Wright returning to UVA as assistant coach

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- It's been nine years since Monica Wright left Virginia as the all-time leading scorer in program history. Now she's coming back -- as an assistant coach at her alma mater.

Blank poses for the Women's Basketball team headshots in the Vines practice court on September 13, 2018. (Photo by Erik Flores)

Wright was one of two new additions to Tina Thompson's staff announced by UVA on Monday afternoon, along with assistant coach Walter Pitts. The two will replace La'Keshia Frett Meredith and Jama Sharp, who were part of Thompson's inaugural staff at UVA, but won't return for next season.

Thompson called Wright's hire "a no-brainer" in a statement released by the school.

"Not many have done it better than Monica. She knows a side of the university that no one else on our staff knows and has accomplished the very things our girls aspire to," Thompson said. "It is important to me that our kids have examples of what is possible, that they can see, touch and talk to everyday. That way they will know if they are committed to the work, anything is possible."

Wright scored 2,540 points and averaged 19.1 points per game in her UVA career. Both remain No. 1 in the program's all-time record book. As a senior, Wright was named both player of the year and defensive player of the year by the ACC after averaging a school-record 23.7 points and 3.7 steals per game. Wright was also a three-time All-America in a Virginia uniform, including first-team honors in 2010.

Following that 2010 season, Wright was the No. 2 overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. She played five professional seasons, helping the Lynx win WNBA titles in 2011 and 2013.

Wright began her coaching career as the director of student-athlete development at Incarnate Word for the 2017-18 season. She spent last year as an assistant at Liberty.

Pitts spent last season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Jackson State. His coaching resume also includes stops with the men's basketball program at Texas Southern and the women's program at UNC Greensboro, as well as time with the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

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