ATLANTA (March 12, 2020) — The Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today the 2020 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 2020 WBCA Assistant Coaches of the Year are:


NCAA Division I


Karen Blair


University of Maryland

NCAA Division II

Stephanie Gehlhausen

Ashland University

NCAA Division III

Jamie Insel

Tufts University


Vicky Volonaki

Marian College

Two-Year College

Rachel Jones

Hill College (TX)

High School

Paul Gardner

Bishop Lynch High School (TX)

"The role of an assistant coach is profoundly important to team leadership and chemistry. The daily example set by the head and assistant coach as a unit, ripples through basketball lessons and life lessons.  The WBCA is proud to name these six individuals as the Assistant Coach of the Year in their respective divisions," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "These coaches were selected by their peers and the WBCA celebrates and applauds these coaches for their lasting commitment to use our game as a platform to positively impact their student-athletes, institution and community.”

Blair is in her second season on the coaching staff at Maryland. This season, she helped guide the Terrapins to win the 2020 Big Ten Tournament Championship. Blair has been coaching at the NCAA Division I level for the last 20 years. Before coming to Maryland, she served on the staffs at VCU, UT Arlington, Colgate, North Texas and Southern Methodist.

In her second year with Ashland, Gehlhausen saw the undefeated Eagles win their fifth consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. She joined the staff in 2018 after a two-year stint at Western State (Colorado). During her first year at Ashland, Gehlhausen served as interim head coach for six of the Eagles’ victories.

Insel was hired as an assistant coach at Tufts in 2019. She guided the Jumbos to the Sweet 16 in the 2020 NCAA Division III Tournament. Prior to arriving at Tufts, Insel served as an assistant coach at Colby College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Volonaki has served on the coaching staff at Marian for six years. This season, the Knights won their fourth overall Crossroads League Tournament title, earning an automatic berth in the NAIA Tournament. Before becoming a coach, Volanki spent 20 years playing professional basketball overseas.

Jones completed her second year as an assistant coach at Hill College. In her two seasons at Hill she has helped guide the Rebels to a conference title and back-to-back region tournament appearances.  Before becoming a coach, she played two years of college basketball at St. Mary’s University. Jones led the team to the NCAA Division II Tournament twice and earned Heartland Conference Newcomer of the Year honors.  She also played professionally for three seasons overseas.

Gardner came to Bishop Lynch as an assistant coach in 2015. He helped guide the Friars to a 22-12 regular season finish. Before arriving at Bishop Lynch, Gardner spent 30 years as a teacher and coach in the Mesquite Independent School District. 

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.