The first day behind the desk for Amanda Levens in May of 2017 as head coach of the Nevada women’s basketball team was much different from many head coaches who have sat in that desk before her. This was not Levens’ first time in Reno, as she served as an assistant coach at Nevada from 2003-08.
“This was the only job I was interested in,” Levens said. “Number one, I was familiar with it, you know and I really enjoyed my time in Reno the first time I was here. And again, I just didn’t think they were very far away from being pretty good.”
Being ‘pretty good’ is nothing new for coach Levens. Her time as a player was nothing short of astounding.
During her time at Old Dominion, she helped lead the Monarchs to a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. She then took her talents to Arizona State University where she earned All-Pac-10 honors twice and was named AP honorable mention All-American in 2002.
Levens wrapped up her collegiate career as one of three players to score 1,000 points in two seasons, she was inducted into the ASU Hall of Fame and she signed a free-agent contract with the Charlotte Sting of the WNBA.
“I just had an amazing experience,” Levens said. “When I transferred there, and this is a part of our recruiting now is, I wanted to play for someone that really believed in me and cared about me beyond basketball.”
Levens—as an assistant coach—had immense success with the Pack, her first time around. The women’s basketball team went to their first-ever postseason tournament playing in the WNIT in 2006-07.
“Every player on that team really embraced the way we wanted to do things and they really wanted to win,” Levens said. “And so it was an amazing run, we lost a lot of close games within [the] conference and we won some games, we just had a great run in the tournament. And honestly, it was probably one of the most fun March’s I have ever been a part of.”
Coach Levens now looks to make her mark long term as she signed a five year, 1.09 million dollar contract last summer, making her the highest-paid coach in program history. The administration showed their faith in Leven’s by locking her in after just one year.
“I believe we have all the resources necessary to build a successful women’s basketball program and I am excited for the opportunity to do it,” Levens said in a statement to Nevada Sports Net. “My family and I have really enjoyed living in Northern Nevada and we are grateful to be part of such a supportive community.”
Time will determine Levens’ fate. She is now in her third season as head coach and is looking to make a big push in the Mountain West. The Nevada women’s basketball—who were picked to finish ninth in the MW preseason poll—are in the looking to shock the conference.
Austin Paschke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SagebrushSports.