Nicole Dunson (UTSA), Michael Madrid (San Jacinto College) and Lori Morris (Southwestern College) will venture to the Sun City to join the UTEP women’s basketball program as full-time assistant coaches, head coach Kevin Baker announced Tuesday.
The group brings wide-ranging experience to a UTEP program that has produced the third-highest winning percentage in the state of Texas since 2006-07.
“I am beyond excited about the coaching staff that we were able to put in place,” Baker said. “I consider this to be an all-star cast of coaches. All three of our new staff members worked hard to build their careers the old fashioned way. They earned it. My goal was to surround myself with the most talented, hardest working, and well connected coaches available. I feel that we now have a coaching staff in place that will rival any other program in the nation.”
A bio on each of the individuals, along with a quote by Baker, follows below.
Dunson joins UTEP after spending the past four years as an assistant coach with Conference USA rival UTSA. She oversaw the guard development while also aiding in the day-to-day responsibilities with the squad. She helped the Roadrunners make a smooth transition into C-USA; they piled up 54 total wins in that time frame while also garnering a fourth-place finish (2014-15) and a seventh-place showing (2016-17).
Prior to returning to her alma mater, Dunson enjoyed a successful two-year run as the head girls’ varsity basketball coach at Richard King High School in Corpus Christi. She guided her charges to the 2011-12 District 28-5A Championship in addition to a berth in the state playoffs in each of the seasons. The Corpus Christi native also was selected to coach in the 2013 CBCA All-Star Game.
Her initial head coaching experience came at the helm of San Antonio’s Hartlandale High School girls’ basketball program. She also was the head junior varsity track & field coach while also serving as a health and physical education teacher. Dunson embarked on her coaching career as head coach for the girls U14 Shooting Stars Basketball AAU program in 2006.
As a student-athlete Dunson played two years with UCF before transferring to UTSA. She sat out the 2002-03 season due to NCAA transfer rules and the following campaign while recovering from a right knee injury. Dunson proved to be worth the wait, accounting for 8.8 points/game while draining 42 percent from 3-point range in her first year. Upon the conclusion of her senior season she was chosen as the 2005-06 Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year. She drilled 44.1 percent from distance to place 18th nationally. Moreover she garnered the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar award in 2006 and was named a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI honoree. To this day Dunson holds the UTSA single-season and career mark in 3-point field goal percentage.
Dunson earned her degree in biology from UTSA in 2005 before going to secure a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in sports psychology two years later.
“Everything about Nicole Dunson screams winner and success. Nicole is the type of coach who has worked for everything she has ever gotten in the game of basketball. She was a very hard working and successful player that battled injuries and overcame them. She cut her teeth at the high school level and earned a place on staff at UTSA. From there she became a fantastic recruiter and on-the-floor coach. The amount of impact she will have in our program will be immeasurable. Nicole is one of the most talented up-and-coming coaches in the country.” - UTEP head coach Kevin Baker
Eastern New Mexico, 1998
Madrid has an impressive resume with ample experience at both the high school (10 years) and college levels (13 years). Most recently he put together a record-setting run in two years with San Jacinto College while forging a combined record of 46-20. In 2016-17 the squad rolled to a mark of 24-9 while making the NJCAA Tournament for the first time in the college’s history. San Jacinto went 22-11 in 2015-16 and earned the Region XIV Tournament Runner-up honors, which at the time was the farthest any women’s basketball team at the college had ever advanced. The squad knocked off nationally-ranked Trinity Valley to secure the spot in the title tilt before ultimately falling to Blinn College.
Prior to this tenure at San Jacinto, he won 24 games in his first opportunity to serve as a head coach over two season with Paris Junior College. Immediately beforehand he was an assistant coach at Texas Woman’s University for a trio of seasons, helping the Pioneers win their first Lone Star Conference tournament championship in any sport and advance to the National Collegiate Athletic Association South Central Region tournament.
His coaching career started at New Mexico’s Portales High School, which culminated with the squad taking home the 2001 Class 3A championship. After one year with Lubbock Estacado High School as a boys’ football, track, and basketball coach, he coached boys’ basketball for two years at Lubbock High School. Madrid then served five years-one as a graduate assistant and four as an assistant coach- at Lubbock Christian University. The team advanced to the NAIA National Championships Tournament all five years, including being the national runner-up in 2005-06. It also won the 2006-07 Sooner Athletic Conference title.
Madrid earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from Eastern New Mexico University in 1998 before receiving his master’s degree in sports administration in 2001. He also holds a master’s degree in education administration from Lubbock Christian University. Madrid and his wife, Sammie, have a daughter (Ryan).
“Michael is the total package. He is a talented recruiter and a very accomplished head coach. He started out in the high school ranks and worked his way up the ladder. Michael has consistently signed outstanding players throughout his career and has a solid grasp on what wins games at the collegiate level. Michael will help our program on the floor tremendously, on the road recruiting quality players, and in the community at large.” - UTEP head coach Kevin Baker
University of San Diego, 1984/Azusa Pacific, 1990
Morris has spent the past two seasons as head coach for Southwestern College, but jumped at the opportunity to get back into the DI ranks. She was an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator for two years at Air Force (2013-15), worked with the CSU Fullerton program for a year (2012-13) and spent four season at Louisiana (2008-12), three of which as the associate head coach.
Before her time with ULL Morris was the head coach at Southwestern Junior College for one year (2007-08). In addition to the standard duties commensurate with the position, she was responsible for conditioning, weights, study hall and grade checks. She also taught Basketball Theory, Basketball Activity, Film and Intercollegiate Basketball at SWJC. Morris was also extremely involved with the community, and even opened a basketball player development class for high school players along running mini clinics.
Prior to entering the collegiate ranks Morris had an outstanding 20-year run as the head coach of the Montgomery High School girls’ basketball team from 1987-07. She assumed the position after serving as an assistant coach in 1986-87. She developed 18 players who went on to compete at either the junior-college or university level. Morris guided MHS to Metro League Championships in 1990, 1995, 1996 and 1997, Mesa League Championships in 2002 and 2005 and the Southbay Championship in 2007. MHS also secured a pair of runner-up accolades in the California Interscholastic Federation Division. She was voted as a coach of the year on multiple occasions.
Morris was a standout player at San Diego (1980-84), concluding her career ranked second all-time in assists (480). Morris continues to rank second in helpers, while also garnering top-10 placement in the career records for assists per game (4.2/3rd), field goal attempts (1,070/5th), steals (177/5th), steals per game (1.55/9th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46/9th). She paced the Toreros in assists all four years, including 162 in 1981-81 (third in USD single season) and 129 in 1983-84 (fifth in USD single season).
She received her bachelor’s degree in language arts from San Diego in 1984 and earned her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in administration from Azusa Pacific in 1990.
“Lori Morris is the kind of coach that any staff in America would be fortunate to bring on board. Lori brings over 30 years of experience to the table as a high school coach, junior college coach, Division I recruiting coordinator, and a Division III head coach. Lori has coached all over the country and has built up a network of coaches and a trusted coaching tree that one must have to be successful at this level. Lori has great energy and work ethic which benefit our program and our players.”- UTEP head coach Kevin Baker