College - Georgia
In her tenth season as an assistant coach with the Connecticut Sun, Bernadette Mattox works primarily with the teamís wing players, and is also responsible for preparing game plans as well as scouting opponents and college players.
Connecticut was once again among the top teams in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio, tied for fourth with a 1.21 average. Renee Montgomery (138 assists) and Kara Lawson (118) became the second backcourt tandem in franchise history to rack up 100 assists each in a season. Connecticut also topped 600 total assists for the fifth straight season, finishing with 604.
Under the tutelage of Mattox, Lindsay Whalen emerged as an All Star, collecting a franchise-record 964 career assists in six seasons at Connecticut. She was just the second player in WNBA history to average at least 10 points, five assists and five rebounds in a season, accomplishing that in 2008. In 2007, Whalen and Katie Douglas became the first backcourt tandem in franchise history to each compile 100 assists in a season.
Hired by head coach Mike Thibault on March 27, 2003, Mattox brought 18 years of Division I and international coaching experience with her when she accepted an assistant coaching position with the Connecticut Sun. Prior to her arrival in Connecticut, Mattox made NCAA history when she became the first female to serve as a Division I assistant for a menís team, beginning a four-year stint under coach Rick Pitino at Kentucky in 1990. During the four seasons Mattox was on Pitinoís staff, the Wildcats were 108-24 with a Final Four appearance in 1993. She also served as an assistant athletic director at UK from 1994-95.
In 1995, Mattox became the first African American to coach the Kentucky Womenís basketball program, guiding the Wildcats for eight seasons. During her tenure as UKís head coach, she led the Wildcats to an NCAA Tournament berth in 1999. She also served as an assistant coach on the 1998 USA Basketball Womenís World Championship team, which posted a 9-0 record on the way to winning the Gold Medal in Germany.
Mattox graduated from the University of Georgia, where she was a standout womenís basketball player, earning the programís first All-American designation in 1979-80, when she averaged 20.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.2 steals per game as a junior. Mattox was also the first player in Georgia womenís basketball history to earn Academic All-American honors, and she finished her career averaging 15 points per game. She went on to work as an assistant to Georgia head coach Andy Landers for five years.
Mattox lives in Lexington, Ky. with her husband Vince and son Vincent.