One month after the Gophers hired Marlene Stollings to replace Pam Borton, the women’s basketball staff is nearing completion.
The university on Monday announced John “Mo” Motherwell would become Stollings’ second assistant, joining assistant Nikita “Niki” Dawkins and director of basketball operations Tiffanie Couts, both of whom worked for Stollings at Virginia Commonwealth.
Motherwell is the local connection Stollings was expected to add. The Michigan graduate has coached at Minnesota State Moorhead and Concordia (St. Paul) during his 14-year collegiate coaching career.
“I am beyond excited to be joining coach Marlene at the University of Minnesota,” Motherwell said. “She is regarded as one of the brightest and most innovative minds in the game, and to have the opportunity to coach with her is such an honor. As a longtime Gopher fan, I was thrilled by her hiring and am so happy to work for a school and state that I love so much.”
Dawkins, an Ohio State graduate and 23-year coaching veteran, will be the No. 1 assistant and lead recruiting coordinator, while Motherwell will act as the No. 2. Stollings still is searching for her No. 3 assistant.
“I come from a background where I feel it’s necessary to take your time and be very thorough with each hire,” Stollings said.
“This last position will be more of an in-house scouting, X’s and O’s person, will be responsible for a lot of our defensive concepts, and will do the majority of our game scouting, player development, things of that nature,” Stollings said.
Motherwell also was an assistant for one season at North Dakota and for five at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In Milwaukee, he helped land the Minnesota AAU player of the year in 2005, Maurika (Carlisle) Hickman of Minneapolis North, and the nation’s top shooter, according to one recruiting website, in 2010, Angela Rodriguez of Oak Creek, Wis.
Most recently Motherwell coached at Detroit Mercy.
“From the moment I took the job I wanted to be very committed to hiring someone with ties to the region and knowledge of the region and a history of being in the region,” Stollings said. “He proved himself and really separated himself from the competition as we moved through this.”