The Boiling Point: Purdue’s women’s basketball program adds new coach.
Purdue women’s basketball coach Sharon Versyp filled the opening on her coaching staff on Thursday. Versyp turned to a local basketball standout in hiring former Benton Central star Christy Smith. After starring at Benton Central, Smith played at Arkansas and was an assistant at Valparaiso for three seasons.
Smith takes the spot left by Ukari Figgs, who left her alma mater for an administrative position at Kentucky.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to work for Coach Versyp, and be a part of the Purdue women’s basketball program,” Smith said in a release. “Having grown up just down the road, Purdue is a program that I have always admired and hoped to join, and this is even more special because there is no one I would rather work for than Versyp. I am grateful to Coach for the integral part she played in my career as a player and now my career as a coach. I am excited to get started.”
Before coaching at Valpo, Smith was the girls varsity coach at Harrison High School in West Lafayette and an assistant at Lafayette Jefferson. Versyp actually coached Smith during her senior year of high school at Benton Central.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to add Christy to my staff,” Versyp said. “I am confident that she will be a great fit for our program and will add another layer of success to our pursuit of championships at Purdue. Christy played at the highest level and has always demonstrated a passion for the game, hunger to be the best, loyalty, toughness and strength and she is the type of person that never backs down from a challenge. She has great knowledge of the game. With her prior experience and the fact that she knows how I operate as a coach, she will be able to step right in to make an immediate impact with basketball and recruiting.”