GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado director of athletics Darren Dunn announced that Kamie Ethridge will take over as the 12th head coach in program history on Monday.

Ethridge joins the UNC staff after serving the past 18 years as associate head coach with Kansas State and totaling more than 500 wins in her coaching career. An inductee of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and gold medalist with U.S. Olympics in 1988, she has played a prominent role in women's basketball in the United States.

"During our thorough search process, we spoke with many different leaders in women's basketball who knew coach Ethridge well, on and off the court," Dunn said. "Her energy, excitement and commitment to student-athletes were apparent from our first meeting and from many discussions with those who have worked with her. She is extremely prepared for this opportunity and will be a perfect fit for our program, department and community.

"She is very well versed in the X's and O's, outstanding in player development and is a proven recruiter and relationship builder. She is star in this industry and we're truly excited to have her join our UNC Athletics family."

Ethridge takes over as the Bears finished 14-15 and 8-12 in Big Sky play during the 2013-14 season. The conference's third leading scorer in the Big Sky, Stephanie Lee and leading scorer from 2012-13, D'shara Strange, return for their senior seasons in 2014-15.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity President Norton and Director of Athletics Darren Dunn have afforded me to be the head women's basketball coach at University of Northern Colorado," Ethridge said. "This is a program that has tremendous potential for achieving academic and athletic success in the Big Sky Conference. I look forward to building a partnership between our program and the UNC faculty, student body, Greeley and the surrounding communities in an effort to create one of the best home court environments in the Big Sky."

Ethridge totaled 350 wins with a .608 winning percentage during her 18 seasons with the Wildcats where she shared the responsibility for all developmental, administrative and coaching aspects of the program. She previously served as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and Northern Illinois. Ethridge advanced to the NCAA tournament 14 times, including six trips to the Sweet 16, during her career as associate head coach and assistant coach.

While playing for seven national teams during her playing career, Ethridge earned six gold and one silver medal, including playing in the 1988 Olympics with the United States, 1986 World Championships and serving as an alternate for the Olympics in 1984. She also won an NCAA national championship and most outstanding player while playing for the Texas Longhorns from 1982-86.