Mustangs to honor its seniors prior to tipoff
Two teams meet for first time Thursday at 6 p.m. CT
SMU plays winner between No. 8 UCF and No. 9 Houston at 11 a.m.
SMU clinches No. 1 seed in C-USA Championship with win
SMU Completing 37th Season In Historic Venue; $47 Million Renovation Moves In To Main Arena On March 4
Lisa Dark, a 1991 SMU graduate, is entering her 23rd season as the associate head coach at her alma mater. Dark is responsible for the development of post players and also is involved heavily in recruiting, scheduling and opponent scouting.
Dark has played an integral part in the establishment of a winning tradition at SMU. During her tenure, SMU has participated in the NCAA Tournament seven times (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2007-08) and five times in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (1993, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2013). Dark also has helped coach 10 post players to 20 all-conference honors (Vicki Walterscheid, Kerri Delaney, Kim Brungardt, Claudia Brassard, Karlin Kennedy, Sarah Davis, Janielle Dodds and Delisha Wills and Christine Elliott, as well as current player Akil Simpson).
During the 1998-99 season, SMU achieved a first for the program - a Western Athletic Conference tournament championship. SMU defeated fourth-ranked Colorado State to win the league tournament and earn its first automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Another first took place in the 1999-2000 season as the Mustangs captured their first regular season conference championship. After an upset of NC State, SMU moved to the round of 32. The Mustangs became just the eighth No. 12 seed to advance in the tournament.
The Mustangs have won two conference tournament titles during Dark's time as an assistant (WAC - 1999, C-USA - 2008) and three regular season championships (WAC - 2000, C-USA - 2009 and 2013).
"It would be difficult to describe how wonderful my experience has been here at SMU," Dark says. "I love our staff and we really enjoy each other, both in and out of the office. Recruiting to a school you care about as much as I do about SMU is pretty easy -- I absolutely bleed Mustang red and blue."
Dark played for two seasons at SMU after transferring from Tyler (Texas) Junior College in 1988. In 1990, she received SMU's Outstanding Defensive Player Award. She was the only Mustang to start all 26 games. During her senior season, she posted career highs with 17 points against Wake Forest and 12 rebounds against TCU.
Dark earned her bachelor's degree in English from SMU in 1991 and her Master of Liberal Arts degree from SMU in 1993. She is a graduate of Lee High School in Tyler, Texas.