April 20, 2010
HOUSTON - Following a successful five-year run as the head coach at Houston Baptist that followed a stint as the top assistant on the Cougar sideline, Todd Buchanan was announced Wednesday as the new head coach of the University of Houston women's basketball team.
Buchanan became the sixth coach in Houston women's basketball history and brings with him a solid resume as a head coach and as a recruiter, a role in which he helped bring to UH a pair of players who went on to become WNBA top 10 draft picks.
"As our process went along, I became more and more impressed with Todd's abilities as a coach and as a great mentor for student-athletes," Houston director of athletics Mack Rhoades said. "His familiarity with the program and the respect he has earned from coaches around the city of Houston and in AAU circles are great advantages for our program."
Under his guidance, HBU won a Red River Athletic Conference regular-season championship, a pair of RRAC Tournament titles and finished in the top 25 twice, including a No. 6 ranking to end the 2005-06 campaign. The Huskies boasted numerous All-America and Academic All-America selections during his tenure.
Prior to his appointment as the head coach at HBU, Buchanan spent five seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cougars. His time at UH coincided with the best five-year run in UH women's basketball program history, averaging more than 21 victories a season, including a school-record 28-win campaign in 2003-04. The Cougars also reached the postseason four of the five seasons Buchanan was on staff.
"He was a crucial part of our staff when we enjoyed the most successful seasons in our program's history and helped to recruit two of the most storied players in Cougar history," Rhoades added. "He's done very well at Houston Baptist, especially enduring a difficult transition to Division I, and stayed true to his core values."
Buchanan replaced Joe Curl who stepped down as head coach on March 23 after leading the program to the postseason for the eighth time in school history.
Named as the Huskies women's basketball head coach prior to the 2005-06 season, Buchanan led the HBU program for five seasons and compiled an 80-68 (.540) record. He led the program to a pair of trips to the NAIA National Tournament before leading the team through the transition to NCAA Division I.
In his first year, Buchanan guided the Huskies to a 28-4 season that included Red River Athletic Conference regular-season and postseason tournament championships. During the NAIA National Tournament, he led the team to a Sweet 16 appearance. At the conclusion of the season, HBU was ranked sixth in the national polls.
Following up his successful first campaign, Buchanan's 2006-07 HBU squad lost only three games en route to a 27-3 season where it again claimed the RRAC Tournament championship. Advancing to the NAIA National Tournament for a second straight season under Buchanan, the Huskies advanced to the field's final eight before finishing the season ranked 22nd nationally.
Houston Baptist began the unenviable transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I during Buchanan's third year at the school and, despite these challenges, Buchanan guided the Huskies to a 14-11 record during its first year of the transition.
Among the standouts coached by Buchanan at HBU were Jere' Adams, Sherill Hadrick, Velencia Kuykendall and Dominique Thomas, who were all named All-Americans. His teams were also solid in the classroom as represented by Academic All-America selections in Kuykendall, Ashley Davis and Jessica Brantley.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
Joining the coaching staff of former UH head coach Joe Curl, Buchanan spent five seasons on the Cougar sideline and helped lead the team to the postseason four times. Additionally with Buchanan's help, standouts Chandi Jones and Sancho Lyttle were recruited to Houston where they developed into top-10 draft picks in the WNBA.
In his first season in Houston during the 2000-01 campaign, the Cougars made the postseason for the first time in nine seasons as they won 19 games and appeared in the Women's National Invitational Tournament.
The following year, Houston set a then-school record with 26 wins and was again a part of the WNIT field where it won four consecutive games before falling 54-52 against Oregon in the championship game.
During the 2003-04 season, Buchanan and the Cougars reached new heights by compiling a school-record 28-4 record and claiming both the Conference USA regular-season and postseason tournament championships. UH appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992, and Jones became the school's only First Team All-American. The program also earned its first NCAA Tournament win as the Cougars defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay 62-47.
A second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament followed during the 2004-05 season, and Jones was later named C-USA Player of the Decade. Both Jones and Lyttle went on to play in the WNBA, and Lyttle was selected as an All-Star while playing for the Atlanta Dream in 2009.
EARLY COACHNG CAREER
Buchanan spent two seasons (1998-2000) as an assistant coach at East Carolina, after his first head coaching job at the University of Montevallo, where he coached from 1996-98.
Prior to Montevallo, Buchanan had coaching stops at Oral Roberts (1995-96) and at his alma mater of Murray State (1992-95). He has also coached at Lyon Country High School (Eddyville, Ky.), Murray High School (Murray Ky.) and Calloway County Middle and High School (Murray, Ky.)
Buchanan is a 1995 graduate of Murray State, where he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in health.
Buchanan and his wife Michelle have a 2-year old son, Colton, and live in Pearland. His father, Tom, enjoyed a successfully coaching career at both Texas and Kentucky after playing college basketball at Eastern New Mexico.
WHAT THEY SAYING ABOUT Todd Buchanan
"As this process went along, I became more and more impressed with Todd's abilities as a coach and as a great mentor for student-athletes. His familiarity with the program and the respect he has earned from coaches around the city of Houston and in AAU circles are great advantages for our program. He was a crucial part of our staff when we enjoyed the most successful seasons in our program's history and helped to recruit two of the most storied players in Cougars history. He's done very well at Houston Baptist, especially enduring a difficult transition to Division I, and stayed true to his core values."
Mack Rhoades, University of Houston Director of Athletics
"University of Houston has hired a young man who just loves UH. He loves it. He's going to do a great job because of the passion he shares for the University. When he was an assistant, he loved it and worked so hard. Todd Buchanan will make an outstanding head coach at Houston."
Van Chancellor, LSU Women's Basketball Head Coach
"Coach Buchanan was willing to teach, encourage and get the most out of his players. Having been in the United States for only two years before arriving at the University of Houston, I was not very basketball savvy. He was a great mentor to me and I wish him, and UH much success"
Sancho Lyttle, WNBA All-Star with the Atlanta Dream and former UH standout
"Houston has made an excellent choice in Todd Buchanan. He has great energy, is a tireless recruiter and has a very good basketball mind. His contacts in and around Houston will be invaluable as he builds the future of Houston Basketball.
Andy Landers, Georgia Women's Basketball Head Coach
"I have known Todd for many years. He does a great job coaching and recruiting. I have no doubt that will continue while Todd is at Houston."
Jeff Walz, Louisville Women's Basketball Head Coach