Charlotte Hires Baylor Assistant Aston

Friday, April 27th 2007, 4:05 pm
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Former Baylor assistant Karen Aston was named the women's basketball coach at Charlotte on Friday.

Aston replaces Amanda Butler, who left after two seasons to become the head coach at Florida.

Aston spent eight years as an assistant at Texas under longtime coach Jody Conradt before being named associate head coach at Baylor before last season.

While at Texas, Aston helped recruit seven McDonald's All-Americans and the 2005-06 class was rated the best in the nation by the recruiting service All-Star Girls Report.

``She's been to programs that go to the Final Four and the NCAA tournament on a regular basis. She knows nothing but that,'' Charlotte athletic director Judy Rose said. ``We couldn't be more excited.''

Aston is Charlotte's third coach since Ed Baldwin left in 2001 after 13 seasons. Katie Meier coached the 49ers for four seasons before she was hired by Miami in 2005. Butler, named the Atlantic 10 coach of the year in 2006, was 40-22 with the 49ers before leaving for her alma mater.

Aston inherits four starters from last season's 19-13 team that lost to Virginia in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. It was Charlotte's fourth straight trip to the WNIT after reaching the NCAA tournament in 2003.

``The foundation for this program has been built by the previous two coaches,'' Aston said. ``We're right there. My job and my team's job is to get to the next level. We're here to go to the NCAA tournament. We're here to challenge for that every single year.''

Aston, a native of Benton, Ark., is a 1987 graduate of Arkansas-Little Rock, where she played basketball for two seasons. She then coached high school basketball in Arkansas before becoming an assistant at Baylor and North Texas.