Women’s Basketball Coach Optimistic About Season

By Bearlain Lewis
Staff Writer

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Tanya Ray

MONTICELLO – Tanya Ray, head women’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas-Monticello, speaks optimistically about her team and the season ahead.

   On March 28, 2011, Ray became the Cotton Blossoms seventh head coach in the program’s 38-year history. She served as an assistant coach for 11 years at the NCAA Division I level.

   As the last season came to a close, the Cotton Blossoms finished 11-16. Her first season, the team consisted mostly of seniors who had a lot of experience. From a coaching standpoint, she wanted to accomplish more, but overall the team did a lot throughout the season.

   Ray is now starting her second season at UAM, and she is very optimistic about her team. Although only three players returned from last season, Ray said this year brings a different look to the team.

   “We are very young, and we are very inexperienced. As a coach, my expectations every year that I come into a season is to go out and win a conference championship,” Ray said.

   She understands not having a lot of experience this season may be difficult. But, she said this is not an excuse to meet the challenges they must face as a team. The Cotton Blossoms are currently 2-4 in the season.

   Ray said, when she accepted the position here at UAM, she understood the program had a very rich tradition in women’s basketball, and she hopes to continue that tradition. Her visions and expectations for the team is to do well and be the coach that can help turn things around and get them back where they used to be.

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