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Morrow selected to lead women's basketball program

Samantha Morrow at press conference
Samantha Morrow answers questions at a press conference to announce her hiring as head coach.

Samantha Morrow won’t be satisfied with just reaching the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. She wants to rack up some victories.

“I believe we have an excellent opportunity to win a game, then two, then three,” she said at a May press conference announcing her appointment as the eighth coach in program history. “I want to go beyond being Southland Conference champions.”

One of the most successful high school girls coaches in Texas, Morrow posted a 413-77 record in 14 seasons at Mansfield and Mansfield Summit. She led Mansfield to four consecutive Class 5A state championships from 1999-2002. Her teams won 10 district titles, made 13 playoff appearances and had eight seasons of 30 or more wins.

“There’s not a high school gym in Texas that she can’t walk into and have instant respect,” UT Arlington Athletics Director Pete Carlon said. “We believe she will continue to build our program into one of the best in the nation. She’s a proven winner.”

Morrow, 47, left coaching in April to become an assistant athletic director for the Mansfield Independent School District. In her final season at Summit, the team finished 33-6 and advanced to the state semifinals.

She has won numerous coaching honors, including the 2002 National Federation of High School Coaches Association’s National Coach of the Year. Twenty-nine of her players have received scholarships to play college basketball, including 19 at Division I schools.

She is a member of the Texas Girls Coaches Association, Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the prestigious McDonald’s High School All-American Committee.

A 1981 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University with a bachelor of science degree in physical education, Morrow earned a master’s of education degree from Tarleton State University in 1987.

She replaces Donna Capps, who resigned in April to become an athletics administrator in the Mesquite Independent School District. Capps was 119-89 in seven seasons at UT Arlington after a successful prep career at Crandall and North Mesquite high schools.

UT Arlington returns two starters from a 24-9 team that won the Southland Conference with a school-record 19 straight victories. The Mavericks have competed in the NCAA Tournament two of the past three years.

“I would not have come here if I didn’t think there was a commitment to winning,” Morrow said. “If given the opportunity, UT Arlington is a gold mine.”

— Mark Permenter

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