April 19, 2012
Darin Spence has been named the Head Women's Basketball Coach at Newman University, Director of Athletics Vic Trilli announced Thursday.
"Darin will be an absolute great fit for Newman University," Trilli said. "He has had success at every level of college basketball, including eight years at the Division 1 level. He brings an experience factor and big time family values that will provide some stability for our program."
With a career coaching record of 444-222 as a head women's basketball coach, Spence comes to Newman after a one-year stint at Barton County Community College, where he began the resurrection of the once-proud women's basketball program. He led the Cougars to an 18-13 record in his first season, including wins over Jayhawk Conference powers Coffeyville, Seward County and Cloud County, and a pair of wins over Butler.
Prior to Barton, Spence was the Head Women's Basketball Coach at New Mexico State University, where he led the Aggies for eight seasons. With 109 wins in those eight years, Spence is current the second-winningest head coach in NMSU women's basketball history. He is one of only five coaches in Aggie history to achieve a 20-win season, and is one of only three coaches in Western Athletic Conference tournament history to guide his team to three-straight championship games. Spence also led the NMSU program to a post-season appearance (Women's NIT) for only the fourth time in program history, and is only the third coach in the program's history to do so. His peers recognized him for his accomplishments at NMSU by nominating him for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year award in four seasons.
Spence's coaching career started at his alma mater, Marymount College, in Salina, Kan. The 1985 graduate spent three years coaching at Marymount, including a 29-7 record in his first and only season as head coach during the 1987-88 campaign. He spent the next five seasons as the head coach at Butler Community College, where he recorded a 117-47 record, with two Jayhawk Western Division titles, and a pair of trips to the NJCAA Region VI finals. He then transitioned to the men's game, where he spent two seasons as an assistant at Cowley Community College, and two seasons as a head coach at Colby Community College.
In 1997, Spence returned to Cowley, this time as the Head Women's Basketball Coach. Over the next six years, he compiled a 171-26 record, and led Cowley to five Jayhawk East titles. He also earned four Jayhawk East Coach of the Year awards after positioning the Tigers in the national rankings in each of his six seasons.
Spence and his wife, Andre', have four children; Sierra (24), Madison (22), who played for Spence at NMSU, Sacia (17) and Drake (17).