The University of Hawaii tapped former Southern Cal assistant Laura Beeman as its women’s basketball coach.
Beeman, 43, made her coaching mark at the junior college level in California, guiding Mt. San Antonio College to 10 conference championships and four state championships in 15 seasons.
“It was kind of like the stars aligned a little bit and I felt this was the right position for me,” Beeman said Friday in Honolulu after being introduced by athletic director Jim Donovan. “We’d definitely like to make a name for ourselves immediately in the Big West (Conference) and try to get into the NCAA tournament. We want to play a level of basketball that’s enjoyable to watch, that people want to come to see us play and fans want to support these young women.”
She replaces Dana Takahara-Dias, who was let go after a three-year run that saw the Wahine finish with a 32-58 record.
A former All-American guard at Cal State San Bernardino, Beeman was an assistant under Michael Cooper with the Trojans the past two seasons and before that for a year with the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
“We are very pleased to hire a coach that has the vast experience and success that Coach Beeman has achieved,” Donovan said. “Not only does she have a personality that will fit well in Hawaii and a proven track record, Coach Beeman has extensive recruiting contacts in California which will be a huge plus for us as we head into the Big West Conference next season.”
Beeman, 43, is the eighth head coach since the program’s inception in 1974 and the third female head coach.
She’ll be reunited with forward Vicky Tagalicod, a 2009 Hilo graduate who transferred to Manoa after leaving USC.