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A New Era: Natasha Adair introduced as next ASU women's basketball coach

Anthony Totri Avatar
March 29, 2022

The ASU women’s basketball program announced its new head coach on Sunday. Natasha Adair will be the one to fill the void left by longtime coach Charli Turner-Thorne. 

Adair comes to Tempe after coaching ventures at Georgetown, Wake Forest, College of Charleston and the University of Delaware. At just 49 years old, Adair has the potential to be at the helm of ASU women’s basketball for years to come. 

“Charli’s retirement leaves a legacy spanning 25 years,” University Vice President and Athletic Director Ray Anderson said. “In looking for the next leader of Sun Devil women’s basketball, we wanted a coach who could build off a long-tenured culture of success with respect for the past while also establishing their own unique identity to drive the program forward.”

In the past two seasons under Adair, the Blue Hens went 48-13. Adair led the Blue Hens to their first NCAA Tournament berth in more than a decade. After five seasons as the Delaware head coach, Adair said it was time for a change.

“I knew right away once I left that this was the place that I needed to be,” Adair said. “The alignment, the vision, President (Michael) Crow, just the innovation, Ray (Anderson), the national rank, ASU is a place that everyone can call home.”

In the same two-year span that the Blue Hens tallied 48 wins, the Sun Devils women’s basketball team went a combined 24-26. A late skid at the end of last season saw ASU get bounced in the first-round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. 

“Charli Turner Thorne set the foundation,” Adair said. “Now it’s time to take it to the next level.”

Those are some big shoes Adair intends to fill in her new role as the head women’s basketball program. The immediate goal for any and all Power Five basketball programs is to reach the NCAA Tournament. ASU’s last appearance in the Big Dance was the 2018-19 season.

As Adair arrives in an effort to steer the ship back on course, she’ll do so with some serious question marks. The Sun Devils have already lost senior guard Taya Hanson, who entered the transfer portal shortly after Turner-Thorne’s retirement. 

If there’s one player Adair needs to ensure stays in Tempe it’s senior guard Jade Loville. Loville proved to be a spark for the Sun Devils in Turner-Thorne’s final season. She averaged 16.6 points per game on 41-percent shooting from the field. 

Adair said at her introductory press conference that she has spoken with the players, but not too in-depth. With that said, Adair has already shown the team what kind of leader she hopes to be.

“I wanted them to know that I’m here for them,” Adair said. “And that they came here to win and we’re gonna work. We’re gonna work our tails off but we’re gonna have fun while we do it. And we’re gonna make sure that all their whys matter and it’ll be on display every time you see them play.”

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