Kelly Packard Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: May 12, 2008
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            MUNCIE, Ind.Kelly Packard, the former head coach of the Colorado Chill of the National Women’s Basketball League (NWBL) and a long-time assistant at Colorado State, has been named the 10th head women’s basketball coach in Ball State University history, according to BSU athletics director Tom Collins.

            “We are excited that Kelly Packard wanted to be the head coach at Ball State,” Collins said. “Kelly has head coaching experience, Midwest ties and has been successful at both the collegiate and professional levels. She has learned from some very successful college coaches in Tom Collen and Greg Williams and has been part of a nationally prominent program.”

Packard, a 1990 graduate of Anderson (Ind.) University, will be formally introduced as the Cardinals’ head coach at a 2 p.m. press conference Monday in the Alumni Lounge at Worthen Arena in Muncie. The press conference will be carried live on

            Packard was previously the executive director of the WNBA Expansion Team for Colorado, working for Triple Crown Sports. She spent two seasons as the head coach of the Colorado Chill (2004-06) of the NWBL.


During her tenure, the Chill posted a 34-12 overall record while claiming the 2005 and 2006 league championships. She was the team’s general manager in the 2006 season and compiled a roster that included five WNBA players, including All-Stars Becky Hammon and Ruth Riley.

            Packard’s collegiate experience covers five seasons over two stints at Colorado State University where she worked for Tom Collen (currently at Arkansas) and Greg Williams (currently at Rice). During her five seasons, the Rams saw unprecedented success as they posted a 99-49 overall record and appeared in two NCAA Tournaments.


She was part of the staff that guided CSU to a 33-3 record in the 1998-99 season as the Rams claimed a No. 5 national ranking, a WAC Mountain Division title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. In 1997-98, she helped the Rams to a 24-6 overall record and an NCAA Second Round appearance in Lafayette, Ind.

She also was part of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) selection committee and a site coordinator. She was the head coach of the 2006 Athletes in Action Brazil Women’s Basketball Tour where she guided her team to a 7-1 record.

Packard was a four-year letterwinner at Anderson and was inducted to the Anderson University Hall of Fame in 2002. She was a four-time All-Hoosier Conference for Women selection and ended her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She earned her degree in mass communications in 1990.

Packard and her husband Rich have two children, Derek (13) and Evan (9).

I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Kelly, her husband Rich, and their two sons to the Ball State family,” Ball State University President Dr. Jo Ann M. Gora said. “Kelly brings an impressive array of coaching experience from a NCAA Division I team to the NWBL. At the international level she also coached the Brazilian Women’s Athletes in Action team. She’s been part of winning programs in each of these arenas including a run to the Sweet 16 while an assistant coach at Colorado State. I know this was a difficult search because we had so many talented applicants.  Kelly’s track record of success combined with her strong Indiana ties make her a great fit for building upon the strengths of our Women’s Basketball program.”


Packard’s Coaching Record

Head Coach (34-12)

2005-06           Colorado Chill             16-4                 NWBL Championship

2004-05           Colorado Chill             18-8                 NWBL Championship


Assistant Coach (99-49)

1998-99           Colorado State             33-3                 NCAA Sweet Sixteen/No. 5 ranking

1997-98           Colorado State             24-6                 NCAA Tournament Second Round

1996-97           Colorado State             21-7                

1992-93           Colorado State             13-14              

1991-92           Colorado State             8-19





Director of Athletics Tom Collins on the hiring of Kelly Packard
"Kelly has a diverse background in women’s basketball, including being an assistant coach at Colorado State University when the program was in the top five in the country, the head coach of the Colorado Chill with a 34-12 record in professional basketball, including a 4-0 record in postseason and a 14-0 home record. She’s got international experience and experience with the WNIT as an administrator. In short, she has a background as a winner at every level."

Kelly Packard on her decision to accept the position
"I was looking for two things. I was looking for healthy leadership for myself. I want to continue to grow as a coach and as a leader, and I needed to feel like I had healthy leadership. The second piece was I had to have a community that I thought I could bring two young men in, continue to raise them, and the community would jump in and give them tremendous opportunity. So Muncie, Indiana, was the second piece of that."

"This is a great place. In the interview process I felt very comfortable. I’ve studied everything I could about the young ladies in this program. It’s a great day. When you can align healthy leadership and a great community, I’ve been given another great opportunity."

"I’m excited about continuing to build on the fan base that I know is here. Having been part of the WNIT, I know all about the postseason Kentucky game here and the turnout that the community provided, so I believe we’ve got something to bounce on top of and move forward."

Kelly Packard on how she became familiar with the Ball State program
"(Bowling Green head coach) Curt Miller and I were on staff together at Colorado State, and we talked a lot at the Final Four about my desire to re-enter college coaching. And Curt made it very clear to me that this was a great opportunity. We talked about the details of players here and atmosphere, and it really felt like this looked like a tremendous place to jump in and build upon the things that are already here."

Kelly Packard on her coaching philosophies
"I told the ladies, ‘You are the program.’ They are the feature story. And if I become anything other than the sidebar, then I’m not who I want to be. This is their program, and after meeting them, they have the ability, but I also believe they’ve got the character that it takes."

"We run what’s called an early break, and we run a secondary break, and it’s a good day if we don’t have to get set in offensive sets more than eight to 10 times in the first half. That’s fast play. We have to have big people who are in shape and can get up and down the floor in order to run that. You’ve got to be in a track meet to play my style."

"I love the offensive game. I love to be as complex as I can be. That’s from the professional side. Those ladies love complexity, and my mind loves complexity."

Kelly Packard on her return to college coaching
"I never set out to be a professional coach. My mind is more of a college coach. I say that because I am so into the details. I’m still into the details of the fundamentals. When teaching in college, we teach at a more fundamental level. So, my mind, because of the way it thinks, is more of a college coach."

"At the end of the day, I have this passion to lead women, and it happens to be women in sports. Once you’re in coaching, it really becomes a passion. And it’s not just the basketball. For me, the basketball is secondary. For me, it’s leading young women."

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