Danielle O'Banion, part of Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen's inaugural coaching staff, is leaving after taking the head coaching job at Loyola University Maryland.
O'Banion, along with associate head coach Carly Thibault-Dudonis and Kelly Curry comprised Whalen's coaching staff, with her since shortly after she was named head coach in 2018.
"We're extremely happy for coach O'Banion,'' said Whalen, who noted that her new job will bring her close to her Arlington, Va., hometown. "We wish her nothing but the best. She's given the University of Minnesota, at two different times in her career, everything she had. Now we'll start a national search for an assistant coach.''
With Whalen, O'Banion was responsible for helping direct the team's defensive schemes, coaching post players and doing scouting reports. She also helped recruit and ran Whalen's basketball camps.
O'Banion and Whalen have a long history together; O'Banion was a Gophers assistant from 2002-03 to 2006-07, the best five-season run in program history. That includes the 2003-04 season when Whalen and Janel McCarville led the Gophers into the NCAA Final Four.
O'Banion was head coach at Kent State for four seasons starting in 2008. She has also been an assistant at Harvard and Memphis. In 2016, at the Final Four, O'Banion was presented the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for women's basketball for her fight against cancer.
Diagnosed with stage 2 lymphoma in 2014, O'Banion continued to coach while receiving chemotherapy treatments. O'Banion announced the cancer's remission six months later.
O'Banion takes over a program that went 0-13 last season, including an 0-6 mark in Patriot League play.