Associate head coach Tamara Inoue begins her second season at the position and fifth overall season at NM State, as she was an assistant under head coach Mark Trakh for her first three years at the program.
Her first season as associate head coach in 2014-15 was one of the most successful seasons in Aggie program history. Inoue aided Trakh to a 22-8 record that included going 13-1 in Western Athletic Conference play as NM State won both the WAC regular-season and tournament titles. It was the first conference title for the Aggies in 20 years and the first-ever tournament championship for the program. NM State made the NCAA Tournament for only the third time in program history and the first since 1988.
Inoue handled most of the practice duties and helped sophomore Brianna Freeman to a WAC Player of the Year honor as well as a WAC Tournament MVP. Inoue also coached Freeman, Sasha Weber and Shanice Davis to All-WAC first team honors.
In the 2013-14 season, Inoue capped her third season as a NM State assistant as she helped coach the Aggies to an 11-20 overall record, going 7-9 in conference play. Inoue was a vital part in game scout and preparation, while assisting in recruiting.
In the absence of head coach Mark Trakh at the 2014 WAC Championship, Inoue stepped in and led the Aggies to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2008. She directed the Aggies to a come-from-behind win over fourth-seeded Texas-Pan American in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 1 seed Idaho 65-75.
Sophomore guard Abby Scott was named WAC Player of the Week during her performance in the week of Jan. 13-19. Inoue helped guide Scott as she hit a career-high 36 points, including 11 three pointers, which broke the WAC and NM State record for three pointers in a game and putting her to tie for second in the NCAA. During the game, Scott posted five rebounds and four assists in the Aggie win against Chicago State. Scott followed the game with another 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two assists in a win against Kansas City.
During the season, Inoue and the Aggie coaching staff led junior guard Danesia Williamson to the 2014 All-WAC second team and all-tournament team after her performance during conference play. At the WAC Tournament, Williamson scored a career-high 37 points in the quarterfinals win over Texas-Pan American and went 17-for-19 at the line to set a new WAC and NM State record.
Inoue coached the Aggies to shoot 38.6 percent from the floor and average 71.4 points a game. She also coached four players to average double-figure scoring throughout the season. Inoue and the Aggies won back-to-back games on three occasions and picked up a nail-biting overtime win against Utah Valley 83-78.
She assisted Trakh in guiding the 2012-13 Aggies collect more than double the wins from the previous season and finish with a 15-16 overall record and 7-11 in the WAC. She aided in NM State defeating the defending Conference USA champions UTEP Miners as part of the Battle of I-10 Rivalry Series.
With the assistance of Inoue, NM State garnered three WAC Player of the Week Awards during the latter part of the 2012-13 season and senior Stefanie Gilbreath was named Newcomer of the Year and All-WAC Second Team. Inoue helped the Aggies reach the quarterfinals of the 2013 WAC Championships before falling to No.1 seed Seattle.
Inoue joined the Aggie coaching staff in 2011 after three seasons as an assistant coach at Santa Clara University. She joined the Broncos' women's basketball program in 2008. Inoue's primary responsibilities at Santa Clara involved recruiting, film exchange, scouting and working with the Bronco guards.
After six years of playing and coaching in Australia, Inoue joined the staff in Santa Clara.
Inoue's playing days in Australia were cut short due to injury. After rehabilitation in the United States, she returned to coach in Australia's Victorian Basketball League (VBL).
Inoue earned VBL Coach of the Year honors in 2006-07 with the Nunawading Spectres. She also coached the Knox Raiders to a national championship the following season with a 27-1 record. The Raiders avenged their lone loss in the title game. In addition to her head coaching duties, she also helped run the Melbourne Roos club team. With the Roos, she assisted in developing several NCAA Division I athletes that went on to play in the U.S.
As a student-athlete Inoue played three seasons at Long Beach State, ending her career in 2002, after transferring from University of California at Berkeley. She was a two-time All-Big West honorable mention selection with the 49ers. In 2002, Inoue earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Long Beach State.
As a senior, Inoue led the Big West in assists, averaging 5.9 per game. In her junior year she finished second in the league in assists (4.6 per game), while averaging 9.6 points per game. Inoue also shot 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc as the 49ers advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
Inoue was a USA Today honorable mention All-American as a senior at Laguna Hills (Calif.) High School in 1997. She averaged 14.0 points per game that season. A two-time league MVP, she set single-game school records for points (30), assists (12) and steals (12).