A local legend is joining the Colorado women's basketball staff.

On Monday, Buffaloes head coach Linda Lappe announced that Jamie Carey has been hired as an assistant coach. She takes the spot vacated by LaTonya Watson, who left for a similar position at Bucknell last month.

"I'm extremely excited to be joining coach Lappe's staff," Carey said in a press release from CU. "I like the vision Linda has, as well as the vision (athletic director) Rick George has for the department; for continued growth of the program, particularly in returning to the national stage."

Carey is a former area high school star, Team USA member and WNBA player. She's also achieved great success as a coach and for the past four years has served as the Team USA women's national team assistant director.

A 1999 graduate of Horizon High School, Carey was one of the top girls basketball players in state history. She then went on to a successful college career at Stanford and then Texas. She was the Pac-10 freshman of the year in 2000. After college, Carey played four seasons in the WNBA for the Connecticut Sun. She also played for Team USA, winning a silver medal at the 2003 Pan-American Games.

As a coach, Carey has compiled a 106-25 record at the high school level, going 44-9 at Legacy High from 2008-10 and 62-16 at Sand Creek High School the past three years. Carey took Legacy to the Class 5A state title game in 2010 and led Sand Creek to three consecutive Class 4A quarterfinals appearances. She was named the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference coach of the year this past season.

"I've been very fortunate with this game, from a player standpoint being involved in every level possible, from high school to international to professional," she said. "I can hopefully relate to what the players are going through. And working and playing with USA Basketball, I've experienced basketball at its highest level and working with some of the world's greatest coaches."

As national team assistant director, Carey has helped to coordinate several of the women's programs during training camps and tournaments. She has worked under national team director Carol Callan, who has provided color commentary for CU women's radio broadcasts for more than 30 years.

"We are so thrilled to have Jamie on board," Lappe said in the press release. "She has proven to be a winner at every level and we know she will bring a great deal of energy and expertise to Colorado basketball."

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.