Head coach Niya Butts and the Arizona women's basketball team open the 2012-13 season on Monday, Nov. 5 to host Grand Canyon University at McKale Center. The exhibition contest will begin at 7 p.m. MST.
The Wildcats and the Panthers will tip-off at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. MST on Sunday in Atlanta.
Brandy Manning begins his first season as an associate head coach after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for four years for Arizona women's basketball. He also works with Arizona's defense, post players, opponent scouting and player development.
Widely considered as one of the top up and coming assistant coaches in the nation, Manning joined the Arizona coaching staff prior to the 2008-09 season after spending one season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Central Florida.
"Brandy Manning is one of the most driven and dedicated coaches and people I know," head coach Niya Butts said. "His commitment is second to none and I appreciate his recruiting efforts. He does things most coaches don't think to do or make the time to do. I know the University of Arizona will also appreciate his efforts in the coming years because of the job he does recruiting and the players he's able to bring in. He's also outstanding at player development and working with our post players. He's an absolute pleasure to work with."
In four seasons with UA, Manning has been part of a coaching staff to lead Arizona to its first postseason appearance since the 2004-05 season. During the 2011-12 season, Arizona's 11-1 start was the best in program history since the 1999-2000 season. The Cats beat UCLA twice, the first a 74-66 victory at McKale Center on Jan. 5 and the second a Pac-12 Tournament 61-57 win on March 7. The January win marked UA's first over the Bruins since 2006-07 and the first in Tucson since 2004-05.
Overall, the Wildcats improved from 12 wins in 2008-09, to 14 wins in 2009-10, to 21 wins in 2010-11. In Pac-10 play, Arizona improved from four wins in 2008-09, to six wins in 2009-10, to 10 wins in 2010-11.
The Wildcats' 10-8 conference record for the 2010-11 season is their best since the 2004-05 campaign and their 21 wins overall is the most since the 2003-04 season. The 2010-11 season marked the highest finish in the Pac-10 for Arizona (fourth), since tying for the Pac-10 regular-season crown in 2004.
With a solid recruiting reputation already intact, Manning defended his status by securing a deep and talented crop of players for head coach Niya Butts and the Wildcats. Adding the services of Davellyn Whyte, the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, after being chosen the 2009 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, Manning has spearheaded the efforts to sign every player on the 2012-13 roster.
Manning was responsible for an impressive recruiting feat at UCF in his first season. With less than two months to assemble a recruiting class, he recruited eight players who were widely responsible for leading the Knights to the 2009 and 2011 Conference USA Championship and UCF's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years.
Manning joined UCF from Murray State (Ky.), where he helped the Racers to a 21-10 record and a bid in the 2007 Women's National Invitation Tournament, marking just the second-ever postseason appearance for the program.
Manning spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Louisville from 2003-05. During that time, the Cardinals posted a record of 42-19 and advanced to the 2005 Conference USA Championship game. Louisville earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 after participating in the WNIT the season prior.
Manning, a native of Stockton, Calif., graduated from Clark Atlanta in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He also holds a master's degree in education from Louisville. He and his wife, Nakaya, have sons Brandyn and Quintyn.