ATLANTA (March 28, 2017) — The Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today the 2017 Assistant Coaches of the Year in all six WBCA membership divisions.
The WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year award is presented to one associate head coach or assistant coach in each membership division who demonstrates commitment to their program, their student-athletes and their head coach; their impact coaching on court; their mentorship and impact on other coaches; and their professional manner and attitude.
The 2017 WBCA Assistant Coaches of the Year are:
- NCAA Division I — Lance White, associate head coach, Florida State University.
- NCAA Division II — Kari Pickens, assistant coach, Ashland University.
- NCAA Division III — Andrea Ushinski, associate head coach, Virginia Wesleyan College.
- NAIA — Taylor Possail, assistant coach, Columbia College (MO).
- Junior/Community College — Brittany Christian, assistant coach, Northwest Kansas Technical College.
- High School — Jordan Kelley, assistant coach, Regis Jesuit High School (CO).
“The role of an assistant coach is vital in reinforcing a positive student-athlete environment with encouragement, excellence, structure, security, support and integrity. The WBCA is proud to honor these individuals as our assistant coaches of the year in their respective divisions of membership," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Each coach was selected by vote of their peers, and the WBCA celebrates and applauds their lasting commitment to use our game as a platform to positively impact their student-athletes, institutions and communities.”
White is in his 14th season with the Seminoles. Primarily in charge of offense, White helped Florida State average an ACC-best 79.7 points per game. In 2015, FSU averaged its highest point production in 24 years (75.5 points per game) under White’s offensive guidance.
Pickens helped lead the Eagles to an undefeated 28-0 regular season and berth into the 2017 NCAA Division II tournament. The former Ashland standout was named to the WBCA Thirty Under 30 inaugural class in 2016. During that time, Pickens led the team to a 3.68 grade point average (GPA) — a top 20 national finish.
Ushinski is also a former player where she coaches, Virginia Wesleyan. She is in her seventh season with the Marlins, and was a key player in Virginia Wesleyan’s first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship in 2015. That season the Marlins advanced to its first NCAA Division III Tournament.
In three seasons with the Cougars, Possail has gathered a 75-23 record. This year’s 26-6 record punched Columbia’s ticket into the NAIA National Tournament. Possail helped coach three All-American award winners, seven All-Conference players, 14 AMC Academic All-Conference players and four NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Christian is in her first season with the Mavericks. She aided in the team’s 28-2 overall record where the squad averaged 87.1 points per game. Christian became the first head coach of Northwest Kansas Tech JV program.
Kelley helped lead the Raiders to a 20-7 overall season. With a great year under its belt, the team advanced to the 2017 CHSAA Class 5A state tournament semifinals.
The Assistant Coach of the Year award originated in 2016 and is presented annually. Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/ to see a list of past recipients of the award.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.