Oct. 10, 2012
HOUSTON- Rice women's basketball has announced the hires of Holly Long to be Director of Women's Basketball Operations and Bianca Smith as video coordinator. Long moves to the Director of Operations position after spending the past season as an Academic Advising Coordinator at Rice, while Smith comes to Rice after serving as a GA at Texas Southern and playing professionally in Lithuania in 2011-12.
"It's exciting to be able to represent Rice, a university I have grown to love, in a new role," said Long. "I'm thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful staff."
"We are excited to get someone with Holly's collegiate experience in this position," said Head Coach Greg Williams. "She will be able to make an impact immediately in many areas of the team."
Prior to teaming up with the Owls, Long spent four years as an assistant basketball coach at Texas State University where the team won the 2008 Southland Conference regular season title and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. Before she joined the Texas State staff, Long spent one season at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where she helped guide the Crimson Hawks to a 2007 PSAC Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen.
Previous to IUP, Long spent two seasons at Sam Houston State as a graduate assistant coach, completing her master's degree in kinesiology (2006). Long also spent two seasons in the junior college ranks coaching at Grayson County College and Kilgore College before her SHSU stint. Both teams reached their respective Regional Tournaments in Long's season on the sidelines. Long, competing as Holly Sartor, completed her undergraduate degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in teacher education at LeTourneau University (2002). A four-year letter winner at LU, Sartor was twice named an All-Conference Academic selection and helped lead her team to the Regional Tournament three times.
"Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to Coach Williams, his staff and Rice University for giving me this opportunity," said Smith. "Coach Williams has created an amazing women's basketball program here at Rice and I look forward to assisting him and the staff in getting to the NCAA Tournament"
"We are thankful for this newly-created position to our program by Athletic Director Rick Greenspan," said Williams. "Bianca brings Division I playing experience to this position after playing on powerful high school teams at Houston Bellaire. She will bring much energy to this position and will help improve our team and players individually with the increased opportunity to see themselves on DVD. She will also assist our coaching staff in preparing for our opponents by breaking down film."
Smith spent the 2011-12 season at Texas Southern, where she was a graduate assistant responsible for breaking down and editing film. The Tigers won a game in the SWAC Conference Tournament, and posted non-conference victories over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist while she was with the Tigers.
Prior to joining the Tigers, Smith was an assistant to the head coach at Bellaire High School, where the Cardinal went 20-9 and advanced to the second round of the State Playoffs.
In addition, she is an instructor for Point Guard College, and an assistant coach for AAU Houston Elite. She was an event management assistant for IMG College during the 2011 NCAA Men's Final Four, co-hosted by Rice, helping with the ancillary events to the Final Four.
Smith was a four-year letterwinner for the Colorado Buffaloes from 2006-10. She finished her career as Colorado's all-time leader in 3-pointers made and attempted.
She was 2009-10 Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 12.8 points per game off the bench. She finished her career at Colorado 18th on Colorado's all-time scoring list with 1,138 points. She participated in the 3-point competition at the 2010 Final Four in Indianapolis. She played professionally in Lithuania during 2012.
The Owls begin their season on Nov. 11, hosting Prairie View A&M at 7 p.m.