the previous season.
Individually, the Horned Frogs' starting backcourt of Jill Sutton and Amy (Sutton) Porter received all-conference accolades. Sutton was a second-team All-WAC honoree and Porter snared a spot on the conference all-tournament squad.
Prior to coming to TCU in September of 2000, Benton served as an assistant coach at Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas.
Benton, a native of Waco, Texas, played two seasons at Cisco (Texas) Junior College from 1993 to 1995. She earned her bachelor's degree in health and human performance from Baylor University in 1999 and her master's degree in liberal arts from TCU in 2003.
Benton stepped away from coaching from 2012-14 to work as personal home trainer in Ohio before returning to the collegiate coaching ranks with Houston in May of 2014.