CHICAGO Former Wisconsin coach Mary Murphy, former Indiana assistant coach Vera Jones and former Purdue All-American Stephanie White will serve as the Big Ten Network’s lead women’s basketball analysts. The announcement was made today by Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman and Executive Producer Leon Schweir.
Murphy will regularly handle game analysis on location during the network’s Monday primetime telecasts. Jones and White will primarily take part in studio coverage from Big Ten Network headquarters in downtown Chicago.
Once conference play begins in January, the Big Ten Network will air a 30-minute pre-game show leading into the Monday night contest.
“With 64 women’s basketball games on the schedule this season, the Big Ten Network will deliver unprecedented women’s basketball coverage. We are proud to put women’s sports onto a national stage,” Silverman said.
“Vera Jones, Mary Murphy and Stephanie White bring many years of Big Ten women’s basketball experience as players, coaches and broadcasters,” Schweir said. “They have a great understanding and appreciation for what the conference represents.”
Jones is an experienced broadcaster having called Big Ten and Big East games for Fox Sports Net. She has also served as an analyst for the WNBA’s New York Liberty and Indiana Fever and covered the WNBA Draft for NBA TV.
She also was an assistant coach at Indiana University last season, helping guide the Hoosiers to postseason play. In Bloomington, Jones worked under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, her former teammate at Syracuse.
During her time at Syracuse, Jones scored more than 1,000 points and helped lead the Orange to their first Big East Tournament title, a regular season Big Ten crown and two NCAA Tournament appearances. A prolific three-point shooter, Jones earned the nickname “Sweet V from Top of the Key.” Jones was inducted into the Syracuse University Orange Plus Hall of Fame in 2002.
After several years coaching and broadcasting women’s basketball around the country, Murphy returns to her Big Ten roots. A Chicago native, Murphy was a two-year captain at Northwestern and a finalist for the Wade Trophy as one of the top players in the country. Murphy served as an assistant at Notre Dame before spending eight years as the head coach at Wisconsin. In 1992, she led the Badgers to their first NCAA Tournament.
Murphy was chosen as the first coach and general manager for the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs in 1997. Her broadcasting resume includes work for Fox Sports Net and ESPN on college basketball and WNBA telecasts.
White is best remembered in Big Ten circles for leading Purdue to its first NCAA championship in 1999. That season, she was named the National College Player of the Year, the Indiana NCAA Woman of the Year and Big Ten Conference Player of the Year.
White played five seasons in the WNBA, including a four-year stint with the Indiana Fever. When she retired in 2004, White ranked third in games played (112) and three-point field goals (92) and fourth in scoring (684).
After her playing career, White embarked on a coaching career and has since been recognized as one of the top young assistants in women’s basketball. She is currently an assistant coach for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Her previous stops include the University of Toledo, Kansas State and Ball State.
White was a prep star at Seeger High School in West Lebanon, Ind., where she broke the state’s single-season scoring record and was named Indiana’s Miss Basketball in 1995.
With 55 regular season games and nine Big Ten Tournament contests on its broadcast schedule, the Big Ten Network is the premier destination for women’s basketball this season. Each Big Ten team will make at least seven regular season appearances on the Big Ten Network. In all, the Big Ten will make approximately twice as many national television appearances as any other conference.
Earlier this fall, the Big Ten Network became the first new network in cable or satellite television history to reach 30 million homes in its first 30 days. The network is available through DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-Verse, Insight Communications, WideOpenWest, RCN, Service Electric and more than 150 other cable operators.
About the Big Ten Network: The Big Ten Network is dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions. The Big Ten Network provides unprecedented access to an extensive schedule of conference sports events and shows; original programs in academics, the arts and sciences; campus activities; and associated personalities. Sports programming includes live coverage of more major men’s and women’s events than ever before, along with news, highlights and analysis, all complemented by hours of university-produced campus programming. The network is available to all cable and satellite carriers and television distributors nationwide, with most programs offered in stunning high-definition television (HDTV). The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks. For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit www.BigTenNetwork.com.