Adam Pruiett, Bellarmine University Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Candyce Bingham, a WNBA draft pick and former University of Louisville standout who helped lead the Cardinals to the NCAA Tournament finals in 2009, has been hired as an assistant coach of the Bellarmine University women’s basketball team.
Bingham previously was an assistant coach at Western Kentucky University (2013-14) on a Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship team and was a graduate assistant at Louisville under Jeff Walz in the 2012-13 season when the Cardinals advanced to the finals of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
“I’m very excited to have her on staff,” Bellarmine Coach Chancellor Dugan said. “I think Candyce brings experience to us with playing in the national championship, coaching in the national championship, playing overseas and she’s been an assistant in Division I. She has a wealth of knowledge that is going to be invaluable for us.”
As a senior at Louisville in the 2008-09 season, Bingham earned first-team All-BIG EAST accolades after averaging 12.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Starting every game, she helped guide the Cardinals to a 34-5 record that included victories over No. 1 seeds Maryland and Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament en route to a first-ever title game appearance against Connecticut. Bingham recorded a double-double against the Huskies, scoring a team-high 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. She was named to the Raleigh Regional All-Tournament team.
As a junior, Bingham earned second-team All-BIG EAST honors after averaging 13.8 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor. She was named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament team and ripped down 20 rebounds in a Sweet 16 game against North Carolina.
Bingham, who played her first two collegiate seasons at Xavier, was a high school star locally. She played four years at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville and finished her career with 1,350 points, 402 rebounds, 200 assists and 91 blocked shots. As a senior, Bingham averaged 23 points, 10 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3 blocks while earning All-State, All-Region and All-District recognition. She was a WBCA All-American nominee and competed in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star game.
Bingham was selected in the third round of the 2009 WNBA draft by the San Antonio Silver Stars. She played professionally overseas in Luxembourg, Germany and Puerto Rico.
After head coaching one year at Fern Creek High School in Louisville, Bingham returned to U of L as a graduate assistant in 2012-13 and helped lead the Cardinals to the Final Four and a 29-9 record that included one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, an 82-81 victory over Brittney Griner-led and defending national champion Baylor. At Western Kentucky, Bingham in 2013-14 helped guide the Hilltoppers to a Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Bingham was an assistant coach at her high school alma mater and helped lead DuPont Manual to a 7th Region championship and an appearance in the state tournament.
In 2015-16, Bellarmine went 24-4 and won its first-ever Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament title while appearing in the Division II NCAA Tournament.
“I’m excited to be a part of the Bellarmine staff,” said Bingham, who earned a psychology degree from U of L. “Coach Dugan, (Assistant) Coach (Shannon) Litton and (former assistant) Crystal Kelly did a really great job over the first four years of building the program up and this last year winning the conference tournament and getting a taste of the NCAA Tournament. I think you build on that this year. The team is excited, and I’m definitely excited to be a part of that.”
Bingham’s also looking forward to returning to the city where she grew up and became a basketball star at both the prep and collegiate level.
“I think everybody at some point wants to get back home,” she said. “Louisville is definitely home for me. It’s exciting to have family and friends here who are able to come to the games and be supportive. Family means a lot to me.”