Kristy Curry blends love of basketball, service

One of Alabama’s most inspirational women leads by example both on and off the court.

Alabama’s women’s basketball head coach Kristy Curry developed her love for sports at a young age. Her dad coached junior high football for 38 years, and her grandfather was a coach before him.

“It was the culture at our house,” Curry said.

Curry is now one of Alabama’s three female head coaches, but she’s quick to brush off the gendered label.

“I’ve never really thought about that,” Curry said. “I’ve always believed that coaching is about the best person for the job, regardless of gender or anything concerning that.”

Curry takes great pride in being a leader for all female athletes at Alabama. However, she thinks it’s just as important for the male coaches to support the female teams.

“I think the role can kind of be reversed,” Curry said. “As a male, the female situation doesn’t always have that male figure in their lives. To see how much Avery supports our team, he’s at our practices, he’s at our games and encourages them. I think is just as important as me as a female being one of the few females.”

Before starting her coaching career at Alabama, Curry was one of the most successful women’s basketball coaches in Purdue University history, coaching the Boilermakers from 1999-2006. She moved onto the Lady Raiders at Texas Tech University for eight years.

Curry has achieved nine NCAA tournament appearances, a NCAA Final Four appearance, two NCAA Elite Eights, four NCAA Sweet 16s, six Women’s National Invitation Tournament appearances, two Big Ten regular season titles and 11 20-win seasons.

In 2013, she started her career with the Crimson Tide. One year later, at the 2014 Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association Convention in Nashville, Curry was awarded the Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award, which recognizes a basketball coach who has coached according to Biblical principles, and to the heart, body and mind of the athlete.

“Curry is very passionate about everything she does,” former Alabama player and current Sporting Athens basketball player Hannah Cook said.

Curry emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community. She is involved with several organizations, including The American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program, Joe Arrington Cancer Center, Junior League of Lubbock, Salvation Army, South Plains Food Bank, Women’s Protective Services, Komen for the Cure, Ronald McDonald House, UMC Children’s Center, AMBUC’s of Lubbock, Shoes for Orphan Souls, Toys for Tots, United Way, Girl Scouts and Habitat for Humanity.

She brought that passion for community service to the team.

“I think we have a responsibility,” Curry said. She said it is important to give back to a community that gives so much to the program.

One of the team’s biggest service projects is the annual Fifth Grade Fastbreak game, where thousands of fifth graders from all over Tuscaloosa watch a game at Coleman Coliseum.

Curry said they are always open to any opportunities to give back. Individually and collectively, she has made sure the women’s basketball team is working to better the community.

Wade calls her coach the most caring person she knows. She said Curry has taught her to work hard and be happy.

“There is no other coach I would want to play for,” Wade said. “I am truly honored to play for her.”

Curry’s hard-working and caring personality has made her a highly sought-after guest speaker. She was a keynote speaker for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s “A Time for Women” event. She has also been a spokeswoman for Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Aisles of Smiles.” Curry has made personal appearances at numerous fundraising events and has recorded several public announcements.

Curry continues to make an impact on Alabama’s women’s basketball program. Wade describes Curry’s contribution to the Crimson Tide as “outstanding.”

Both Wade and Cook agreed that Curry increased their drive for the game of basketball and sparked their involvement with the community.

“We want these players to realize that when they go out into the real working world that they give back to their communities and get involved,” Curry said.

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