Jackson Makes First Women's Hoops Hire

April 13, 2007

SEATTLE - Washington women's basketball coach Tia Jackson announced Friday that former Husky standout Loree Payne will join her staff as an assistant coach.

Payne, a 2003 Washington graduate and two-time all-Pac-10 player, returns to her alma mater after serving as an assistant women's basketball coach at the University of Portland the last two seasons. Payne spent one season as an assistant coach at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, before taking the position with Portland.

'I am excited about bringing Loree back to her basketball roots,' Jackson said. 'The tradition and standard of excellence at the University of Washington are what I believe originally drew her to UW as a player and now as a coach. She is a great addition to this staff and will be a tremendous asset to our success. She brings great energy and passion, key elements that define what our program will be about. This is a special time for our program and I am fortunate to have Loree join me in bringing back the buzz to Husky women's basketball.'

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Payne, a four-year letterwinner from 2000-2003 and three-year team captain, is Washington's career leader in three-point field goals made (245) and three-point field goals attempted (732). She ranks seventh on Washington's all-time scoring list with 1,675 career points and was the 17th UW player to reach the 1,000-point milestone when she did so on Jan. 2, 2002. She was just the ninth Husky to reach the mark as a junior. During her collegiate career, Payne was also a three-time selection to the Pac-10 All-Academic team including back-to-back first-team nods as a junior and senior.

'I'm very honored to be given this opportunity to return Washington,' Payne said. 'This is where my heart and soul have always been and I'm really looking forward to being a part of the Husky family again. Tia is awesome and I'm also looking forward to being a part of everything she is going to bring to the University. I can't wait to get up to Seattle and get started!'

Payne was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams at Washington, including the Huskies' dramatic run to the Elite Eight in 2001. Her game-winning shot at the buzzer in Washington's first round game against Old Dominion made ESPN's Plays of the Week. Payne was also selected to the USA Basketball Jones Cup team that toured Taiwan in 2000. As a freshman, she led Washington in scoring with 17.4 points per game and was a Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree.

Payne's coaching career began at Northwest Nazarene in 2003-04 where her responsibilities included organization of film exchange and recruiting details, fundamental and skill development, and the organization of summer camps. She was then appointed an assistant coach at Portland in the spring of 2004, where her coaching duties included on-court fundamentals, scouting and recruiting. She also worked primarily with the Pilots' perimeter players.

Payne is a native of Havre, Mont., and a 1999 graduate of Havre High School. As a prepster, she was named a 1998 Nike All-American, was Montana's 1999 USA Today Player of the Year, and was a two-time Gatorade Circle of Champions Montana High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Payne was also a standout track and field athlete in high school, winning the state high jump title in 1998.

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