Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington announced yesterday that Itoro Coleman will rejoin the team as an assistant coach. Coleman, who was an assistant and recruiting coordinator here from 2007-10, will return to Penn State to fill the void left by the departure of Maren Walseth.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to return to Penn State,” Coleman said in a statement. “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.”
As a player, Coleman was named to the All-ACC Team three times, finishing her career with 1,409 points, 459 assists and 265 steals. In 2008, she was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame. Her coaching career there from 2010-13 wasn’t so pretty, though — she was fired after three rough seasons and a 25-63 (10-38 ACC) record.
Her post-collegiate resume is impressive. In 2003, she became the first Clemson graduate to make a WNBA roster, earning time with the Houston Comets. Coleman also played in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece — she was the captain for the Nigerian National Team and led it to its first-ever Olympic win.
During her time at Penn State, Coleman served as the recruiting coordinator and guard coach. She was influential in the recruitment of the benchmark 2009 class that included now-WNBA members Nikki Greene and Alex Bentley.
Head coach Coquese Washington was full of praise for Coleman in a statement released yesterday.
“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.”