Full name: Karen Sue Aston
Date of birth: July 26, 1964
Hometown: Benton, Ark.
High school: Bryant High School (Benton, Ark.)
College: Arkansas-Little Rock ’87
Associate head coach Karen Aston just completed her eighth year in 2005-06 as a member of the Longhorns basketball staff. Since arriving on The University of Texas campus in the summer of 1998, Aston has established an excellent track record in both recruiting and on-court coaching, where she is primarily responsible for working with the Texas defense and with post play.
The last six years have been spent as the basketball recruiting coordinator for head coach Jody Conradt. Aston was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach in July of 2000 after serving at UT's assistant coach for two seasons. In this six-year span as recruiting coordinator, Aston has been instrumental in signing 25 highly-regarded and nationally-recognized recruits. UT's last eight recruiting classes have been nationally-ranked. In particular, the class of 2005-06 of seven freshmen was rated the nation's No. 1 recruiting class by the All-Star Girls Report (AGSR) recruiting service, with six of those seven recruits receiving All-America honors. The recruiting class of 2006-07 features four student-athletes and has been ranked in the top 10 by all recruiting services.
In the last four years, Texas has signed seven prestigious McDonald All-Americans in the first four years of the honor (guard Nina Norman; forward Tiffany Jackson; post Kalee Carey; current freshman guard Erika Arriaran and forwards Crystal Boyd and Earnesia Williams; along with 2006-07 recruit and guard Brittainey Raven).
In addition, seven former and current and future Longhorns have earned WBCA/Nike All-America honors (Norman, Jackson, Carey, sophomore guard Erneisha Bailey, Arriaran, Williams and Raven). Both Jackson, from Dallas, Texas, and Arriaran, from Norco, Calif., claimed high school National Player of the Year honors, with Jackson earning 2003 WBCA/State Farm and Chevrolet national player of the year honors and Arriaran gaining 2005 WBCA/State Farm and Parade Magazine player of the year accolades. Jackson also was the consensus National Freshman of the Year at Texas in 2003-04. Boyd and Williams were 2005 Gatorade State Players of the Year for the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma, respectively.
Among the other standout student-athletes in classes which Aston has coordinated recruiting efforts for include: consensus high school American Stacy Stephens, UT All-America post who was a 1999-2000 Parade and USA Today All-American and rated the nation's No. 5 power forward coming out of Winnsboro HS in Winnsboro, Texas; Heather Schreiber (Windthorst, Texas) and Kala Bowers (Woodward, Okla.), high school All-Americans and the Players of the Year in their respective states as high school seniors who both were starters all four years at Texas (2001-05).
Aston came to Austin from the University of North Texas, where she served as assistant women's basketball coach for two seasons (1996-98). Prior to joining the North Texas Lady Eagle staff, Aston was an assistant coach at Baylor for two seasons (1994-96).
Before entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Aston was recognized as one of the top high school women's coaches in the South. She coached five years at Vilonia High School (1988-93) in Vilonia, Ark. and one year at Fort Smith Northside (1933-94). Her 1993-94 Fort Smith Northside club finished 24-10 and finished the year fifth in Class AAAA play. Aston was recognized as the State of Arkansas Northwest Region Coach of the Year. While at Vilonia, Aston also was head coach of the basketball and cross country and track programs.
Aston was named the State of Arkansas Basketball Coach of the Year in 1992-93 after leading 36-1 Vilonia to the Class AA State Championship. Her team was ranked No. 1 in the state. Additionally, two of her Vilonia cross country teams captured Arkansas state titles in 1991 and 1992. Aston is a 1987 graduate of the University of Arkansas Little-Rock where she received her bachelor's degree in physical education. She played two seasons of standout basketball at Arkansas Little-Rock after transferring from Ouachita Baptist University.
A native of Benton, Ark., Aston was a First Team All-State basketball performer at Bryant High School, earning that honor during her junior and senior seasons. She capped her scholastic career by leading Bryant to both the 1982 Arkansas State Championship (Class 4A) and to the 1982 Arkansas Overall State captured Arkansas state titles in 1991 and 1992. Aston is a 1987 graduate of the University of Arkansas Little-Rock where she received her bachelor's degree in physical education.
She played two seasons of standout basketball at Arkansas Little-Rock after transferring from Ouachita Baptist University.
She resides in Austin.
(Last updated 3/20/06)