Wagner had been asst. at Illinois, Duke

Updated: April 16, 2005, 11:22 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- LaVonda Wagner, an assistant at Duke for the last three years, was named women's basketball coach at Oregon State on Friday.

Wagner, who signed a five-year contract, replaces Judy Spoelstra, who was fired after 10 seasons with the Beavers.

"I'm honored to be part of the Oregon State University family and to be involved in the lives of the student-athletes at OSU," Wagner said. "I embrace the opportunity to coach in a prestigious conference like the Pac-10."

Oregon State was 6-23 this past season, including a 1-17 mark in the Pac-10 Conference.

A native of Bristol, Va., Wagner has been at Duke since 2002 and was heavily involved in recruiting, scouting, and working with the Blue Devils' post players.

In her time at Duke, Wagner helped the Blue Devils bring in three top five national recruiting classes, including the top recruiting class in 2003 and the second-best recruiting class in 2005. Duke advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in each of Wagner's three seasons and earned a trip to the 2003 Final Four.

Prior to joining Duke's staff, Wagner spent eight seasons at Illinois (1994-02), where she played a large role in the rise of Illini basketball. She was instrumental in garnering one of the top five recruiting classes in 2000, while she attracted many of the top players from Illinois and recruited on a national scale.

"We are extremely excited to get a person with LaVonda's credentials," Oregon State Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis said. "When you meet her, she lights up the room, and I felt within the first minute of the interview that we had someone special here.

"One of the things that impressed me was the fact that she made the move from Illinois as associate head coach, to going back to being an assistant at Duke to get a different perspective. She's had a meticulous game plan to get to being a head coach."

The details of a five-year contract with Oregon State are being finalized.