Leilani Mitchell scores 19 points and dishes out 13 assists
15 NCAA Tournament Appearances
2006 Elite Eight
2001 and 2006 Sweet 16
Over 500 Career Wins
19 Postseason Appearances
15 Conference Championships
26 Winning Seasons
Four players drafted by the WNBA (Kim Smith, Shona Thorburn, Leilani Mitchell and Morgan Warburton)
17 players with All-America honors
Won more games than any other school in the Mountain West Conference
Head Coach: Utah (1983-2010)
Assistant Coach: Utah (1979-83)
Head Coach: U.S. Olympic Festival (1990)
Assistant Coach: U.S. Junior National Team (1991)
Head Coach: Boise High School (1977-79)
Awards and Honors
2001 John and Nellie Wooden National Coach of the Year
WBCA District Coach of the Year: 2009, 2008, 2001, 2000, 1998
MWC Coach of the Year: 2008, 2003, 2001, 2000
WAC Division Coach of the Year: 1999, 1998, 1997
HCAC Coach of the Year:1989, 1986
Longtime Utah women's basketball coach Elaine Elliott has firmly entrenched her name in the history books as one of the greatest coaches of all time. Elliott retired from Utah in 2011 after a year's leave of absence.
Through 27 seasons as head coach at Utah, the longest-tenured coach in the Mountain West Conference compiled a 582-234 career record (.713 winning percentage) with the Utes.
Elliott solidified her name among the most elite coaches in the country when she earned her 500th win with a 73-57 victory over Colorado State on Jan. 12, 2007. Her 20, 20-win seasons are among the national coaching leaders.
Over the past 27 years, Elliott lead Utah to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 regular-season conference titles, three conference divisional crowns and seven league tournament championships. She had just one losing season and has never posted a conference mark below .500. Elliott coached at least one first-team all-conference player in every season but one. Utah reached the conference championship game in all but seven MWC, Western Athletic Conference and High Country Athletic tournaments ever held.
The peak of her success has come during the Mountain West Conference era. She won seven of 10 regular-season titles and three MWC tournaments with a 130-34 (.793) record in conference action.
In 2000-01, Utah went 28-4 with an undefeated 14-0 record in conference play, a feat that had been achieved only one other time in school history. In the NCAA Tournament, Utah hosted the first and second rounds at the Huntsman Center and advanced to its first-ever Sweet 16. The Utes ended their season with a 69-54 loss to Notre Dame, the eventual national champion. Amy Ewert and Lauren Beckman both earned All-America honors that year.
The 2005-06 squad won the MWC Tournament and advanced all the way to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament behind the play of All-Americans Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn. Utah nearly continued to the Final Four before falling to Maryland, the eventual national champion, in overtime and finishing with a 27-7 record.
Most recently, the 2007-08 team set a Utah and conference record with a 16-0 mark, finishing the year 27-5 on the heels of All-American Leilani Mitchell.
In the WAC in 1997-98, Elliott guided the Utah program to new heights. The Utes entered the national polls for the first time in the program's history on Dec. 29 and remained there for 11 consecutive weeks, climbing as high as a tie for No. 9 in the USA Today/ESPN poll. It was the highest ranking ever earned by a WAC team at the time. Utah won its first 16 games, the best start to a season in Utah and WAC history.
The 1996-97 Utes reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Elliott has a 9-15 overall record in NCAA Tournament play.
Elliott has coached 17 players to All-America honors with eight players combining for 11 conference player of the year honors. Her players are scattered throughout the Utah, MWC and WAC record books. She has coached 16 1,000-point scorers.
Smith and Mitchell both earned the highest accolades as third-team Associated Press All-Americans each of their respective senior seasons. Smith (2002-06) was a four-time MWC Player of the Year and just the second player in NCAA history to win a league Player of the Year award four times. She finished her career as the MWC leader in both points (2,281) and rebounds (1,015). Mitchell (2008), the 2008 MWC Player of the Year, was a finalist for the Lieberman Award, which is given to the top point guard in the country. Her 7.5 career assists average tops the charts at Utah.
Julie Krommenhoek (1995-98), a four-time honorable mention All-American, ranks second all-time in WAC history with 2,087 points and her 17.8 career scoring average is first all-time at Utah. She also holds the WAC record with an 85.1 career free-throw percentage. Thorburn's (2002-06) 689 career assists are a MWC record. Alli Bills (1994-98) ranks second all-time in the WAC in career assists (612) and steals (230).
Deb Asper (1980-84) ranks second all-time at Utah with 1,042 career rebounds and her 2,075 points is third. She was a third-team WBCA All-American in 1984, Elliott's first year as head coach. Anne Handy (1981-85) still holds the Utah records for rebounds (1,106) and rebounding average (9.5).
Morgan Warburton, a 2009 WBCA honorable mention All-American and the 2009 MWC Player of the Year, holds the MWC record for career free-throw shooting (88.3%). Kalee Whipple earned Associated Press All-America honorable mention accolades in 2010. She holds the school and conference record for points in a game (45).
Four of Elliott's players have gone on to the WNBA. Thorburn was the highest draft pick in MWC history in 2006, going as the seventh selection to Minnesota. Smith also went 13th to Sacramento that year. Mitchell was selected 25th in the second round in 2008 by Phoenix and Warburton was a 33rd overall pick in round three by Sacramento in 2009.
Elliott has picked up numerous awards for her accomplishments. In 2001 she was the recipient of the John and Nellie Wooden Coach of the Year award. Elliott has been named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association District VII Coach of the Year five times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2009). She earned conference Coach of the Year nine times between the MWC, WAC and HCAC. Elliott has picked up four MWC Coach of the Year awards (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2008) and won three consecutive WAC Division Coach of the Year awards (1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99).
She was also recognized as the 2001 Sportsperson of the Year by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Utah State Chapter.
Elliott stepped into Utah's head coaching position in 1983, after serving as assistant the previous four years. In four years under Intermountain Region coaching legend Fern Gardner, Elliott helped guide Utah to four conference titles and four postseason appearances.
Elliott's non-Utah coaching experience includes coaching the East team to the gold medal in the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival. In 1991, she served as assistant coach of the U.S. Junior National Team.
A Lakewood, Wash., native, Elliott moved to Boise, Idaho, in the ninth grade. She went on to become a four-sport standout athlete (basketball, volleyball, field hockey and softball) at Boise State University and was the first woman inducted into the BSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
After earning a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1977, Elliott became head coach at Boise High School. She led her prep squad to the state championship and was named Idaho A-1 Coach of the Year.
In June of 1997, Elliott was inducted into the Utah Summer Games Hall of Honor, which recognizes those who have played a monumental role in sports in the state of Utah. She was also inducted into the Idaho High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. Elliott was named the Utah Sportsperson of the Year in 2001 at the MS Society Dinner of Champions.
Elliott holds a master's degree in sport management, which she earned from Utah in 1994.
She was a member of the USA Basketball Collegiate Committee, which is responsible for player selection for the various USA Basketball teams, from 2002 through 2004.
Year-By-Year Coaching Record
|1983-84||19-12||9-3 (HCAC)||T-2nd||NWIT Third Round|
|1985-86||21-8||11-1 (HCAC)||1st||NCAA First Round|
|1988-89||24-6||9-1 (HCAC)||1st||NCAA First Round|
|1989-90||20-10||6-4 (HCAC)||3rd||NCAA First Round|
|1990-91||20-10||9-3 (WAC)||2nd||NCAA First Round|
|1994-95||23-7||12-2 (WAC)||2nd||NCAA First Round|
|1995-96||21-8||12-2 (WAC)||T-1st||NCAA First Round|
|1996-97||25-6||15-1 (WAC)||1st*||NCAA Second Round|
|1997-98||21-6||11-3 (WAC)||1st*||NCAA First Round|
|1998-99||21-7||12-2 (WAC)||2nd*||WNIT First Round|
|1999-00||23-8||11-3 (MWC)||1st||NCAA First Round|
|2000-01||28-4||14-0 (MWC)||1st||NCAA Sweet 16|
|2002-03||24-7||12-2 (MWC)||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|2004-05||26-8||12-2 (MWC)||T-1st||NCAA Second Round|
|2005-06||27-7||12-4 (MWC)||2nd||NCAA Elite 8|
|2006-07||19-14||10-6 (MWC)||5th||WNIT Second Round|
|2007-08||27-5||16-0 (MWC)||1st||NCAA First Round|
|2008-09||23-10||13-3 (MWC)||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|2009-10||23-12||10-6 (MWC)||4th||WNIT Second Round|
|27 Years||582-234 (.713)||291-77 (.791)|