Friday, April 30, 2004 Updated: May 2, 9:52 PM ET
Mays makes return to Longhorns
ESPN.com news services
AUSTIN, Texas -- Former Texas men's basketball player and WNBA assistant coach Travis Mays has been named an assistant coach for the Longhorn women, Texas coach Jody Conradt announced Thursday.
Mays, 35, replaces Fred Applin, who left to become the associate head coach at Wake Forest. Mays, who is Texas' second all-time leading scorer in men's basketball, will join the Longhorns on May 4.
Mays, who was a 6-foot-3 guard for Texas from 1986-90, has spent the past two years coaching and scouting for the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars. He was assistant coach during the 2003 season and has spent the last year as head scout for the Silver Stars. Mays also coached AAU boys basketball for the Tennessee/Alabama "Pump" team in the summer of 2003.
"Travis is a wonderful addition to our staff. He has a tremendous passion for basketball and a great love for The university," said Conradt, the second winningest coach in collegiate women's basketball history at 847-269. "Travis has varied experience and knowledge as a player at all levels and as a WNBA coach. He excelled on the court at every level and was an NBA first-round draft pick. Injuries cut short his NBA career, but he went on to great visibility and a long and successful career in Europe.
Inducted into the UT Men's Athletics Hall of Honor in 2002, Mays was an Associated Press Second Team All-American as a senior. He ranks second in UT men's basketball career scoring (2,279 points) and also is second in Southwest Conference all-time scoring. Mays' career scoring average was 18.4 ppg. He was the first player in SWC history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year honors as a junior and senior (in 1989 and 1990).
Mays led Texas to the 1990 NCAA Elite Eight, scoring 24.1 ppg. Mays scored in double-figures in 100 of 124 career games, and is the only UT men's player in history to score more than 700 points in a season; he did that with 743 points as a junior and 772 as a senior.
A native of Ocala, Fla., where he was a scholastic All-America standout at Vanguard High School, Mays holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from UT. Mays resides in Austin, with his wife, Mirella, and 11-year-old daughter, Cherrell.
"I am extremely excited to come back to my alma mater and coach with Jody Conradt, one of the legends in our game," Mays said. "I feel blessed to be on the sidelines, working with a Hall of Famer. I've spent the last two years coaching and scouting in the WNBA, and am thrilled to be able to come back to UT and help develop collegiate talent. We have an excellent team in place, and I am eager to start contributing in recruiting and on the floor as soon as possible."
Texas had made three straight Sweet 16 appearances and won two consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships.
Conradt considers Mays an "ambassador for Texas."
"I was very impressed watching him on the Silver Stars sideline last summer. He did great work with that team," Conradt said. "Honestly, I don't know if we could have a more dedicated ambassador for UT. Selling our university and our basketball program to the young recruits is of extreme importance, and his court knowledge will assist us greatly."
A first-round NBA draft pick in 1990 by the Sacramento Kings, chosen 14th overall, Mays spent three years in the NBA with the Kings (1991) and the Atlanta Hawks (1991-93). He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, averaging 14.3 ppg in his first pro season.
His pro career extended to European basketball as he played in Greece, Israel, Turkey and Italy. Highlights of Mays' European career include selection to the European All-Star Game, leading Panionious (Greece) to the European Championship final eight with 27.5 ppg, and First Team All-Star selection (1999-2001) on Italy's Siena squad.