Less than a month after joining the University of Florida women's basketball staff, Melissa Maines found herself completely immersed in her job as Assistant to Head Coach. Not only does her job require her attention to countless areas, she also responsible for the summer camps which demanded her immediate attention following her arrival in late May 2002. Maines hit the job in full stride and hasn't missed a beat since. The 2003-04 season will be her second year working with the Gators.
Prior to May 2002, Maines had never lived more than 20 miles away from her native roots of Lubbock, Texas, where she was born and raised. But when Coach Carolyn Peck called her about joining the Gator staff as the team's administrative assistant, her decision to move away from family and comfort was easy.
"The only way I was ever going to leave my home was for an opportunity like working at the University of Florida with Carolyn Peck," Maines said. "When Carolyn called me about working with her, there was never a doubt in my mind about my decision."
Maines first developed a relationship with Peck during the 1998 NCAA Championship, when Peck, then a first-year head coach at Purdue, brought her Boilermakers to the NCAA Regional hosted by Texas Tech. Maines was assigned to play host to Peck's team and the pair got to know each other. During the spring of 2002, Maines reunited with Peck, serving as a coach at the WNBA Orlando Miracle Draft Camp.
"Melissa is a tremendous multi-tasker. Her position entails so many different types of responsibilities and Melissa was the first person I thought of for that job," Peck said. "Melissa is a vital member of our staff. She makes sure that every detail is taken care of and that nothing is left undone."
Maines handles a variety of duties for the UF coaching staff and team. If you can name a function involving the players and coaches, she will probably have a hand in organizing it! Maines coordinates team travel, in addition to overseeing equipment inventory, community relations and special events for the program such as banquets and other extracurricular functions.
She also will serve as the team's administrative liaison during the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Tournaments, as well as the State Farm/Gator Classic. During the summer, she oversees the Gator Women's Basketball Camps, enjoying her first taste of Florida hoops camps less than one month after arriving in Gainesville.
From April 2000 until joining Carolyn Peck and the Gator staff in May 2002, Maines was the Regional Director for Women's Athletics at Texas Tech University. In that role, Maines coordinated all travel arrangements for the Lady Raider Basketball program and helped generate the funds to supplement team travel expenses. She organized and promoted additional team and fan trips, including adventures to New York, St. Thomas and the Lady Raider's summer European Tour in 2001. Maines coordinated and organized post-game Run 'n Gun Club meetings after all home games and created weekly Lady Raider Booster meetings in conjunction with the "Marsha Sharp Radio Show." In addition to supervising all arrangements for team travel, Maines provided on-air color commentary for game radio broadcasts.
Prior to assuming the title of Regional Director for Women's Athletics, Maines was the Director of Basketball Operations for Lady Raider Basketball beginning in June 1998. She aided the staff by organizing game-day preparations. Maines assisted in running the Lady Raider Basketball Camps, while orchestrating the ball girl program.
Maines earned a Master of Science degree with a Sports Administration emphasis from Texas Tech in May 2001. She also received her Bachelor of Science Exercise and Sports Science degree in Lubbock, where she graduated with honors in December 1998. Prior to that time, Maines earned an Associate of Arts degree from South Plains College in May 1996, where she played two years on the basketball team.
Melissa is the daughter of Steve and Debbie Maines. She has two younger sisters, Stephanie and Ashley. In addition, Melissa is the first cousin of with Natalie Maines, the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks.