Avery Wright: Hurricane Handling Operations for Xavier Women’s Basketball
cincinnati A hurricane is a tropical cyclone storm system that produces strong winds, heavy rain, and severe flooding.
But this is not the only type of tornado.
The other occurs when Avery Wright focuses on completing a task.
“They actually call me Hurricane Avery because they say I come in like a hurricane to get things done,” Wright said.
It’s one of the reasons Wright was hired by Xavier women’s basketball coach Bailey Chambers to be the associate athletic director for women’s basketball.
“I have a sense of urgency and want to get things done as quickly as possible,” said Wright, who despite being only 25 has the initiative to get her work done no matter what circumstances or obstacles come her way.
This commitment and desire to work began in Wright’s hometown, Lubbock, Texas.
Wright, a former basketball player,’s goal was a little different than most.
“I always knew I wanted to be in some type of administration with athletics,” she said. “But I didn’t really know what that involved at first.”
As a student at Texas Tech, Wright worked in the athletic director’s office. She helped out with football and men’s basketball, learning the ins and outs of being an AD.
“I can easily say I don’t want to be an athletic director at all,” Wright laughed. “But I had a really good experience there.”
She spent her entire college career in the AD office, then earned a master’s degree in sports management at Texas Tech.
Life after Lubbock was a job in the Big 12 Conference, helping handle day-to-day operations and conference championships, which led Wright to a job last year at Oklahoma State with the women’s basketball team.
Before Wright got a job at Oklahoma State, she met Chambers.
“I actually knew Billy last season because we talked about working together and then it didn’t work out,” Wright said. “I ended up at Oklahoma State. Funny enough, we’re back here at Xavier. From the moment I met her I knew she was a real person and I knew she was going to get a good job after that. Great time she had at Iona.”
When Wright saw that Chambers had been named Xavier’s new head coach, she sent a text congratulating her, and learned that Chambers had not brought her director of basketball operations with her.
“So she asked me if I was coming and I said, ‘I’ll come tomorrow. I’ve already packed my bags,'” Wright said. “It was like Thursday when we talked, and on Sunday I was flying out here for my interview.”
Wright had never been to Cincinnati or even Ohio before, which made her very intimidated when she arrived for her interview.
“I didn’t know how close it was to the Kentucky-Ohio border, so when I flew out to meet Billy for my interview, I checked my location and I was at the Kentucky airport,” Wright said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to miss my interview, and I’m not going to get the job.’”
However, it all worked out, and after her interview Wright was offered the job.
“Then I had to come back to Oklahoma, pack up my life and get up here,” she said. “I didn’t really have time to come out here and look around. I didn’t really know the area, so Brianna (Sanders, one of Xavier’s assistant coaches) would walk around the apartments and FaceTiming me, showing me what the apartments looked like. . . . They were pretty entertaining calls.” “
Now, Wright lives in northern Kentucky, not far from her pre-interview scare.
Wright’s connection with Chambers and the seamless connection with the new coaching staff was exactly what she was looking for.
“I fell in love with all of them,” she said.
Despite being the youngest and newest member of the staff, Wright quickly gained the respect of her co-workers and the responsibility that comes with it.
Wright appreciates Chambers’ transparency.
“You always know what you’re going to get with it,” Wright said. “For me, being younger, she’s good at letting me take what I have and run with it. I think there are some things she allows me to do that I don’t think some people my age or in my position are able to do.” I do, but I think it’s empowering that she lets me do it because in 10 years she’s going to make me the most successful version of myself. “I think I’ll look back and say all my success goes to her and I’m truly thankful.”
Wright’s responsibilities at Xavier extend to all day-to-day operations. Everything from planning road trips to organizing team meals. The blueprint required to run a college basketball program rests on her shoulders, and she feels more than capable of handling it.
Wright doesn’t want to be a coach either. Most often, someone in her position uses the job as a stepping stone to becoming a coach. This is not Wright’s plan.
“I’m a crazy person and I love all the processes,” Wright said. “I love being on that side of it. You have coaches on the field, but someone has to do all the other things. I’d like to stay in college athletics as long as I can. It’s opened a lot of doors for me, especially being ‘I grew up in a small town.’ In West Texas. A lot of people don’t understand that, it’s a different world and a different way of life, but it’s literally our lives. We put everything we have into it.”
Now, Wright is busy putting everything into her new team. When she arrived, several Xavier players peppered her with questions.
“Do you have kids?”
“do you have a family?”
Wright’s response was: “I’m just taking care of you guys. I have 14 kids.”
It’s her job to make their lives off the field as simple as possible, so that when they step onto the field they have everything they need to succeed.
Wright’s loyalty to her new team extends beyond her regular job description.
“We’re doing everything we can to get the fans ready and ready to go for the season,” said Wright, who has been recruiting anyone and everyone to attend Xavier’s home games. “I told Billy when I first got here, we might see some Jimmy John’s and Madam people at our games because I was asking people if they liked women’s basketball and inviting them to our games.”