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New Mexico State’s Tamara Inoue Takes Over UCI Women’s Basketball

Photo Courtesy of UCI Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UCI Athletics

By Marvin Luu

Following the departure of Doug Oliver back in March, the UC Irvine women’s basketball team has found new leadership in Tamara Inoue who officially inked in her five-year contract Tuesday. Inoue will become UCI’s ninth head coach after helping the New Mexico State Aggies to two NCAA appearances in her five-year tenure with the team.

Inoue began her collegiate coaching career in 2008 as an assistant coach for Santa Clara where she stayed for three years before going on a five season run as an assistant and subsequent associate head coach to Mark Trakh’s New Mexico State team. As an associate head coach alongside Trakh, New Mexico State had reached the big dance back to back, finishing with an overall 48-13 record in the past two years. During their most recent campaign, the Aggies tied their school record for most victories with 26. Inoue also served as an interim Senior Woman Administrator for the Aggies’ Athletics department in her final year.

Inoue is no stranger to Orange County having played at Laguna Hills High and Long Beach State. During her senior year at Laguna Hills in 1997, Inoue averaged 14 points a night and lead the team to a CIF State Division II title. In the process, Inoue earned an All American nod form USA Today. Inoue began her collegiate career in UC Berkeley but transferred to Long Beach State after wavering minutes and playing without much fanfare. During her final collegiate campaign, she led the Big West conference with 5.9 assists a night.

After graduating from Long Beach in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Inoue spent six years in Australia where she began her professional playing career. Stagnated by injuries, Inoue would close out her time overseas as a coach for Australia’s Victorian Basketball League before returning to the states for a position on the Broncos coaching staff.

Heading into UCI, Inoue will bring along assistant coach and former Aggie Cecilia Russell-Nava and Director of Player Development Amanda Delgado to join her on the sidelines.