Dream Big Coach's Profile: Kristy Curry
Practically raised in a gym from the minute she was born, Purdue University Women's Basketball Coach Kristy Curry comes from two generations of coaching. This family history has led her to success at Purdue as its seventh head coach.
"This is absolutely a dream come true," Curry says. "I knew as a little girl that one day I wanted to coach at this level. Very few people ever have the chance to see their dreams become reality, so I feel very fortunate."
To demonstrate this strong lineage, her grandfather, Major Sims, coached for 41 years. Her father, Blake Sims, coached football, while her mother, Ann Sims, coached girls' basketball for 26 years. Curry says she was blessed by being born into a coaching family.
"I have been very fortunate to learn from two generations of outstanding coaches who taught me about the Xs and Os and the impact you can have on a young person's life," she said. "My parents have been the biggest influence on me."
Inheriting a national championship team, Curry was hired by Purdue in April 1999 as head coach of the women's basketball team. She managed an impressive season her first year by leading the Lady Boilermakers to a 31-7 record (14-2 Big Ten). Last year, she also led them to a third consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship. This year, she coached the Purdue women to the NCAA Championship game, losing to Notre Dame.
"I reflect on this season and realize truly how special it was. This team has been through so much tragedy and change. They just are soldiers, and through good and bad, they continued to persevere. Beyond being good players, they are good people who truly gave everything they had. I think as coaches all you can ask is for someone to give his or her best and this team did that. They are a special group," Curry said.
Her favorite moment this season was in Birmingham, Ala., at the Mideast Regional Conference when Purdue beat Xavier. "The final buzzer sounded, and I knew we were going to the Final Four!"
Curry came to Purdue following three years as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech under Leon Barmore. While at Louisiana Tech, she helped guide the women to a record of 92-11, while advancing to the NCAA national championship fame in 1998 and the Women's Final Four in 1999.
"The opportunity to become a head coach led me from Louisiana to Indiana. I felt that this was a unique opportunity because not many people can say that women's basketball is a priority. It's a priority at Purdue and in West Lafayette," Curry said.
Before coaching at Louisiana Tech, Curry was an assistant at Texas A&M, Tulane and Stephen F. Austin. She began her coaching career at the high school level at Weston and Mansfield High Schools in Louisiana.
Originally from Olla, La., Curry is a 1988 graduate of Northeast Louisiana University at Monroe. She earned her bachelor's degree in health and physical education and earned a master's in kinesiology from Stephen F. Austin. Curry played four years of basketball at LaSalle High School in Olla, where she earned all-state, all-district and all-region honors.
To young girls pursuing basketball or sports in general, Curry says, "...set goals and know that with hard work and dedication, you can do anything you want to in this life."
Coach Curry's Top 5 Coaching Tips