Women’s basketball coach signs contract extension

Head coach Todd Starkey swings from the net after he cuts it down on Mar. 4, 2020 to celebrate Kent State Women’s basketball becoming the MAC East champions. Kent State University women’s basketball beat Ohio University 81-77.

Kent State women’s basketball head coach Todd Starkey has agreed to a contract extension through the 2025-2026 basketball season.

Director of Athletics Randale L. Richmond announced the agreement Tuesday afternoon with the 2021-2022 season set to tip off in two weeks.

Terms of the new contract were not immediately available.

“We are thrilled to extend the contract of Coach Starkey,” Richmond said in a statement to Kent State Athletics. “Todd has assembled one of the best coaching staffs in the country and is a great ambassador for our department and university as a whole. Under his leadership, our women’s basketball program has been placed on track for consistent sustained success, and I’m confident that the best is yet to come.”

In five seasons with the Flashes, Starkey won 82 games, led the team to two Mid-American Conference East Division titles and two postseason WNIT appearances. 

“I’d like to thank President Diacon, Director of Athletics Randale L. Richmond, Senior Deputy Athletics Director Greg Glaus and Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Suzette McQueen for the opportunity to continue to lead the women’s basketball program at Kent State,” Starkey said in a statement to Kent State Athletics. “It’s an honor to coach these young women, and I feel blessed to have such strong support from our administration. With a phenomenal staff in place, the future of this program is very bright!”

Starkey has been with Kent since the 2016-2017 season. In his first season, the team tripled its win total from the previous year and moved up 222 spots in the RPI rankings. His first season success earned him MAC Coach of the Year honors. 

The team led the nation in free throws made under his first season of leadership and ranked 20th during his second season in free throws made.

In three of his first four seasons, the Flashes won at least 19 games before only playing 20 games last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic adjusted season.   

Kent State made a school-record 241 three-point field goals in the 2018-2019 season and the Flashes made a record 16 three-pointers in the conference opener against Ohio State University in December. Senior Lindsey Thall is currently on track to become the Flashes all-time leader in three-pointers this season.

Academically, the team has set term GPA records multiple times. Kent earned the No.16 spot on the WBCA’s Academic Honor Roll for the 2020-2021 season with a 3.655 GPA for the year. The Flashes received 27 Academic All-MAC recognitions in the past five seasons. 

The Flashes are set to tip off the 2021-2022 season on the road at 7 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Kathryn Rajnicek is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]