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Arizona assistant Morgan Valley named head coach at Hartford

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Connecticut v USC Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Arizona women’s basketball assistant coach Morgan Valley has been named the head coach at Hartford, it was announced Wednesday.

It is a homecoming of sorts for Valley, who won three national championships as a player down the road at UConn.

“I am so happy for Morgan,” said UA head coach Adia Barnes. “The University of Hartford has made a great decision in choosing her to lead their program to championships. She has a great basketball mind, a tireless work ethic and she will develop her players on and off of the court. This is a dream job for her and exactly where she wanted to be and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for her.”

Valley joined Barnes’ staff prior to the 2017-18 season. Barnes called it the “best hire in the country” at the time.

“She comes from a championship pedigree having won three National Championships at UConn, while playing in four Final Fours. Morgan’s addition not only gives us an incredible basketball mind, but a specialist in player development and scouting, and a coach who knows how to build a championship culture,” Barnes said.

“I have known her for many years and would go to battle with her any day. She can instill her work ethic and mentality into our players. She can also relate to them because she has been there, and that has extreme value to me. She was instrumental in the success of Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor at Washington. Not too many coaches have her background. Morgan is the complete package and is a perfect complement to our staff.”

Valley helped the Wildcats secure their highly-regarded 2018 recruiting class and was instrumental in the development of sophomore Sam Thomas, who made the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team in 2018.

Prior to joining Arizona’s staff, Valley was an assistant at Washington for two years. One of those years overlapped when Barnes was on staff at UW.

Valley inherits a Hartford team that is coming off three straight winning seasons — including the program’s first 20-plus win campaign since 2013 in 2019 — and consecutive America East Championship appearances. The Hawks, who have won five America East Championships and have made six NCAA Tournament appearances since 2002, returned to the postseason for the first time since 2013 this past season with a WNIT bid.

Some information provided by Hartford press release