Karen Aston

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Karen Aston
Aston karen b1603 tarlton st.jpg
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1964-07-26) July 26, 1964 (age 56)
Benton, Arkansas
Playing career
1985–1987Arkansas–Little Rock
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1994–1996Baylor (asst.)
1996–1998North Texas (asst.)
1998–2006Texas (asst.)
2006–2007Baylor (assoc. HC)
2011–2012North Texas
Head coaching record
Overall285–146 (.661)

Karen Sue Aston (born July 26, 1964 in Benton, Arkansas)[1] is an American basketball player and coach. She is currently the head coach of the UTSA Roadrunners women's basketball team. She has served as the head women's basketball coach at Texas,[2] Charlotte, and North Texas.[3] Aston has a career record of 285-146 (.661). In her 13 seasons as a head coach, Aston’s teams have averaged 22 wins per year and have made a combined 10 postseason appearances.

Aston was one of four finalists for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year award in 2017 and was one of 10 semifinalists for the honor in 2018. She also earned Big 12 Coach of the Year accolades in 2017.[4]


In her career as a college assistant coach, Aston has served under three coaches in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. As associate head coach at Baylor, she worked for Kim Mulkey; in an earlier stint at Baylor she served under Sonja Hogg. Prior to becoming Baylor's associate head coach, she served eight seasons in the same capacity at The University of Texas at Austin under Jody Conradt.


Aston was introduced as the 49ers' new head coach on April 27, 2007.[5] She replaced Amanda Butler, who left Charlotte after six seasons (two as head coach) to coach her alma mater, the University of Florida. Aston inherited a 49ers team that had made five consecutive postseason appearances including a WNIT berth in 2007. After a WNIT appearance in 2008, she led the 49ers to the 2009 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Title, and an 11th seed in the 2009 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament. After a run to the final four of the WNIT in 2011, Aston resigned on April 6, 2011 and soon thereafter accepted the head coaching position at North Texas in order to be closer to her family in Arkansas.[6]

North Texas[edit]

On April 11, 2011, Karen Aston was named the sixth head coach of the University of North Texas women's basketball program.[7] She returned to the university where she had coached as an assistant from 1996 to 1998 under longtime UNT head coach Tina Slinker. Aston took over a program that had gone 5–25 the previous year, and tripled that win total her first year with a 15–16 overall record. On February 18, 2012, Aston earned her 100th victory as a head coach.[8]


Aston was named the fourth head coach in University of Texas women's basketball history on April 3, 2012.[9] At the University of Texas, Aston led the Longhorns to a 184-83 (.689) record in eight seasons. In her final seven seasons combined at Texas, Aston’s teams averaged 24.6 wins per year, making six NCAA Tournament appearances. From 2015-18, her squads made four consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 showings, marking the first time that had been accomplished at Texas since 1990. [10] Aston also directed the 2015-16 Longhorns to the program’s first NCAA Elite Eight appearance since 2003.[11]

Five of Aston’s Texas players (Nneka Enemkpali, Imani McGee-Stafford, Ariel Atkins, Joyner Holmes and Sug Sutton) were drafted by WNBA teams with McGee-Stafford (10th) and Atkins (7th) being selected as first-round picks. As a starter, Atkins helped lead the Washington Mystics to the 2019 WNBA Championship and has earned WNBA All-Defensive Team honors in each of her three seasons.[12]

Each of Aston's eight teams at Texas ranked in the top-25 nationally in rebounding margin, including three years in the top-five. Her 2017-18 and 2018-19 teams ranked third in the NCAA in rebounding margin. Four of the top-eight single-season team rebounding averages in Texas history came during Aston’s tenure, as did five of the top-nine best seasons in field-goal percentage defense.

Aston’s prowess as one of the nation’s best recruiters is also well known. Five of the classes she recruited to Texas were ranked among the top-11 in the nation according to ESPN.com, including three top-five classes. Recruits Charli Collier and Joyner Holmes were both No. 2 prospects according to ESPN and were listed as the nation’s top recruits by some services. Aston brought 14 McDonalds All-Americans to Texas during her eight seasons.  

Head Coaching Record[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Charlotte (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2007–2011)
2007–08 Charlotte 18–14 9–5 4th WNIT First Round
2008–09 Charlotte 23–9 11–3 2nd NCAA 1st Round
2009–10 Charlotte 18–14 9–5 4th WNIT Second Round
2010–11 Charlotte 27–10 9–5 3rd WNIT Final Four
Charlotte: 86–47 (.647) 38–18 (.679)
North Texas (Sun Belt Conference) (2011–2012)
2011–12 North Texas 15–16 7–9 3rd
North Texas: 15–16 (.484) 7–9 (.438)
Texas (Big 12 Conference) (2012–2020)
2012–13 Texas 12–18 5–13 8th
2013–14 Texas 22–12 11–7 3rd NCAA 2nd Round
2014–15 Texas 24–11 9–9 T-3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2015–16 Texas 31–5 15–3 2nd NCAA Elite Eight
2016–17 Texas 25–9 15–3 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2017–18 Texas 28-7 15-3 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2018–19 Texas 23-10 12-6 3rd NCAA 1st Round
2019–20 Texas 19–11 11–7 3rd
Texas: 184–83 (.689) 93–51 (.646)
Total: 285–146 (.661)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 23 Sep 2015.
  2. ^ Wilson, David (April 3, 2020). "Texas women's basketball coach Karen Aston won't return". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "UNT to introduce Aston tomorrow". Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  4. ^ "Karen Aston - Women's Basketball Coach". University of Texas Athletics. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  5. ^ "Charlotte Names Karen Aston Head Women's Basketball Coach - Charlotte 49ers". Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  6. ^ "Karen Aston Resigns As Women's Basketball Coach". Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  7. ^ "Karen Aston Named Women's Basketball Coach". Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  8. ^ "Karen Aston Earns Her 100th Win As Head Coach". Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  9. ^ "Women's Basketball brings Aston 'back home'". University of Texas Athletics. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  10. ^ "Women's Basketball striving for more heading into NCAA Sweet 16". University of Texas Athletics. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  11. ^ "No. 7 Women's Basketball advances to the Elite Eight with 72-64 win over UCLA". University of Texas Athletics. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  12. ^ "Ariel Atkins named to WNBA All-Defensive Team". University of Texas Athletics. Retrieved 2021-01-15.

External links[edit]