LEVELLAND — The South Plains College women's basketball program added a pair of veteran coaches to the staff Tuesday, as Julio Pacheco and Chris Godfrey will join head coach Cayla Petree on the sidelines next season.
"There was a lot of pressure on me with these two hires," Petree said. "I was blown away with how many qualified people reached out to me, but I believe that with Julio's International ties and Chris's bulldog approach to recruiting, we are going to not only get the best available kids in the U.S., but the world. They know they are here to recruit high-level players that will take our program to a championship level, and there is no doubt they will do that. I am super excited to get them on campus."
Pacheco comes to South Plains after a year stint as the head boy's basketball coach at Genoa Central High School in Texarkana, Arkansas. Prior to his arrival in Genoa, Pacheco served as the head women's basketball coach at Southern Arkansas University for three years. In his first season at SAU, Pacheco was named the Great American Conference Women's Basketball Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Muleriders to 19 wins and an appearance in the GAC Tournament semifinals.
"Coach Petree was the Coach of the Year last season and had a fantastic season, so when the call came it was a very easy decision for me and my family to take the opportunity and join the program," Pacheco said. "I think with my experience in coaching college basketball combined with my experience overseas, I can bring a lot to the table and can really help out on the recruiting end and internationally."
Pacheco's 19 wins in his first year set a program record in the NCAA Div. II era, guiding the Lady Muleriders to their first postseason win since the 2007 season. Pacheco coached a trio of All-GAC performers as well as the conference Newcomer of the Year. Prior to his time at SAU, Pacheco served as an assistant coach at Arkansas Tech University from 2007-2014 and was the head boy's basketball coach at the Basketball Association of Itajai Valley in Santa Catarina, Brazil from 2005-2007.
Pacheco holds a bachelors degree in physical education from Federal University of Santa Catarina, and a masters degree in secondary education from Arkansas Tech University. Pacheco is married to Christine, and are the proud parents of Gillyan (14) and Isabella (7).
Godfrey will join Petree and Pacheco this season after a year stint as the assistant women's basketball coach at Eastern Oklahoma State College where he coached freshman standout Britnee Gabriel who went on to sign with Texas Southern University. Prior to his time with the Lady Mountaineers, Godfrey served as the assistant women's basketball coach at Kilgore College from 2017-2018.
"I am very excited to join the women's basketball staff at South Plains College," Godfrey said. "I believe that SPC has one of the top women's basketball programs in the country, and I look forward to the challenge of maintaining that status while pursuing a national championship."
Godfrey, who also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, helped Kilgore advance to the NJCAA Region 14 Tournament finals. Godfrey coached Jade Thurmon, who led the nation in points per game for the 2017-2018 season before eventually signing with Iowa State University. Godfrey made his mark in the collegiate ranks as an assistant at Coastal Bend College.
While in Beeville, Godfrey helped the Lady Cougars capture its first wins against NJCAA competition, and its first wins over conference opponents. Godfrey coached three Lady Cougars who would move on to the NCAA Div I. level, including Zandra Emanuel who led the nation in defensive rebounding and signed with Texas State University. Godfrey holds a bachelors of science degree in journalism and sports management from St. John's University, and a masters of arts degree in professional communications from Armstrong State University.