Former Clemson coach returns to Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Penn State Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington announced the addition of Itoro Coleman to the Lady Lion coaching staff as an assistant coach today. This will be Coleman's second stint with Penn State having served as an assist from 2007-10 before becoming the head coach at her alma mater, Clemson.
"I am thrilled to have Itoro come back home to Penn State," Washington said. "She is going to bring head coaching experience to our staff, and her familiarity with our program will allow her to hit the ground running. She has an infectious energy and enthusiasm that will help Lady Lion basketball climb to the next level."
"I can't tell you how excited I am to return to Penn State," Coleman said. "I had such a great experience my first time at Penn State and look forward to meeting the current team and reconnecting with the coaching staff, members of the athletic department and the community as a whole. This is a great opportunity for me to return to some of my coaching roots and work again with an outstanding head coach in Coquese Washington."
Coleman comes to Happy Valley after spending three years away as the head coach at her alma mater, Clemson. While with the Tigers, she recruited a pair of Top 30 classes, including signing the #14 player in the country in the 2012 class. In 2012, the Tigers broke the school record for blocked shots with 168 rejections, which was fourth nationally. Coleman and the Tigers topped #21 North Carolina, 52-47, in 2012 to give Clemson its first win over a nationally ranked team in eight years.
During her first stint at Penn State, Coleman served as the recruiting coordinator and guard coach. She was instrumental in the recruitment of the 2009 class (ranked 14th by ESPN/HoopGurlz) and the 2010 class (22nd). Those classes featured All-Big Ten performers Alex Bentley, Nikki Greene, Maggie Lucas and Ariel Edwards.
In her final season, Coleman guided Bentley to Big Ten All-Freshman team accolades, as well as All-Big Ten third team honors. Bentley also garnered Full Court Press Freshman All-America third team accolades during the 2009-10 campaign.
Additionally, Coleman led All-Big Ten performer Brianne O'Rourke to an honorable mention berth in 2008-09. O'Rourke was one of six players in school history to accumulate 1,000 points and 500 assists in her career.
In her first season at Penn State, Coleman was instrumental in the development of O'Rourke and Mashea Williams. The duo each registered career-high performances in the upset win over #10 Duke. The pair also combined to outscore the entire Michigan State team in the second half (24-21) in a key road win for the Lady Lions on national television. Coleman also guided O'Rourke to third team All-Big Ten honors as she led the conference and was 51st nationally in assists in 2007-08.
As the guards coach with the Clemson Tigers, Coleman developed two All-ACC guards in Chrissy Floyd and Lakeia Stokes. The pair also earned Kodak Regional All-America accolades. She was also helped Clemson secure its first nationally-ranked recruiting class in 2003-04.
Coleman secured the commitment and signing of South Carolina Player of the Year LeLe Hardy, who went on to garner All-ACC Rookie team honors, as well as young All-America accolades in 2006-07. Hardy led the ACC and was fifth in the NCAA in assists in 2006-07. Coleman was also responsible for recruiting Christy Brown, an ACC All-Rookie team selection, and D'Lesha Lloyd and Tasha Taylor, who were Clemson's top two scorers in 2006-07.
Prior to her time at Clemson, Coleman served as an assistant coach at Butler from 2000-02 and had a stint as a student assistant coach at Liberty University for the 1999-00 season.
As a player for Clemson, Coleman garnered Kodak District II All-America accolades, defensive All-American honors and was named an honorable mention Associated Press All-America in her senior season. Coleman, who was a three-time All-ACC performer, led Clemson to ACC Tournament championships in 1996 and 1999, claiming the Tournament MVP trophy in 1999. She ranks in the Top 10 in Tiger history with 1,409 points, 459 assists and 265 steals. Coleman was also selected to the ACC's 50-year Anniversary Team in 2002 and to the Silver Anniversary team that recognized the top players in ACC Tournament history.
Coleman was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2008 along with her former head coach Jim Davis and six other Tiger athletic standouts.
Coleman continued her career after college in the WNBA, playing for the Indiana Fever in 2001 and the Houston Comets in 2003. She also participated in the Pan Am Games for Team USA, as well as several appearances in international competition as a member of the Nigerian National Team, including the 2006 FIBA World Championships where she led the world tournament in assists. Coleman accounted for 15 points with four three-pointers against the Team USA juggernaut at the FIBA World Championships. Coleman also played in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece where she captained the Nigerian National Team to its first-ever Olympic win.
Coleman earned her bachelor's degree in speech and communication from Clemson in 2000. She and her husband, Harold, have three daughters, Jada (10), Jordyn (4), Jasmine (3), and one son, Harold III (Dutch) (2).
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. The 2014 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Total Package Team Camp (June 19-21), Elite Camp (June 21-22), Pre-National Team Shootout (22-24) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 1-3). For more information on Lady?Lion Basketball Camps, please visit GoPSUsports.com/camps and click on Girls Basketball Camp under Summer Camps.