Above photo from the Hawai’i Pacific University Athletics Department
BELTON-Per a release on Thursday morning from the UMHB Athletics Department, D-II All-American Abby Spurgin has joined the UMHB women’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach for the 2023-24 season. It will be the program’s first under head coach Katie Novak-Lenoir.
Spurgin and Novak-Lenoir teamed up once before, having led D-II Hawai’i Pacific University to a 14-14 record this past season. With Novak-Lenoir as head coach, and Spurgin, an impact transfer from West Texas A&M, the Sharks found early success on the court.
A native of Fredericksburg, Texas, Spurgin finished the 2022-23 campaign as the PacWest Conference Player of the Year and an All-America selection by both the D2CAA and WBCA. She averaged 22.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.44 blocks per contest, ranking fifth in the country in the latter number. Her seven blocks in a game against Dominican also set an HPU record, and she led the nation in scoring for multiple weeks during the regular season.
Now the duo will be on the same sideline once again, as Spurgin enters her first season in coaching.
“I am thrilled to be back in a Christian community and at a Christ-centered university,” Spurgin said in Thursday morning’s press release. “I’ve had the opportunity to play at different colleges and learn what is needed to compete for championships. I am blessed that Coach Katie Novak-Lenoir is giving me the opportunity to work with her in developing student-athletes. I look forward to transforming the lives of these athletes not only on the court but also in their Christian faith.”
Said Novak-Lenoir in the release: “I am thrilled to have Abby join the Cru. She has reached elite levels of achievement through her basketball career, both from an individual and team perspective.
“Abby has a great basketball mind and knows the basketball philosophy we will be teaching inside and out. She is a fantastic addition to our team and I know our players will thrive under her guidance and leadership.”