Seattle University women's basketball head coach Joan Bonvicini has announced that assistant coach Kristen O'Neill has been promoted to the position of associate head coach, effective immediately.
"Kristen has been an integral part of our program and success since my arrival at Seattle University," said Bonvicini. "She has grown as a coach and leader in our program and her new title as Associate Head Coach is a direct reflection of her impact with our players and community. I am excited to continue to mentor Kristen as a young professional in our game."
During her first season with the team, O'Neill served as the team's academic coordinator and the Redhawks were named to the 2010 WBCA Top 25 Academic Honor Roll with a 3.34 cumulative GPA. Since then, her duties have expanded, as she is now involved in all aspects of the program, primarily academics, compliance, strength and conditioning, practice planning, player development, community outreach, and recruiting.
This past season, O'Neill took over as the position coach for all post players on the team, including Kacie Sowell, who finished the season averaging a double-double and ranked first on the team in points per game (14.3) and rebounds per game (10.2). Under O'Neill's direction, Sowell was named Independent Player of the Year, First-Team All-Independent, and First-Team All-Jesuit for 2012. She finished fifth in the nation for Division I field-goal percentage, posted 18 double-doubles (tied for 10th in Division I), and was named the team's Most Improved Player at the 2012 year-end team banquet.
Before coming to Seattle U, O'Neill herself became well known in the Seattle area basketball community for excelling at all levels of the game. She was an All-American at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, Wash. before playing at the University of Washington (2001-06), where she was a four-year starter and three-time co-captain. Professionally, she played internationally in Madrid and Burgos, Spain, as well as Limerick, Ireland, and played locally for the WNBA's Seattle Storm.
"We've come a long way over the past three years," said O'Neill, "and I look forward to continuing to build a culture of excellence at Seattle U."