Tamara Inoue heads into her third year with the New Mexico State women’s basketball staff as first assistant. In her first year with the Aggies, Inoue was a vital part in helping the 2012-13 Aggies collect more than double the wins from the previous season and finish with a 15-16 overall record, 7-11 in the Western Athletic Conference. She aided in NM State defeating the defending Conference USA champions UTEP as part of the Battle of I-10 Rivalry Series.
With the guidance of Inoue and staff, the Aggies worked to the program’s highest scoring game in 21 years, when NM State topped then-WAC leading Utah State 106-94. The Aggies also notched another milestone in the record books with the 600th program victory in the 87-81 win over Cal State Bakersfield.
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).
The new NM State assistant 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.
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).
In 2002, Inoue earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Long Beach State.