Talent was important when Sharon Versyp was searching for an assistant coach to fill the void left by Ukari Figgs.
But even more crucial for Versyp was familiarity and loyalty.
She got it all in Christy Smith.
Smith played for Versyp at Benton Central High School, was an All-SEC point guard who led Arkansas to a Final Four, played in the WNBA for two seasons, coached at two high schools in the Lafayette area and spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Valpo.
"I am confident that she will be a great fit for our program and will add another layer of success to our pursuit of championships at Purdue," Versyp said in a statement. "Christy played at the highest level and has always demonstrated a passion for the game, hunger to be the best, loyalty, toughness and strength and she is the type of person that never backs down from a challenge. She has great knowledge of the game.
"With her prior experience and the fact that she knows how I operate as a coach, she will be able to step right in to make an immediate impact with basketball and recruiting."
Smith is from Oxford, Ind., about 20 miles from West Lafayette.
"Having grown up just down the road, Purdue is a program that I have always admired and hoped to join, and this is even more special because there is no one I would rather work for than Versyp," Smith said in a statement. "I am grateful to Coach for the integral part she played in my career as a player and now my career as a coach. I am excited to get started."
"I am very excited about the opportunity to work for Coach Versyp, and be a part of the Purdue women's basketball program," Smith said.