Sure, he had a contingency list, said University of Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague.

“All AD’s have a list, right? This list was up here,” said Teague, pointing to his head. “At the top of the list (for women’s basketball coaches) was Sandra Rushing.  And I was excited to see that the person at the top of my list was interested and excited to be here.”

Thus, Teague told a news conference Thursday he was able to hire Rushing, whose teams averaged 28 wins per season the last seven years at Delta State, within two days after Matt Daniel left after four seasons to become the head coach at Marshall University.

Rushing spent 10 highly successful seasons at Delta State with the Lady Statesmen making six consecutive NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearances (2006-2011). He was the athletic director at Delta State the first five seasons Rushing coached there.

“I was looking for the best coach for us, whether she was at Delta State or wherever,” Teague said. “I have hired 10 coaches in the five years I’ve been at UCA and two (Rushing and softball coach David Kuhn) have come from Delta State. We were fortunate at this late date to get one of the best and most respected coaches in the country and one with experience.

“When there’s an opening, I go after the best coach we can get who fits us and don’t worry about where they come from. That’s the only way to do it, in my opinion.”

Rushing said working for Teague was appealing.

“He’s a winner. He makes things happen. He’s a coach’s AD,” she said. “He lets you coach and he lets you have what you need.”

“It was good to know her values fit what we have here in our program,” Teague said. “It’s an absolutely exciting time for the coaches and staff and UCA family.”