By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
SALEM, Ore. -- Former Willamette University women's basketball star Kylie Towry, the Bearcats' all-time leading scorer with 1,433 career points, is returning to Willamette as the team's newest assistant coach. She graduated from Willamette in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Towry will contribute to all aspects of the women's basketball program under the guidance of Head Coach Peg Swadener.
"I am very excited to bring Kylie back to the Bearcat family," Swadener said. "She was instrumental in helping us build the recent success of the program, and I am looking forward to her helping us propel this program to the next level. Kylie is a proven winner with a brilliant basketball mind, and her inside knowledge of the program and the NWC will be very helpful for the next generation of Bearcats."
During Towry's final season as a player in 2017-18, the Bearcats earned a 17-10 record after reaching the Northwest Conference Tournament championship game. The Bearcats lost to George Fox University for the NWC title. It was Willamette's first winning season in women's basketball since the 2000-01 team finished with a 17-8 record.
Towry was named First Team All-NWC in 2017-18, while Swadener was chosen NWC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year. Earlier in her career, Towry was chosen Second Team All-NWC in 2015-16 and was named Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2016-17. Towry competed in five seasons as the result of a season-ending knee injury just eight games into her freshman year in 2013-14. She received a medical hardship waiver and went on to play four complete seasons, as she started all 102 games for the Bearcats from 2014-15 through 2017-18.
"I am excited and grateful to be able to return as an assistant coach after my experience as a student-athlete," Towry said. "Peg taught me a lot as a player and I'm eager to learn even more about the coaching side of things. Experiencing the change in the program that went on during my time as a player and seeing where the program can go in the future is exciting."
In addition to setting WU's all-time scoring mark, Towry also finished in first place on Willamette's career lists with 293 three-point field goals made, 750 three-point attempts, and 1,179 total field goal attempts. She is second all-time with 474 field goals made and 79.3% career free throw shooting (101 of 125). She is third in career scoring average with 13.0 points per game and is tied for third with 39.1% accuracy on 3-pointers during her career. Towry registered 440 rebounds, 267 assists and 118 steals in her career.
During her final season, Towry set the Bearcats' single season scoring record with 479 points, passing the previous record of 458 points scored by Vanessa Wyfells in 2004-05. Towry reached double figures in 25 of 27 games, including 20 or more points 11 times. She recorded the second highest single game total in school history with 33 points against Pacific University on Feb. 9, 2018. Towry's 74 three-pointers in 2017-18 set a school record, breaking the record of 69 established by Amy Ulrey in 1995-96.
Towry holds three single game records for the Bearcats. She ranks first with 14 free throws made versus Linfield College on Jan. 3, 2018 as well as 100% free throw shooting (14 for 14) in the same game. She is tied for first with nine 3-point baskets against California Institute of Technology on Nov. 21, 2014, a mark that was matched by Ashley Evans with nine 3-pointers versus Warner Pacific University on Nov. 15, 2016. Towry hit seven 3-pointers in the game against Warner Pacific, helping the Bearcats connect on a school record 19 three-pointers as a team.