New Gophers women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen has filled her last assistant position with a familiar face in former U assistant Danielle O’Banion, sources told the Star Tribune on Tuesday.
O’Banion, who was an associate head coach at Memphis this season, coached Whalen as a player with the Gophers on Pam Borton’s staff, including on the Final Four team in 2004.
Whalen, hired to replace Marlene Stollings as Minnesota’s coach last month, has now completed her assistant coaching staff, which includes former Gophers player and assistant and Macalester coach Kelly Roysland and former Mississippi State assistant Carly Thibault-Dudonis.
Having no previous coaching experience, Whalen was looking for a veteran coach to add to her program. O’Banion spent four seasons at Kent State’s head coach from 2012-16.
At the 2016 Final Four, O’Banion was presented with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for women’s basketball for beating cancer after being diagnosed and going through six months of treatment in 2014.
The Gophers connection is strong with O’Banion as she recently worked for Memphis coach and former Minnesota associate head coach Melissa McFerrin. O’Banion, who coached with McFerrin on Borton’s staff for two years with Whalen as the star point guard, was previously with the Gophers from 2002-2007.
Duluth names coach
Minnesota Duluth named Justin Wieck men’s basketball coach. Wieck, 33, who spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at MSU Moorhead, replaces Matt Bowen, who was not retained after six seasons as the Bulldogs coach. Wieck, a native of North Liberty, Iowa, graduated from Iowa. Wieck played two seasons for the Hawkeyes after starting his college career at Kirkwood C.C.
• Hermantown coach Tom Bang became the third softball coach in state high school history to reach 700 career victories on Saturday when Hermantown defeated Bemidji and Princeton. Bang, in his 40th season, has a career record of 701-230.