A congratulatory phone call to first-year Boston University women’s basketball coach Katy Steding quickly turned into an assistant’s job for former University of Maine coach and player Cindy Blodgett, Steding said Wednesday.

Steding and Blodgett were teammates on the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA in 2000 and have remained good friends since.

“I had a professional respect for her and we’re good friends,” Steding said. “She’s a terrific person. She fits my philosophy with what I want to accomplish with the kids.”

Blodgett served as assistant coach for the University of Rhode Island for the last three seasons under Cathy Inglese, but that job ended in March when the school decided not to renew Inglese’s contract. Prior to that, Blodgett coached at the University of Maine for four seasons but was fired in 2011 after compiling a 24-94 record.

Her experience as a head coach was another plus, Steding said.

“She’s sat in this chair and she knows what it feels like,” Steding said. “She’s definitely going to have some of our defensive responsibility, work with our guards and be kind of my right hand.” Blodgett began her coaching career at BU in 1999, assisting in recruiting and coaching. She later worked as an assistant at Brown University.

“I’m extremely grateful and beyond excited to be a member of Katy’s staff and to be a part of the BU athletic department once again,” Blodgett said in a press release. “Katy is a proven winner on every level but her success on the basketball court pales in comparison to what a wonderful person she is.”

Blodgett starred at Maine where she became the school’s all-time leading scorer with 3,005 points, good for 10th all-time among NCAA women. She led the Black Bears to four America East championships and four NCAA tournament appearances and was drafted by the Cleveland Rockers of the WNBA in 1998.

Prior to that, Blodgett led Lawrence High School to four straight Class A state championships while becoming the all-time leading scorer, male or female, in Maine history with 2,596 points.

Steding inherits a team that finished 13-20 overall last year and 7-11 in Patriot League play. BU lost in the conference quarterfinals to Army to end its season. She’s optimistic for a quick turnaround.

“I think it’s in great shape,” she said of the program. “We’ve got six solid returners and four incoming freshmen. Time will tell as we get through summer workouts, but I’m excited about it.”

Steding, who was announced as head coach on June 6, still has two more assistants to hire.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ

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