Audra Smith Rounds Out Staff with Ard, Becker
CLEMSON, SC - Head women’s basketball coach Audra Smith put the finishing touches on her staff, adding Kayla Ard as an Assistant Coach and Kathy Becker as the Director of Basketball Operations. Ard was at Troy University last season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, while Becker spent the previous nine seasons alongside Smith at UAB as an Assistant Coach.
“I am excited to have Kayla and Kathy join us at Clemson,” said Smith, who took control of the women’s basketball program on April 8. “Kayla has a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the nation, and will make an immediate impact in our program. Kathy has been a vital part of my staff for nine years, and I am very happy to have her with us in this role.”
Ard joins the Clemson staff after spending the 2012-13 season at Troy University, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Ard’s 2013 class signing had eight members, and featured three NJCAA All-Americans.
Prior to her time at Troy, she worked as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Pensacola State College. There, she helped the Pirates to two NJCAA Semifinal appearances, and a No. 1 ranking for 20 consecutive weeks. Ard will be responsible for coaching the guards and wings at Clemson.
Becker will be responsible for the day-to-day operations around the program, including the scheduling of practices, events, and road trips, and ensuring that Clemson’s program is within NCAA compliance.
Becker has an impressive resume, which includes playing for or working with two of the game’s best. Becker, then Kathy Allen, played at the University of Virginia under Debbie Ryan until 2002, when she graduated with a degree in commerce and a minor in economics from UVa’s McIntire School of Commerce.
Upon graduation, she worked as a graduate assistant under Pat Summitt at Tennessee, where she assisted in recruiting. The Lady Vols went to Final Fours in each of her two seasons with the team, and she assisted in the recruitment of Tennessee’s 2004 signing class, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation and included Candace Parker.
She joined Smith’s staff at UAB in 2004, where she began as an assistant coach, working with the guards, and spent nine seasons in that capacity.