Murriel Page, one of the most decorated players in University of Florida women’s basketball history, returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach in August of 2010 and in 2012-13 begins her third year on the Gator sideline.
Page, like the other Gator assistant coaches, will head an academic team which is comprised of current squad members who report directly to her with progress of their classroom endeavors, supplementing the attention each player receives from Judy Traveis, the Gators’ academic advisor.
Additionally, Page will work closely with fellow assistant coach Angela Crosby on the development of the post players, as well as with the swing players. She will help in all aspects of the Gator’s recruiting efforts.
A consensus first-team All-American at UF in 1998, Page has been playing professional basketball during the 12 years since graduating from the university, including a storied 11-year WNBA career.
In July of 2012, fans voted Page to the WNBA’s Washington Mystics All-Time Team.
“Murriel’s professional experience, her passion for the Gators and the quality of person that she is makes her the perfect fit for our program,” said head coach Amanda Butler, who was a UF assistant coach during Page’s sophomore and junior seasons with the Gators.
Page, who was inducted into UF’s Athletic Hall of Fame on April 17, 2009, suited up for the Gators from 1994-98, when she earned first team All-Southeastern Conference in 1997 and 1998, and was one of three players who was a unanimous selection on the 1998 squad (with Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw & Alabama's Dominique Canty). She was a finalist for the 1998 Naismith Player of the Year, a finalist for the 1998 Wade Trophy, among the top vote getters for the 1998 AP National Player of the Year and was one of six finalists for the Honda Award for Basketball, the first-ever Gator to reach this stage of the award. Her 12.6 rebound average per game during her senior year ranked No. 2 nationally (behind Howard's Alicia Hill, 12.8 rpg).
“Not many players get the chance to return to their alma mater and give back to their program so I’m very excited and emotional about this opportunity,” said Page, who turned down an offer to play professionally in Spain for the 2010 season to coach the Gators.
“I can bring a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to the sideline and the team,” Page continued. “From playing in the WNBA and overseas, I bring another perspective of the game. I’ve walked the same path as the players are now and know the types of things they are experiencing. Hopefully, I can share my own experiences with them and staff and help bring a championship to the program that I tried so hard to do when I was here.”
Shortly upon graduating, Page was the third overall pick in the 1998 WNBA draft, as she became the Washington Mystics’ first-ever draft selection in franchise history and voted team captain from 2000-05. In March of 2006, “The Original Mystic” was traded prior to Los Angeles, where she was reunited with former Gator frontcourt mate DeLisha Milton-Jones. Page played with the Sparks for three years and had signed a contract to play with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury for the 2009 season, but tore her Achilles tendon on the final day of training camp and was unable to play.
In 11 WNBA seasons, Page appeared in 354 games, earning 205 starts, while scoring 2,154 points and collecting 1,603 rebounds. She earned the 1999 and 2000 WNBA Bud Light Shooting Champions Award for leading the league in field goal percentage.
During the WNBA off-season, Page suited up for a number of different professional teams in Spain, including Soller from 2008-10, Baloncesto San Jose in 2007-08, with Hondarribia in 2003-04, 2005-07, Ros Casares in 2004-05 and 2001-02, Venezia in Italy in 2002-03 and Mangueira in Brazil in 2000.
A native of Louin, Miss., Page concluded her collegiate career with 1,915 points and 1,251 rebounds, both of which remain the top two numbers in those respective categories all-time in Gator history. She ranked No. 1 at UF for career double-doubles (65), No. 1 for games played (128), No. 2 all-time at UF for rebounding, No. 2 at UF for scoring and No. 2 at UF for career field goal percentage (55.0%). She was No. 6 all-time in SEC history for rebounding, just 21 behind the 1,272 by Vanderbilt's Wendy Scholtens. Page also totaled 103 double-figure scoring games & 67 double-figure rebounding games. UF was 92-36 during her four-year career, won at least 21 games each of those seasons, reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA twice, the NCAA Elite Eight once and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament every year.
Page at a Glance
- Full Name: La Murriel Page
- Hometown: Louin, Miss.
- Birthdate: Sept. 18, 1975
- High School: Bay Springs H.S. (1994 graduate)
- College: Univ. of Florida (B.S. in Sports Management, 1998)
- 2011-present - Univ. of Florida Assistant Coach
- 2011 WNIT Sweet 16
- 2012 NCAA Second Round
College: Univ. of Florida, Four-year Starter (1994-98)
Professional: WNBA Washington Mystics (1998-2005), WNBA Los Angeles Sparks (2006-08); Soller in Spain (2008-10), Baloncesto San Jose in Spain (2007-08), Hondarribia in Spain (2003-04, 2005-07), Ros Casares in Spain (2004-05, 2001-02), Venezia in Italy (2002-03) and Mangueira in Brazil (2000)