I compiled a list of 50 NCAA D1 assistant coaches that are impacting the game and their programs in a variety of ways. These 50 coaches are at different points in their careers, from seasoned veterans, associate head coaches all the way to graduate assistants, but they all bring a variety of skills and assets to the programs they are impacting. There are young coaches with vigor, energy and enthusiasm. They have a thirst for challenge, changing lives and learning. Also, there are experienced coaches that bring a wealth of wisdom and understanding. Many of these coaches have made an impression on me, whether it be it be their recruiting prowess, key relationships, network, knowledge, impact on others, understanding of the game and/or the successes of the programs they’ve been attached to. This is not a comprehensive list, nor are the coaches listed in any specific order. These are 50 assistant college coaches that I’ve witnessed their abilities to help shape programs, recruit, mentor and compete.
Coach Hughes got her start as an AAU coach in Oregon shortly after her playing career at USC. In 2011 She joined her head coach, Mark Trakh, then at New Mexico State. I have watched Coach Hughes grow exponentially over the past couple years at USC. She has a God given talent for reaching her young athletes, relating, building relationships in the community and growing the game. She is demanding and yet loving at the same time. I believe she has a bright future ahead.
I first met Coach Milton-Jones in 2017 at a coaching clinic in southern California shortly after she took the head coaching job at Pepperdine. She was so gracious and passionate about the game. She and I could talk basketball for hours. She still has a deep love for the game like a player. She cares about young people, preparing them and setting them up for success on and off the court. She is a back to back WNBA champion in 2001/2002, a WNBA legend, but yet so truthful, caring and humble. She did a remarkable job as a head coach at Pepperdine, leading the Waves to a 22-12 record and Sweet Sixteen WNIT appearance her first year. She is a remarkable coach and stupendous person.
Smallwood’s resume is astounding. She is a winner. Everywhere she has been, she’s placed a stamp of success. While at Nebraska as an associate head coach they made a couple Sweet Sixteen appearances. She won a conference championship at Boises State. In 2018, when she was at Arizona, they secured the #5 nationally ranked signing class. This year while at Montana State as associate head coach, the Bobcats finished 25-8, won the Big Sky conference and were set to appear in the tournament championship game before the season was ended due the COVID-19 outbreak.
Coach Nared was just recently recognized by the WBCA as one of their top 30 under 30 up and coming coaches. For such a young coach, still in the early parts of her career, Coach Nared has already built up quite the resume. She was Director of Player Development at Washington in 2016 when they went to the Final Four. She has learned as an assistant under the tutelage of Kelly Graves at Oregon during their recent formative years to being the powerhouse they are now. Nared is a rising star in the game. Basketball is in her lineage. Her dad played at Maryland and coached in the college ranks. Her younger sister is playing in the WNBA.
Coach Phillips, like Nared, was named to the WBCA top 30 under 30 up and coming coaches in 2017. Phillips over the past few years has etched out an identity for herself as one of the best college recruiters in the country. She relates extremely well with today’s players. She has a keen understanding of how to attract top recruits and use the platforms we have at our disposal to do so. Phillips is highly intelligent and seizes the opportunities to use college athletics to mold young people into successful, multifaceted, impactful young adults.
Ariel Massengale was one of those players, when you watched her play, you knew you were watching a future coach in the making. Some of her best traits as a player were her ability to lead, make others around her better, understand the game and her intelligence. The quintessential point guard, Massengale was destined for a career in coaching. Her experiences as a player is bar none. The McDonald’s and WBCA All-American has won numerous gold medals with USAB, played for legendary Coach Pat Summit, as well as was Tennessee Gatorade POY.
Coach Fasnacht was elevated to associate head coach this last season after eight seasons as an assistant. The Gaels have won 20+ games and reached the postseason every year Fasnacht has been part of their staff. She’s a coach whose attention to detail is exquisite. She is a student of the game and has a superb work ethic.
Coach Alverson is a young, vigorous coach with passion, strong work ethic and a unique ability to connect with today’s athletes. She has strong connections in the grassroots community. She has done a great job of building and strengthening her network. When she was on staff at USC, she helped sign the #5 recruiting class in the country. That class included four state champions, two state Gatorade POY’s and a McDonald’s All-American.
Coach Lockwood is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most respected, knowledgeable college coaches in the country. It almost seems trivial to even include him in such an article as this. He is beyond measure. His impact on our game expands over two decades. He spent 15 years at one of the most storied programs in the country and coached under the legendary Pat Summit at Tennessee. Coach Lockwood was part of two national championship teams and three Final Fours while an assistant with the Lady Vols.
Finley has been coaching in the college ranks since 2008. She got her first start as a volunteer assistant at Harvard. She quickly moved up to full-time assistant the following year through 2012. At Harvard, Finley helped sign Temitope Fagbenle (the Ivy League's first MCDAA) and Shilpa Tummala (ESPN Hoopgurlz #69 overall recruit, #27 shooting guard nationally and 2012 Arizona Gatorade POY). Finley was an assistant at Colorado 2012-2016 and Arizona 2016-2017 before joining the Florida Gators. Coach Finley has strong connections nationwide in the grassroots communities and is well respected amongst her colleagues.
Coach Perry-LeBeauf has been hugely instrumental to the success that UCLA WBB has had over recent years. Things really kicked off for UCLA when Perry-LeBeauf helped ink the 2014-2015 #1 recruiting class in the country. This wasn’t new territory for Perry-LeBeauf, as she helped bring in the 2005 #2 recruiting class in the country when she was at Duke. She helped sign the 2007 #3 recruiting class in the country at Duke as well. Coach Perry-LeBeauf is as genuine a person as they come. She sees the big picture of college athletics, brings excellence to her department and helps nurture the young women under her care to be tremendous leaders in life.
Coach Moore is a tireless worker. Her efforts, dedication and service to her head coach Charli Turner-Thorne are exemplary. Coach Moore’s approach to life like her passion for coaching is met with resilience, extreme effort and fortitude. No job is too big or too small for her. She does everything with a positive attitude and gratitude. Coach Moore has a diverse background. She is empathetic and does a great job of sharing her head coach's vision.
Coach Starr has over twenty years coaching experience at the collegiate level. Her journey started in San Luis Obispo as an assistant for the Cal Poly Mustangs. She spent eight seasons there before moving on to Bozeman, MT. to take a spot on Tricia Binford’s staff at Montana State. Starr was quickly promoted to associate head coach and flourished in that role for seven years before taking a spot on the Pacific staff under newly appointed head coach Bradley Davis, after Lynne Roberts departed for Utah. Coach Starr has done a phenomenal job on the recruiting trail, identifying talented prospects that would be great fits for the Tiger’s brand of basketball. Starr played a key role in securing three Power Five conference transfers in Valerie Higgins (USC), Loretta Kakala (Louisville), Jordan Cruz (Utah).
A passionate worker, Coach Hays Fort provides the Drake Bulldogs WBB program with an outstanding and diverse background. She has been a head coach at three different programs. Most recently she spent five years at the helm for Colgate University, Barry University and US Merchant Marine Academy before that. Hays Fort served as an associate head coach for the great Coach Doug Bruno at DePaul and as an assistant at Nicholls State University. Her insights and knowledge are incredibly valuable for Coach Baranczyk at Drake.
Coach Collier is a fiery, energetic coach with clear vision and purpose in her endeavors. She is incredibly brilliant, organized and sees things through. She was with the UNLV Lady Rebels for 12 years, 10 as an associate head coach. Every summer Collier plays a key role in putting together one of the most competitive elite camps on the west coast. Almost every top recruit on the west coast has attended a UNLV camp in their prep career. Before her time at UNLV, Collier was the head coach at Menlo College. During her time at Menlo she was twice the Cal Pac conference coach of the year, won three conference tournament championships and two regular season championships.
Coach Thibault-Dudonis is a rising star in the coaching ranks. In just seven years as a coach she has already begun to place her stamp on the game. Most recently, before she landed in Minneapolis to coach alongside five time WNBA All-Star, four time WNBA champion Lindsay Whalen, Coach Thibault-Dudonis was part of the Mississippi State staff that went to back to back title games and won a nation’s best 37 games. She is the daughter of Mike Thibault, a three time WNBA coach of the year, two time NBA champion as an assistant and 2019 WNBA champion with the Washington Mystics.
Coach Campbell is the secret ingredient. He is, in large part, responsible for the rise of two programs to national prominence (Oregon State, Oregon). He has been responsible for the development of some of the nations best guards in recent years. Coach Campbell has been a key component in Oregon State’s and Oregon’s recruitment of top national and international players.
Coach Jenkins has established strong connections and is well respected in the grassroots community. She isn’t afraid to turn every stone in search of players, scour the country at every tournament, every gym to find gems. Coach Jenkins is compassionate and energetic. Her energy is truly contagious and she can develop winners.
Coach Goehle is a person of conviction and integrity. There is no doubt in my mind that any player under his tutelage and mentorship is in good hands. Goehle believes in developing the all-around person, not just the player. He is someone who does things the right way and puts the person before the player, people before the game. He understands it's the person who makes the player and the people who make the game. Coaching alongside Amy Williams at South Dakota and Nebraska, they attract the right players and have done a great job of securing some of the best players from the midwest.
Farrow is a fun and upbeat coach that knows how to strike a much needed balance in the ultra competitive world of collegiate athletics. He connects tremendously well with recruits and players. He is able to articulate the bigger picture and expectations to players in ways they can understand and relate. Coach Farrow helps bring a sense of security and warmth in a world that can be cold and unstable, which is important for young people trying to navigate life at a young age in new settings.
Player is a young brilliant mind in the coaching industry. Very intelligent with great presence and moxy, Coach Player has brought a breath of fresh air to the coaching world. She caught the attention of the world two years ago with a fabulous monologue she posted on twitter discussing the difficulties of making the transition from one of the nation’s top players to a freshman at a national program, playing very little minutes. That video has garnered closed to 1.5 million views to date. Her social media platforms have since gained a lot of traction, become a place where difficult subjects are addressed and perspectives are gained.
Like Ariel Massengale, Lister was a player you watched in her playing days and you knew you were watching a future coach in the making. Lister has a keen understanding of the game. Bright and intelligent, she is a great mentor for young point guards. She is very good at breaking down the game and teaching. She is a budding superstar in the world of coaching. Lister has been able to learn under some of the best minds in the game in her young career, having stops at Washington with Coach Neighbors, DePaul with Coach Bruno and most recently UConn with Coach Auriemma.
Coach Case has helped the Lancers make the transition from NCAA Dll PacWest to NCAA Dl WAC and a 185-70 record since 2012. She made it to two NCAA Dll Final Fours in 2015 and 2017. In 2015 CBU made the national championship game. As a player Case set many records for the Westmont Warriors, in the ultra competitive GSAC, including points scored (1.387).
A gritty, tough player, Lister brings those same attributes to the game as a coach. Competitive and intense, Lister is a driving force behind the high octane offense of the Anteaters. Before coming to UCI and after playing professionally overseas, Coach Lister spent a year with the Princeton Tigers, helping them to a regular season title, conference tournament championship and NCAA appearance.
Purcell is a powerfully energetic, charismatic and a very spirited coach. He is a go-getter, a producer, the ultimate brand ambassador. A highly decorated recruiter, Purcell’s accomplishments are numerous. In seventeen years of coaching, the teams he has been a part of have combined for a 444-185 record, thirteen post season appearances, advanced to the NCAA tournament eleven times, a Final Four, two Elite Eights, four Sweet Sixteens and a WNIT Championship.
Fennelly plays a vital role in the recruiting efforts of the Cyclones. He has developed strong connections and relationships with key people in prep gbb over the years. Prior to coming to Iowa State as an assistant, Billy was a DOBO for Joe McKeown at Northwestern and before that he worked for Brenda Frese at Maryland for a season. Fennelly grew up on the sidelines, literally. Basketball has been a part of his entire life. His father, Bill Finnelly, has been the head coach at Iowa State for twenty five years, seven at Toledo before that and twelve years as an assistant at William Penn, Fresno State, Notre Dame.
Ramirez has spent eight years on staff Boise State, six years as a DOBO and the past two years as an assistant. During her tenure the Broncos have made four NCAA Tournament appearances and won four conference tournament championships (2015, 2017-2019).
Coach Moreno has been with SJSU WBB for six years and oversees their prolific, high octane offense. San Jose State was top twenty in the country in three point field goal percentage this last season. Coach Moreno oversees the guard position development and coordinates the players off-season player skill development. Moreno competed at Sacramento State and finished her playing career in the top ten of six statistical categories. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s high school (Stockton), where she won a national championship and two state championships.
Shortly after her playing career at the University of Portland, where she was selected WCC honorable mention, Burris got into the college coaching ranks. She made her first stop at the University of Seattle as a graduate assistant and video coordinator for Joan Bonvicini. 2012-2017 Burris was an assistant for NAU Lumberjacks. While at NAU, Burris helped elevate the overall play of the Lumberjacks, leading to three consecutive Big Sky Championship Tournament appearances. The Titans had only won a combined seven games for the two years prior to Burris coming to Orange County. Since they have increased their winning percentage every year and flirted with a 20 win season this year.
Allen joined the Fullerton coaching staff after a nine year professional playing career overseas. Coach Allen brings great insight and a wealth of knowledge to the game and in the development of the Titan wing players. Allen had a stellar career playing for powerhouse Notre Dame and immensely respected Coach Muffet McGraw. In 2007 and 2008, while playing for the Fighting Irish, Allen was selected Big East Conference First Team and served as team captain. She was an AP All-American honorable mention and first player at Notre Dame to accumulate 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals and 200 assists. She was drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs.
Duperron was tough, hard working, unselfish and energetic as a player for the Mustangs. She invigorates her team with that same demeanor and hard work. Cal Poly teams take on a lot of Duperrons personality. She sets the standard high, admonishes and helps her players to that plateau. Duperron got started in coaching as an intern for UCLA in 2003. She was soon promoted to DOBO and then assistant coach. She spent a year coaching with her father for the North Torrance boys basketball team before heading to UNLV as an assistant. She worked as an assistant at Washington before returning to her alma mater, Cal Poly.
McEntire is an experienced and proven recruiter, with ties across the country in the grassroots realm. She has made an enormous impression on many with her ability to step into any room, anywhere and attract prospects from around the country. McEntire gained a wealth of experience and knowledge from legendary Coach Pat Summit, while she worked as a team manager 2001-2003 for the Tennessee Volunteers. Although the bulk of her time was spent at Boise State (2008-2012) and Arizona (2012-2016), McEntire also had stops at Hawaai, UC Santa Barbara and Fresno State.
Gray-Miller has coaching experience that expands over twenty years. She has taken on many roles and facets over that time and represented a program in each of the Power Five conferences. Coach Gray-Miller also has head coaching experience. For seven years she was at the helm of the St. Louis WBB program. Gray-Miller is an enormous advocate for women in coaching and a vocal leader. Her mentorship of young woman coaches has been invaluable. She is a tough, demanding coach but also very nurturing and supportive. She has done a great job developing players at everyone of her stops.
Lyles has had a phenomenal impact on the Eagles program. During her tenure, FGCU compiled a 289-53 record and has never missed a post season since becoming NCAA Dl eligible in 2011-2012. In 2014-2015 Lyles held the position of recruiting coordinator, while the Eagles went 31-3 and undefeated in conference play. That year the program earned its first ever Division-l national ranking and finished 21st in both AP and Coaches polls. Overall, Lyles has spent 10 years on staff. Her first year was as a student assistant before being promoted to assistant. Lyles was promoted to associate head coach after five years of serving as recruiting coordinator.
Coach Killion has played a huge part in the Quakers’ success during her tenure. She has been largely responsible for their recruiting efforts including landing rookie of the year Kayla Padilla from Bishop Montgomery (Torrence, CA). Her mentoring of young guards has yielded positive results, including Kendall Grasela (point guard) ranked 7th in the nation in assist/TO ratio and Kayla Padilla finishing 6th amongst freshmen nationally in scoring at 17.4pga.
Enemkpali was a beautiful hire for Coach Bonnie Henrickson at UCSB. Enemkpali has brought elite level skill development for the Gaucho post players. Ila Lane’s rise to prominence as just a freshman can be credited in large part to Coach Enemkplali’s ability to develop elite post players. Lane finished the 2019-2020 season as the #1 rebounder in the NCAA DI (13 RPG), Big West Freshman of the Year and AP All-American Honorable Mention. Enemkpali came to UCSB by way of Gonzaga video coordinator. She was drafted 26th overall out of Texas by the Seattle Storm. While at Texas, Enemkpali averaged 10ppg and 8rpg.
In just three years as an assistant at Belmont, Coach Clark has helped the Bruins to a 70-25 record, 48-6 in conference. She is a highly intelligent coach, an established leader with a strong work ethic. Before arriving at Belmont, Clark was on staff at Florida as a recruiting specialist and Arizona as a graduate assistant prior. Clark graduated from Harvard #4 all-time in scoring (1,711) and second all-time in career made free throws (447).
Ferrara is a phenomenal recruiter with a proven track record, an energetic and charismatic coach. Ferrara’s enthusiasm spills over to his players. He can be credited for the unity and consistency in the programs he has been associated with. Ferrara has over ten years coaching experience at the collegiate level, starting at Central Michigan in 2008 with stops at Hofstra (2011-2014), George Washington (2014-2015), Florida (2015-2017).
Coach Lovato has an astoundingly diverse coaching background. She has coached at a variety of levels and filled many positions as a coach. Therefore she brings a whole lot to the table as an assistant. She has had great success in the recruiting realm. She has won national championships as a head coach at the community college level. Coach Lovato is not afraid to stretch herself as a coach. She embraces challenges and knows how to get out of her comfort zone to be successful. She has been very instrumental in helping recruit and develop the players that have made the Mississippi State Bulldogs the powerhouse program they are today.
Thirteen years of coaching at the college ranks, Howard has done a tremendous job, been hugely successful and can be credited for the defensive prowess her teams have shown. Howard is a passionate coach that has a deep love for the game and teaching. Most recently, between Fresno State and TCU, Coach Howard has helped the Bulldogs and Horned Frogs get to the postseason eight of the last nine years. The 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 TCU teams reached the WNIT semifinals behind Howard’s guidance.
Coach Starkey, along with Dean Lockwood are the more seasoned veterans on this list. Coach Starkey has been coaching collegiate basketball since 1984, when he got his start with the West Virginia State men’s program as an assistant. Coach Starkey has worked for the famed Coach Dale Brown at LSU and made the jump to the women’s game in 1998 as an assistant for Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach Sue Gunter. In all, Coach Starkey has been to five NCAA Final Fours, and 8 NCAA Elite Eight appearances. He has helped develop ten first round NBA and WNBA draft picks.
Steady and consistent, Sanford has coached in the college ranks for 13 years, all for her current head coach Jon Newlee and even played for Coach Newlee at Idaho State 2003-2005. In her eleven seasons at Idaho (five as associate head coach), and has assisted Coach Newlee in becoming Idaho’s all time leader in wins with 191. Coach Sanford has helped the Vandals to six postseason births, including three in the NCAA Tournament.
Wyatt started her college coaching career in 2008 as an assistant at East Carolina. Prior she spent two years as a student manager under Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach Andy Landers. A proven and genuine recruiter, Wyatt has also developed some special players over the years, including WBCA Honorable Mention All-American Teniya Page.
Sixteen years as an assistant coach at the Division I level, Coach Chatterton has compiled an impressive resume. Coach Chatterton has a magnificent grasp of the game, a great deal of knowledge and is excellent at teaching. Most recently, in his six years with Oregon State, the Beavers have had 20+ wins every season and three Pac-12 regular season titles. During Chatterton’s tenure, the Beavers have made the postseason every year, two Sweet Sixteens, an Elite Eight and a Final Four.
Laskowska is an exceptional recruiter with connections nationally and internationally. She has spent her entire coaching career as an assistant and most recently as associate head coach with head coach Keitha Adams. While the duo was at UTEP, they made the postseason four times, twice as a NCAA Tournament bid and twice to the WNIT. Laskowska was instrumental in UTEP’s four C-USA regular season championships. She was part of six 20+ win seasons and three 29+ wins.
A three time All-Big10 selection, Constantine (née Banks) played her college basketball at Wisconsin. She was Indiana’s Gatorade player of the year while attending Ben Davis high school. Before Indiana, Constantine had assistant coaching stops at Milwauke and IUPUI. Constantine has helped the Hoosiers to 20+ seasons all four seasons she has been on staff. In 2018 she helped guide them to a WNIT Championship.
Before jumping to the NCAA Division I ranks, Pearson’s previous two stops were at two NAIA national power programs, Vanguard University and Freed Hardeman University. Pearson’s devotion, commitment, dedication and work ethic is impeccable. She is a work till it’s done type of person. She never cuts any corners. Pearson pays great attention to detail and it has helped her programs be extremely successful. She is deeply devoted to her players and the success of her head coach.
Holliday is only in her second season as an assistant coach overall. She spent one season as an assistant at LMU where prior she was a grad assistant, admin assistant and DOBO. Holliday is from Chino Hills, CA. She played her collegiate ball at the University of Oregon 2008-2012, where she finished her career in the top ten of games played for the Ducks. She relates extremely well with her players and can speak from a players point of view on the game. I believe Holliday has a bright future in coaching.
Coach Rigney has close to forty years of coaching experience under his belt. He has coached at both the high school and collegiate levels. He has mastered an array of responsibilities at both levels. He has a wealth of knowledge and is extremely talented at teaching the game. The past sixteen years he has been at Lehigh, three as an assistant and the last thirteen as associate head coach. Rigney has a pair of Patriot League titles during his time. 2018-2019 season the Mountain Hawks netted 20+ wins and were on their way to another 20+ before this season was cut short due the COVID19 pandemic.
Shortly after her playing days at Florida State for Coach Sue Semrau, Adeduntan got her feet wet by coaching at the high school level and travel basketball in Florida. Adeduntan’s first stint as an assistant coach in college came at Northeastern prior to her role now at George Washington. Adeduntan has been instrumental in recruiting a couple top 100 recruits and attracting the region's top prospects.
Edwards has always been a student of the game and immensely immersed in its contemporary history. Edwards, who played three years for the USC Trojans after transferring from UConn can speak from a players point of view. Edwards’ senior year at USC she averaged 12.9 points and 2.2 assists. She is able to build genuine and meaningful relationships with her players, recruits and the community. She is an exceptional person who is a great mentor for younger players. She is very intelligent and no doubt has the capacity for growth in the game. Edwards was a 2014 McDonald’s All-American, attended Blair Academy in New Jersey during her prep career and has strong connections in the grassroots community.
Hotchkins-Parker attended Pinnacle high school in Arizona, where she teamed up with LA Sparks guard Sydney Wiese to make it to Arizona’s state championship game. She played travel ball for NAIA hall of fame coach Russ Davis. Two shooting guards on that team were Karlie and Katie Lou Samuelson of the WNBA Dallas Wings. She spent two years at ETSU before transferring and finishing her playing career at Eastern New Mexico. She spent a season as a graduate assistant for Texas A&M Corpus Christi while pursuing her masters in Kinesiology. This past year she interned for EXOS Sports, assisted at Chaparral high school and worked with Under Armour travel program Arizona Select. While at Chaparral she developed and mentored their guards, namely 2020 Boise State commit Anna Ostlie and 2021 Washington commit Jess Finney. Hotchkins-Parker is an extremely bright, charismatic individual who is passionate about player growth, development on and off the court.
Jaco, who played her high school career for national powerhouse Windward alongside Seattle Storm point guard Jordin Canada, played collegiate ball at USC. Jaco is the #2 all-time three point shooter for the Trojans and ranks #1 all-time with a 35.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. She played professionally in Greece for a season, where she was the team's second leading scorer with 12.2pga. When she returned to the states, prior to working for the Trojans in the capacity of video coordinator, Jaco spent a season as the Stanford Cardinal WBB intern. Jaco is an exemplary role model and awesome mentor for young athletes. She is an extraordinary young person.