LUBBOCK, Texas – First-year Texas Tech Lady Raider basketball coach Krista Gerlich finalized the program’s coaching and support staffs on Monday.
“I couldn’t be more excited and confident in the staff that we have put together to lead Lady Raider Basketball back to prominence,” Gerlich said. “We have veterans who have recruited and won at the highest level, along with some of the best and brightest up-and-coming stars in our profession who are all equipped for the challenge ahead.
“I’ve always been told to surround myself with good people and good things will happen; well, I couldn’t have better people around me. They are extremely hard workers, they operate with the upmost integrity and they all have a unified calling to be servant leaders. This Lady Raider coaching staff has what it takes to attract high quality players, coach and win in high-level games while positively impacting the lives of our student-athletes, Texas Tech University and the community of Lubbock. We are finally complete and already implementing positive change within the Lady Raider program.”
Associate head coach JC Carter and assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Ashley Crawford, as well as chief of staff Jared Boyd and director of operations Jordan Vessels come to Tech after serving on Gerlich’s staff at UT Arlington. Assistant coach Eric Ely joins the Lady Raider program after 10 seasons at Oregon State.
Krista Gerlich – Head Coach
JC Carter – Associate Head Coach
Ashley Crawford – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Eric Ely – Assistant Coach
Jared Boyd – Chief of Staff
Jordan Vessels – Director of Operations
JC Carter enters his first season on staff at Texas Tech in 2020-21.
Carter comes to Texas Tech after spending two seasons (2018-20) as an assistant coach at Florida State, where he helped lead the Seminoles to a 48-17 record.
One of his main responsibilities at FSU was handling the team’s guard play, which included standout years by seniors Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk. Ekhomu garnered her first-ever All-America season as a senior, averaging 14.9 points and having a 2.0 assist/turnover ratio. Ekhomu led FSU with 16.0 points in ACC play and earned her first selection to the All-ACC First Team.
Carter played an integral role in FSU defeating six AP Top 25 teams in 2019-20 and finishing with a 24-8 overall record (11-7 in ACC play). FSU made the program’s second ACC title game ever after defeating top-seeded Louisville, 62-60, in the ACC Tournament Semifinals.
Prior to his stop in Tallahassee, Carter was an assistant at Utah State for four seasons (2014-18). While with the Aggies program, he oversaw player skill development, ran summer camps and played a big role in recruiting. Under his watch, the 2015-16 season was highlighted by the Aggies ranking in the top half of the Mountain West Conference in every offensive category.
In his four seasons at Utah State, he helped two players earn Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors in guard Eliza West (2017) and fellow guard Funda Nakkasoglu (2015).
Prior to a brief stint as a men’s assistant coach at John Brown University (2013-14), Carter spent two seasons at the helm of Marshfield High School (Mo.). In 2011, Carter took over the Blue Jay program at Marshfield, leading the boys’ team to back-to-back conference championships. In his first season, Carter was named the Central Ozark Conference Coach of the Year as his team made an appearance in the MHSHAA 4A Top-10.
He spent four seasons in multiple capacities at his alma mater, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He was named the assistant men’s basketball coach in 2007 and quickly helped lead the program to a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Championship in 2008. After one season with the men’s program, Carter assumed his first collegiate head coaching position, taking over the SBU women’s team for three seasons. His Lady Bearcat teams were known for their three-point prowess, as SBU ranked second in the nation in triples made.
Carter also spent time on the west coast, moving to Los Angeles to take charge of the Village Christian High School boys team. After two seasons (2004-06), he was offered an assistant coaching position at Cal State Northridge, where he worked for the 2006-07 season coordinating recruiting efforts, team travel and opponent scouting reports.
He started his coaching career when he went to assume the director of basketball operations position at Texas-Pan American for the 2003-04 campaign, spending a single season in Edinburg.
Carter’s playing career began at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, where he spent one season in NJCAA competition prior to transferring to Stephen F. Austin for his sophomore campaign. In 2000, Carter transferred for his last two years at NCAA II Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Mo., where he earned the Greg Germany 2002 Senior Leadership Award for his efforts.
Ashley Crawford enters her first season on staff at Texas Tech in 2020-21 following seven seasons with Krista Gerlich at UT Arlington.
Crawford will have a heavy influence on the recruiting process at Texas Tech. She is responsible for all aspects of recruiting within the Lady Raider program, including organizing visits and knowing and meeting with top players locally and nationally. During her time at UTA, the Lady Mavericks were named the top recruiting class in the conference for the 2013-14 season by Dan Olsen Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (54th in Division I).
The Lady Mavs wrapped up the 2019-20 season with a 21-11 overall record (14-4 SBC). UTA earned the No. 3 seed in the SBC Tourney and went on to defeat Texas State in the first round before falling to South Alabama in the Quarterfinals. Gerlich and the Lady Mavs were hopeful for a postseason tournament berth, but those hopes were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the 2020 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Championship, the 2020 NCAA Tournament and the 2020 Postseason WNIT and WBI.
Crawford helped lead UTA to arguably the most successful season in program history in 2018-19. The Lady Mavs secured the program’s first Sun Belt Regular Season championship, made their sixth postseason tournament appearance (WNIT), which was the second WNIT berth under Gerlich, and won a postseason (excluding conference tournaments) game for the first time in program history with their WNIT First Round triumph over Stephen F. Austin (60-54; Mar. 21). UTA also finished the season with 24 wins, which tied for the most in a single season with the 2006-07 squad (24-9 overall, Head Coach Donna Capps).
Helping the Lady Mavericks reach the Sun Belt Tournament Semifinals for the first time in 2017 and earning a berth in the Women’s NIT (their first postseason appearance since 2009), Crawford was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches DI Assistant Coach of the Year in 2017.
Among the successful players Crawford coached during her time at UTA was Cierra Johnson, who was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and Sun Belt Co-Player of the Year in 2019. Johnson finished her career at UTA with 318 steals, which still ranks first in program history.
Prior to UTA, she was a coach at Lamar under former Texas Tech assistant coach Larry Tidwell, where she helped develop some of the top guards in the Southland Conference. She helped her players rack up five all-conference selections and two conference and conference tournament MVP’s. Among those guards was Kalis Loyd, who became the all time leading scorer at Lamar, was top three in all time rebounding and steals and top 10 in assists. Crawford played an important role on the 2009-2010 Lamar squad that posted a 26-8 record en route to winning the Southland Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Before coaching, the Mesquite native played for the Lady Cardinals where she overcame a serious knee injury to post two solid seasons. In her final campaign, she started 26 of Lamar’s 34 games, averaging 6.3 points per game while often accepting the role of shutting down the opposition’s top scorer.
In the classroom, Crawford earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and completed her master’s degree in kinesiology in 2010. She posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in her master’s program during her final season on the court, earning her first-team District 6 All-Academic honors.
Crawford attended Horn High School, where she earned all-region honors as a senior. She averaged seven points per game at Trinity Valley Community College, where she set the school single-game assist record with 19. She attended UT Arlington for one season before transferring to Lamar.
Prior to her college days, Crawford was a member of one of the top summer basketball programs in the nation. As a member of the DFW Elite, she was starting back court on the founding team.
Assistant coach Eric Ely joins the Lady Raider basketball program after 10 years at Oregon State, where he spent the last four seasons as the assistant athletics director for women’s basketball after six seasons as an assistant coach.
As assistant athletics director for women’s basketball, Ely helped with campus outreach and coordinating the team’s practice players. He was also insrumental in creating a partnership between the team and Corvallis Southside Outreach, a group that reached out to underprivileged kids in south Corvallis.
During his time on head coach Scott Rueck’s staff, the Beavers saw a dramatic turnaround, culminating in a Final Four appearance in 2016. Ely helped guide the Beavers to three Pac-12 titles, as well as a 32-win season in 2015-16.
In his six years as an assistant coach, Ely mentored some of the best post players in the Pac-12, highlighted by a trio of Pac-12 All-Defensive Team centers who own four of the top eight best single-season shot block totals in conference history.
The lineage started with El Sara Greer in 2010-11, who swatted what was then a school record 92 shots and averaged 9.2 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the field. One year later, Patricia Bright eclipsed Greer and tallied 115 rejections, converted 57.9 percent of her attempts from the floor and put up 8.7 ppg.
The run on dominant centers culminated most recently with Ruth Hamblin, who set a school and Pac-12 single-season record with 141 blocks in 2013-14, before setting the Beavers’ career record for rejections in 2014-15 and the Pac-12 career record in 2015-16. The Canadian became the Beavers first All-American in over a decade in April of 2015, when she was named to the AP All-America Third Team. Hamblin also earned Pac-12 Player of the Year (Media) honors, and back-to-back Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. She also produced the first triple-double at Oregon State in 30 years on Jan. 13, 2014 against Oregon with totals of 23 points, 12 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocks.
Ely owns over 15 years of Division I coaching experience, with nine coming from stints at Oral Roberts (1998-2004 and 2007-10) and Missouri (2004-07). He helped Oral Roberts to four postseason appearances, including three NCAA trips under head coach Jerry Finkbeiner. At Missouri, Ely served as the recruiting coordinator and worked with post players under head coach Cindy Stein.
In just his first season with the Golden Eagles in 1998-99, Ely helped coach the team to the Summit League title and the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. When Ely rejoined the Oral Roberts staff, the Golden Eagles repeated as Summit League champions, winning 23 games en route to the school’s first ever regular-season Summit League title and a trip to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
Before joining Oral Roberts, Ely was the head coach at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mt. Vernon, Ohio from 1996-98. He guided the Lady Cougars to a 31-36 overall record in two seasons, improving from 12 wins during his inaugural year to 19 in 1997-98. In his final season at MVNU, Ely was honored as the National Christian College Athletic Association East Region Coach of the Year and also received votes from the Ohio Coaching Association as one of the top women’s college coaches in the state of Ohio.
Ely started his coaching career at his alma mater, Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho, where he served as assistant coach from 1987-1996. He was instrumental in the recruitment of several NAIA All-Americans and helped the Lady Crusaders to a NAIA Division II runner-up finish during the 1994-95 season.
As a player, Ely spent time in NBA training camp with the Detroit Pistons and played in the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer pro league. He played professionally for one year in France, where he was tabbed as the Outstanding American Player by the French media during the 1980-81 season, and four years in Brazil, earning a lifetime contract and garnering all-star status in 1984 and 1985.
Ely earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Nazarene in 1982, adding a master’s degree from Albertson College of Idaho in 1995. He and his wife, Regina, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, have two children, C.J. and Rachel.
Jared Boyd enters his first season on staff at Texas Tech as chief of staff, following two seasons as director of operations on Krista Gerlich’s staff at UT Arlington.
At Tech, Boyd manages day to day admin responsibilities including public relations and community outreach for Coach Gerlich and the Lady Raider team. He will help with scheduling of practices, coordinating scouting and film preparation and scheduling and organizing community service projects.
In his role at UTA, Boyd managed day-to-day administrative responsibilities, scheduling of practices and workouts, arranging team travel, coordinating scouting and film preparation and overseeing the student managers.
Boyd graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Sports and Exercise Science from West Texas A&M in 2012 where he served as a student assistant for Gerlich. He graduated from Texas Tech in 2015 with a Masters Degree in Sports Management.
After spending four seasons with Krista Gerlich at UT Arlington, including two as an assistant coach, Jordan Vessels enters her first season on staff at Texas Tech in 2020-21. At UT Arlington, she spent two years as the program’s director of operations before being promoted to assistant coach in 2018.
The Lady Mavs wrapped up the 2019-20 season with a 21-11 overall record (14-4 SBC), securing the 11th overall for the Lady Mavs. UTA earned the No. 3 seed in the SBC Tourney and went on to defeat Texas State in the first round before falling to South Alabama in the Quarterfinals. Gerlich and the Lady Mavs were hopeful for a postseason tournament berth, but those hopes were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the 2020 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Championship, the 2020 NCAA Tournament and the 2020 Postseason WNIT and WBI.
In 2018-19, Vessels helped lead UTA to arguably the most successful season in program history in 2018-19. The Lady Mavs secured the program’s first Sun Belt Regular Season championship, made their sixth postseason tournament appearance (WNIT), which was the second WNIT berth under Gerlich, and won a postseason (excluding conference tournaments) game for the first time in program history with their WNIT First Round triumph over Stephen F. Austin (60-54; Mar. 21). UTA also finished the season with 24 wins, which tied for the most in a single season with the 2006-07 squad (24-9 overall, Head Coach Donna Capps).
A native of Canyon, Texas, Vessels was a four-year player for West Texas A&M, including three seasons playing under current UTA head coach Krista Gerlich from 2010-2012. Vessels served as the Lady Buffs’ graduate assistant for the 2015-16 season.
Vessels graduated from West Texas A&M with her bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science and had a career that saw her play in 126 games, tied for fourth all-time in WTA&M history.
On the court, she helped the Lady Buffs to back-to-back Lone Star Conference championships in both the regular season and tournament, won back-to-back South Central Region championships and played in the 2014 National Championship Game.