May 13, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Travis Mays has joined the Georgia Lady Bulldogs' staff as an assistant coach, head coach Andy Landers announced on Friday. Mays, who is one of the greatest players in University of Texas history, has nine seasons of coaching experience in women's professional and college basketball and has developed a reputation as one of the nation's premier recruiters.
"Coach Mays is both widely respected in our profession as an outstanding recruiter, floor coach and person," Landers said. "Not only will he bring that expertise to our staff, he brings a high level of commitment and energy. His experiences both as a player...and he was an outstanding one...and as a coach will be invaluable. I've known Travis for quite some time and have always been impressed with his work. Many of the most respected coaches in the business speak very highly of him."
After spending two seasons on the staff of the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars, Mays returned to his alma mater in 2005 and served as an assistant coach under Jody Conradt for three years from 2004-07. He has spent the past four campaigns as an assistant coach at LSU working with Van Chancellor.
"There were a number of things that made Georgia very attractive," Mays said. "First, the success of the program and the streak Georgia has of making the NCAA Tournament resonates nationally. I'm excited about the opportunity to remain in the SEC. I love the talent and the talent pool and athletes in the Southern states. And then you talk about Coach Landers. I don't know what I can say about him that hasn't already been said. I know what Coach Landers is looking for. In visiting with him, he's very, very clear in what he wants in the next year and the next several years as far as recruiting players and the players we need to play the style of basketball he wants. I believe all of that will help me take my recruiting and coaching to another level, and I'm very excited about that challenge."
The success Mays enjoyed playing at the prep, collegiate and professional levels has helped translate into his reputation as an exceptional on-court coach. Former player and coaches compliment equally his ability to work individually with players and then translate those sessions into the framework of team play.
Mays has helped ink a combined seven McDonald's and/or WBCA All-Americans for Texas and LSU, including Erika Arriaran, the 2005 WBCA and Parade Magazine National Player of the Year. All seven of the recruiting classes Mays helped assemble were ranked among the nation's top-25, including four top-10 efforts and the No. 1 class in the nation for Texas in the fall of 2004.
Mays is one of the most accomplished student-athletes in University of Texas history and was inducted into the school's Men's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. Mays still ranks No. 2 among the Longhorns' career scoring leaders with 2,279 points, and he was the first player in Southwest Conference history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year honors in 1989 and 1990.
As a senior, Mays was a second-team Associated Press All-American. He averaged 24.1 points per game and along with Lance Blanks (20.3 ppg) and Joey Wright (19.5 ppg) comprised one of the most prolific scoring trios in college basketball history – "BMW-The Ultimate Scoring Machine." That same year, Mays led Texas to the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament, including a 44-point outburst against Georgia in the first round that still ranks 14th-most all time in "March Madness" history. His 24 free throws made and 27 attempts at the line in that contest remain NCAA Tournament records.
Mays was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft with the No. 14 overall pick and was a second-team All-Rookie selection after averaging 14.3 ppg in his initial season in the league. Mays then played two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, rupturing two tendons in his right foot in just the second game of his second year with the franchise (1992-93).
Mays recovered and then enjoyed a successful eight-season career overseas in Greece, Israel, Turkey and Italy. He was chosen to play in the European All-Star game in 1994 while playing for Panionios (Greece) and again in 2000 while playing for Siena (Italy).
Mays is a native of Ocala, Fla., where he starred at Vangaurd High School. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Texas in 1990. Mays and his wife, Mirella, have two children: daughter Cherrell, who will be a freshman at Texas; and son, Trevor, 4.