UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky's Mitchell completes coaching staff

Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell moved quickly to fill the vacancy on his staff, hiring former Illinois State assistant Danielle Santos on Tuesday.

Santos fills the position vacated by Kyra Elzy's departure for Tennessee in late April but will not necessarily perform the same duties as Elzy, who served as UK's recruiting coordinator.

Santos joins assistant coaches Matt Insell and Shalon Pillow to make up the four-person staff.

Santos played for Mitchell at Florida when Mitchell was an assistant with the Gators. She spent the past two seasons at Illinois State.

"Danielle is a versatile coach with many talents, but it's her high character that stands out and makes her immediately valuable to our program," Mitchell said in a news release. "Communication and strong relationships are absolutely essential in our program. Danielle is an excellent communicator and a strong builder of relationships."

Santos helped lead Illinois State to a second-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2011-12 and a trip to the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Santos started her coaching career in 2006 and spent four years as an assistant at Hofstra.

As a player at Florida, Santos was a four-time letter winner and a three-time Southeastern Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll selection. She started in 76 of her 107 games as a Gator and played in the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2006.

"The SEC is a special place to me and returning to the league to reunite with Coach Mitchell is an incredible opportunity, and I can't wait to get started," Santos said.