Beth Couture, an NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach standout, will be the next basketball coach for the Converse College Valkyries.
“When I visited campus and saw the passion everyone has for the college and the women’s basketball program, it was amazing.”
Butler University’s all-time winningest women’s basketball coach, who holds the same record for Presbyterian College, will return to her native South Carolina to begin duties at Converse on Sept. 2. Couture led the transition of Butler’s team from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 Conference, and then again to the Big East Conference where she finished 6th out of 10 teams and earned a bid to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) her first year. During her ten years in the Horizon League, she increased Butler’s wins every year and led the team to two championship games. In all at Butler, she earned five bids to the WNIT. Butler presented her with the Woman of Distinction Award in 2010.
“My priority in this search was recruiting someone with a history of building a winning program,” said Athletic Director Joy Couch. “This is an ideal time for Beth Couture to join our team, as we ride the momentum of opening a new field house this fall, of gaining national recognition for some of our programs, and of having doubled our number of sports and quadrupled our number of student-athletes over the last decade. I am confident Couture is the right person to build success for our basketball program.”
Couture comes to Spartanburg after a twelve-year career at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind. and thirteen-year career at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. At Presbyterian College, she led the women’s basketball team to six NCAA Post Season Tournaments, four South Atlantic Conference tournament titles, and three South Atlantic Conference regular season titles.
“This is an ideal time for Couture to join our team, as we ride the momentum of opening a new field house this fall, of gaining national recognition for some of our programs, and of having doubled our number of sports and quadrupled our number of student-athletes over the last decade.”
“My interest in Converse started with the opportunity to work for and with Joy,” Couture said. “I have admired her and her accomplishments for many years. When I visited campus and saw the passion everyone has for the college and the women’s basketball program, it was amazing. I also am very impressed with President Fleming’s vision and leadership.”
Couture earned her bachelor’s degree from Erskine College, where she was named Kodak All-American, and completed her master’s degree in physical education from Furman University. She sees her South Carolina roots as a benefit to building her Converse team. “Recruiting is all about relationships and I look forward to renewing old relationships and building many new ones,” she said.
Today, Converse fields 10 teams and has 169 student-athletes in its NCAA Division II program. “As the only women’s college competing at the NCAA Division II level, Converse College is thrilled to have recruited such a strong coach and dynamic leader for our Valkyries basketball team,” said Converse President Betsy Fleming. “Beth Couture’s enthusiasm for joining our community is a testament to the growth and strength of Converse athletics, and to the value of our laser-like focus on developing the talents of women.”
More information about the Valkyries Athletic Program is available online at www.converse.edu/athletics.
Photo credit: Brent Smith