Trakh Finalizes Women's Basketball Staff With Ford Hiring

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head women’s basketball coach Mark Trakh completed his staff with the hiring of former Nebraska standout Ashley Ford.

Ford joins the NM State women’s basketball staff after spending the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach at Nebraska, her alma mater, where she was the starting point guard from 2005-07 under head coach Connie Yori.

“Ashley is an experienced coach, having been an assistant at USD for five years and at Nebraska for three years,” Trakh said. “She has coached and played at the highest levels. She has a reputation for being a great on-floor coach and a great recruiter. We are all very excited to have her become a part of the Aggie family.”

In her return to Lincoln as an assistant, Ford coached a pair of players to All-Big Ten honors. Freshman Jessica Shepard was named Big Ten Freshman of the year and First-Team All-Big Ten under Ford while sophomore Natalie Romeo earned Second-Team All-Big Ten on top of her Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Ford helped guide the Huskers to their fifth-consecutive postseason bid this past season when they earn a spot in the WNIT after going 18-13 on the year and 9-9 in the Big Ten play. It was the first WNIT appearance for Nebraska since 2009.

Before returning to her alma mater, Ford spent five seasons (2010-15) as an assistant coach with the Toreros of San Diego. During her time at USD, the Toreros reach the 20-win plateau four-straight times – including a 25-7 overall mark in her last season (2014-15) there. San Diego also finished second in West Coast Conference play that year at 14-4 and made its fourth-consecutive WNIT appearance before falling to the eventual champion, UCLA, in the second round.

The year before that, Ford helped guide USD to a 24-9 overall record and earned the school’s first-ever top-25 national ranking after opening the season 15-0. The Toreros advanced to the WNIT Sweet 16 that year as well. San Diego advanced to the second round of the WNIT in 2012-13 after going 22-10, including a trip to the WCC Tournament Championship game.

In her second year with San Diego, the Toreros notched the most wins in program history with a 26-9 record on top of a second-place finish in the WCC.

After graduating from Nebraska in 2008, Ford was a graduate assistant Manager from 2008-10 with the Huskers program before she left for San Diego. In her last season with the Huskers during the 2009-10 season, Ford helped the Big Red to a school-best 32-2 overall mark on top of a perfect 29-0 mark at the end of the regular season. The Huskers also finished 16-0 in Big 12 play that year, capturing the regular-season title before reaching the Sweet 16 as the No. 1 seed.

Ford started all 64 games for Coach Yori in her two seasons with the Huskers. The 5-7 guard helped lay the foundation for Nebraska’s numerous NCAA Tournament appearances after she graduated.

Prior to joining the Nebraska women’s basketball team, Ford spent two seasons at Cloudy County (Kan.) Community College where she averaged 14 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 steals her sophomore year. She led the team in scoring, assists and steals that year while checking in at third in rebounds, earning her second-team all-conference honors as well as NJCAA Region VI Honorable Mention selections.

As a freshman at Cloud County, Ford averaged 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists and led the T-Birds to a 25-7 record, earning her Second-Team All-JayHawk West Conference honors and NJCAA Region VI selections.

Ford was a stout prep player as well, garnering Third-Team Super-State selections as a senior at Lincoln Northeast (2002-03). She averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.2 steals during her prep career and also eared Second-Team Class A All-State honors as a junior and senior.

Born in Fort Rucker, Ala., Ford earned bachelor’s degree in communication studies in May of 2008 and her master’s in education administration in 2016. Ford was also named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor in the fall of 2007.