College Corner: Rae Burell, Rick Byrd, Former Bruin Darby Maggard

Lady Vol Rae Burrell Drafted By Los Angeles Sparks

Rae Burrell. Photo: Courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

University of Tennessee women’s basketball standout Rae Burrell was selected in the 2022 WBNA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks with the No. 9 overall pick.

Burrell became the 44th Lady Vol, including the second of the three-year Kellie Harper era, to be drafted into the WBNA.

“Rae Burrell is a physically-gifted player with a high motor who worked very hard to put herself in position to be selected in the WNBA Draft,” says Harper. “She is an intense competitor who had to overcome an unfortunate injury suffered early during her senior season. We’re proud of the development Rae made during her time at Tennessee and look forward to watching her continue to blossom in her professional career.”

She ranks No. 36 in all-time scoring with 1,131 points with the Lady Vols. Burrell played in 110 games for the Big Orange, starting in 47. She finished her time at UT with averages of 10.3 points and 4.2 rebounds, shooting 40.2 percent from the field and improving her free-throw shooting from 57 and 60 percent her first two seasons to 83 and 79 over the final two.



Rick Byrd Receives 2022 Wooden Award Legends Of Coaching

Pictured (L-R): Sam Lagana, chairman of the John R. Wooden Awards program, Rick Byrd. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont University

Former Belmont men’s basketball head coach Rick Byrd has received the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching.

Byrd retired in 2019 after spending 33 years as Belmont’s head coach, winning 805 career wins. He led the Bruins to eight NCAA Tournament appearances

“There is no coach in the history of the game of basketball that embodied excellence, integrity and humility like John Wooden,” says Byrd. “As a young man, I was certainly influenced by his remarkable coaching success, but even more so by his personal character and Christian commitment. The examples he set have stayed with me throughout my coaching career and personal life. I am overwhelmed and grateful to be named the recipient of the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award for 2022.”

First handed out in 1999, the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching distinction is regarded as the highest honor in collegiate coaching. Recipients comprise a veritable who’s who in the history of college basketball, including Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma and inaugural recipient Dean Smith.



Former Bruin Darby Maggard Named Huntington University Head Coach

Darby Maggard. Photo: Courtesy Belmont Vision

Former Belmont women’s basketball superstar Darby Maggard has been named the head coach for Hunting University’s D III women’s basketball team.

Maggard played two seasons of professional basketball prior to being named assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin. As assistant coach, she was responsible for recruitment, player development and game preparation.

“I am incredibly excited to be the next head coach at Huntington University,” says Maggard. “Huntington lines up with everything I believe in and have a deep passion for. I’d like to thank Dr. Emberton and the committee for believing in me. I’d also like to thank Lori Culler for the positive culture that she has created and the solid foundation of Christ that she has built this program on. This is truly a dream come true for me, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Maggard owns the most records in program history. She holds the record for career three-point field goal percentage (43.1) and free-throw percentage (92.4.) She is a four-time OVC Tournament Champion with four NCAA Tournament appearances, and she made NCAA history by making 430 threes and 650 assists in her career. She was an AP All-American in 2019.

Steven Boero