KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) U.S. Olympic gold medalist Bridgette Gordon, who led Tennessee to two national titles during her playing career, is returning to her alma mater as an assistant coach.
Tennessee coach Holly Warlick announced Gordon's addition to the staff Thursday. The Women's Basketball Hall of Famer fills a spot vacated by the departure of Jolette Law, who left to become an assistant at South Carolina.
''I had always dreamed of being a Lady Vol,'' Gordon said. ''After playing and being part of this rich tradition, I have continued to dream about coming back as a coach and helping Holly continue to add to the Lady Vol legacy.''
Gordon spent the last seven seasons as an assistant at Wichita State on former Tennessee player Jody Adams-Birch's staff. After the 2016-17 season, Adams-Birch left Wichita State in what the school and coach described as an amicable parting.
She also has been an assistant at Georgia State and Stetson and has worked as a WNBA regional scout.
''Though there was urgency to fill this position, I took my time and turned over every stone to find the best fit for this program,'' Warlick said. ''Bridgette checks all the boxes in terms of who I wanted.''
Gordon played at Tennessee for Pat Summitt from 1985-89. Tennessee reached the Final Four each of her four seasons and won national titles in 1987 and 1989. She won a gold medal with the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Her No. 30 jersey was retired in 1990. She ranks second in Lady Vols history in career points (2,462) and steals (336).
Gordon was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
''I spent the best four years of my life here,'' Gordon said. ''The fans have always been so faithful and supportive. There is no place like home, and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. It's heartfelt, because it has only been a year since we lost Pat, and I know she would be proud of me.''