TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Ashley McElhiney joined the women's
basketball staff at Alabama following a stint in which she became
the first female head coach of a men's pro basketball team. She
will handle administrative matters and work under first-year coach
McElhiney spent a year as coach of the Nashville Rhythm, guiding
the American Basketball Association team to a 21-10 record and a
playoff spot in its inaugural season. She left the same week the
Rhythm owners declined the playoff berth, the final twist during a
stay that featured a bizarre episode.
Co-owner Sally Anthony walked onto the court during a game,
yelled at McElhiney after the coach ignored demands to bench a
player and then fired her. Anthony had to be restrained by security
guards. McElhiney returned to the team when Anthony was removed as
the Rhythm's chief executive.
"I have always been impressed with her and hoped to have the
opportunity to hire her," Smith said. "She is a very driven
person with a positive demeanor and a true passion for the game of
McElhiney, a former Vanderbilt guard, ranked second nationally
in assists as a senior and finished as the school's career leader.
"It is exciting to be back in the SEC, and I look forward to
being a part of such a talented and experienced staff," McElhiney