When ASU's all-time win leader Charli Turner Thorne announced her retirement following the 2021-22 season, ASU sought out a new head coach who would bring enthusiasm, experience and love to the culture at the University.
An emphasis on love and togetherness is what Natasha Adair thrives and coaches on. Many coaches preach about the togetherness of their players and team and Adair has fostered this for ASU's women's basketball team. The group is consistently engaged in practice, with smiles and high-fiving each other after every drill.
"Everything she does, she leads with love. How she coaches, how she talks to our players, how she mentors and develops, and everything she does is with love," assistant coach Camille Collier said.
With 20 years of experience at various colleges and universities, Ray Anderson announced at the end of March that Adair would be the next Sun Devil head coach.
Adair spent the last five seasons at the Unversity of Delaware, where she put together a record of 95-58. During her tenure with the Blue Hens, she had back-to-back 20-win seasons. Last season, she captured the school's third Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title and lead the team to its first NCAA tournament in almost a decade while winning the CAA’s Coach of the Year.
Prior to her impressive feats at Delaware, Adair spent time on the coaching staff as an assistant coach of Georgetown, Wake Forest and the College of Charleston.
Adair's coaching experience doesn't stay within the collegiate level. She also has experience as an assistant coach for USA Women’s National Team for U18 and U19 for the FIBA Americas where she won two gold medals.
Being a former collegiate player herself and along with her accomplished resume, Adair looks to turn the program around with hopes of getting back to the NCAA tournament and making Tempe a new hotspot for women's basketball.
Now, what actually comes with a coaching change? There’s a lot. A change in system and scheme, and a change in players' roles on the team. With many new players on the team via the transfer portal, Sun Devil women’s hoops will be forced to adapt quickly with not only each other but with their brand new coaching staff.
Adair is bringing her philosophy of the game to Tempe. "We are going to run a lot, but play under control in doing so (and) we want to turn people over," Adair said.
Not only is Adair a great coach, but she also brings in an exceptional staff to go along with her, specifically Darrell Mosley and Collier.
Collier was a former player at Wake Forest University and last year as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech University, led the Hokies to a fifth seed in the NCAA tournament.
"I just want to give them as much energy and positivity as possible. So holding them accountable, to make sure that we're disciplined on where we're supposed to be," Collier said.
Mosley was Adair's right-hand man at Delaware, so she knows her philosophy and knows the type of productivity she looks for on her team.
Mosley is a glue guy when it comes to the coaching staff. He describes himself as the echo and the voice in your ear and backbone for Coach Adair.
"Sometimes you have to bring that energy as an assistant. Sometimes you have to be on top of things that we need practicing (on) or just more emphasis. I kind of bring whatever's lacking for that day," Mosley said.
Love is the theme for this Sun Devil squad moving forward and with love comes prioritizing others before yourself and that speaks volumes as a theme.
"I will lead with love. I will encourage them. I will inspire them. I will encourage them to take risks," Adair said at Pac-12 media day.
Edited by Kathryn Field, David Rodish and Grace Copperthite.
Addison Kalmbach is a reporter for The State Press Sports desk. He has previously worked for Detroit City FC and PHOENIX Magazine.