Kentucky women’s basketball coach Kyra Elzy, a ‘positive role model in our community’, gets contract extended through 2027

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky women’s basketball coach Kyra Elzy has had her contract extended through 2027 after guiding the Wildcats to their first Southeastern Conference tournament championship in 40 years.

Terms of the contract were not immediately available.

In a statement, the second-year coach thanked athletic director Mitch Barnhart, women’s basketball administrator Tiffany Hayden and president Eli Capilouto for their confidence in her and for having a common vision for the program.

“We have a core of talented and motivated players returning along with an exciting group of signers who can’t wait to wear those eight letters on the front of their shirts,” Elzy said.

Elzy was caretaker coach for a brief period before officially taking over from Matthew Mitchell in December 2020 after a 6-0 start. She is 37-21 at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats after losing eight of nine mid-season to 10 straight league wins _ including a 64-62 upset against top and eventual national champion Carolina South in the SEC tournament title game.

The Wildcats, who finished 19-12 this season, earned their second consecutive NCAA tournament berth but lost 69-62 to Princeton in the first round. Elzy is the first female Wildcats coach to begin a tenure with back-to-back NCAA appearances.

Barnhart said the “impressive” turnaround in the program was an important step in building the championship vision. He added, “We are thrilled to extend Kyra and continue our investment in women’s basketball and in her as a coach and positive role model in our community.”

Rebecca R. Santistevan