Kentucky extends Kyra Elzy through 2027


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Kyra Elzy celebrates with fans during the team’s return from the SEC Tournament championship game on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at Joe Craft Center in Lexington, Kentucky. UK defeated No. 1 South Carolina 64-62 with a 3-pointer by Dre’Una Edwards in the last seconds of the game in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

After making a historic run that led to Kentucky’s first Southeastern Conference Tournament championship in 40 years, Kyra Elzy has signed an extension to remain the head coach of the Wildcats through 2027. 

In her two seasons as head coach, Elzy owns a record of 37-21. She was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year after her first season. 

“I will always believe that there is no better place in the world for a young woman to live out her academic and athletic careers than the University of Kentucky. I want to thank Mr. Barnhart, President Capilouto and our women’s basketball administrator Tiffany Hayden for believing in me and having a shared vision for this great program,” Elzy said. “I am 100 percent confident in what we offer our student-athletes here at Kentucky. Our coaches and staff commit ourselves daily to our players. Their individual successes, on and off the court, is our collective success as a program. As seasons come and go, our focus and commitment haven’t and won’t waver from the expectations set for this program.” 

Kentucky’s second season under Elzy was highlighted by the SEC Championship, capping off a 10-game winning streak that propelled the Cats to the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky became the second-lowest seed ever to win the conference championship, and the fourth team to defeat the No. 1 team in the AP Poll in the SEC Tournament finals.

“We’re excited to extend Kyra and continue our investment in women’s basketball and in her as a coach and positive role model in our community. After the adversity the team faced throughout the season, the turnaround at the end of the year was impressive – defeating the eventual national champion and winning our first SEC Tournament Championship in 40 years, a strong step in building the championship vision we all have for this program,” Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said. 

Elzy became the first coach in program history to lead UK to consecutive NCAA Tournament berths to begin a tenure.

“We have a core group of talented and driven players returning along with an exciting group of signees that cannot wait to wear those eight letters across the front of their jersey,” Elzy said. “They model the core values our program will continue to be built on: Accountability, Hard Work, Discipline, Servant Leadership and FAMILY. We are counting down the days until we can all be together again inside Memorial Coliseum. Until then, we will continue to work to bring home more championships.”