NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College women's basketball head coach Billi Godsey announced her coaching staff for the 2013-14 season. Ashlee Kelly returns as assistant coach alongside newcomers Jana Ashley and Liz Leer. Eric Alston rounds out the coaching staff as the director of basketball operations.
"I am excited to have Ashlee, Jana, Liz and Eric join me in continuing the success of Iona women's basketball," said Godsey. "It was important to me to find loyal, hardworking and dedicated people. I think we have a great group of people and I am looking forward to working with them."
In four seasons with the Gaels, Ashlee Kelly was instrumental in developing the Maroon & Gold’s frontcourt, along with game preparation. Her recruiting eye helped the Gaels recruit the past two MAAC Rookies of the Year in Damika Martinez (2012) and Joy Adams (2013). Before coming to New Rochelle, she spent three years as head women's basketball coach at Mercy College.
Kelly graduated from Quinnipiac in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. A four year letter winner for the Bobcats, she completed her career ranked second all-time in both scoring (1,580 points) and rebounding (1,107). Kelly was named NEC Player of the Year during her junior season and led all NCAA Division I players in rebounding at 13.5 per game as a senior. After the completion of her collegiate career, Kelly went on to play professionally for the Perik Jumpers in Holland, where she led the nation in scoring and rebounding over the 2004-05 season.
"I'm thrilled Ashlee stayed on board,” said Godsey. "She has done a phenomenal job recruiting here and is clearly committed to the success of the program."
Jana Ashley comes to Iona after five seasons as assistant coach at George Mason. In 2011-12, the Patriots claimed their first CAA Tournament victory since 2006, defeating Northeastern in the opening round. In 2011, Taleia Moton earned George Mason’s first All-CAA honor since 2004 and in 2010 Amber Easter picked up the program’s first All-Rookie Team selection since 2001.
Ashley’s tenure at George Mason came after five seasons on the sidelines at Radford, including three as assistant coach and two seasons as graduate assistant. At Radford, the Highlanders accumulated a record of 84-67, 38-30 in conference, during Ashley's five seasons on staff, highlighted by a 20-win season in 2006-07 and a 23-win season the following year, resulting in a Women's NIT berth.
Ashley lettered for four seasons at the University of North Alabama, where graduated in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in education. In 2005, she received a master's degree in education from Radford.
"Jana is extremely hard working and passionate about the game," said Godsey. "She is a tireless recruiter and will be a great addition to our Gaels family."
Liz Leer spent the last two seasons as director of basketball operations at her alma mater American University. In 2011-12, Leer helped the Eagles to a 23-8 overall record, which included the Patriot League's first-ever 14-0 regular season, regular season championship, and Women’s NIT berth.
Leer graduated from American in 2011 as a two-time All-Patriot League First Team honoree as well as a two-time Patriot League All-Tournament Team selection. She finished her career with 1,377 points and 741 rebounds, fourth and third, respectively, in program history. Leer earned a bachelor's degree in public communication from American in 2011, and a master's in public communication in 2013.
"Liz is young and eager to learn and contribute to the program,” added Godsey. "She has a great personality that will help attract players to Iona."
Eric Alston recently completed his second season as the Gaels’ assistant director of basketball operations after graduating from Iona with a degree in marketing in 2011. A familiar face behind the Iona bench, Alston was a four-year student manager with the Gaels beginning in 2007, taking over the head manager position prior to the 2010-11 season. Alston recently earned his master's degree in marketing along with an advanced certificate in sports and entertainment from Iona's Hagan School of Business.
"Eric is a true Gael in every sense, starting with the fact that he earned both of his degrees here,” said Godsey, “His decision to begin his coaching career here shows the impact the Iona community had on his life."
Coming off the program’s fourth-ever 20+ win season and fourth postseason bid in 2012-13, all five starters return for 2013-14 including Martinez and Adams, graduate point guard Haley D’Angelo, rising senior Sabrina Jeridore and rising junior Aleesha Powell. In 2012-13, Martinez became Iona’s second MAAC Player of the Year while Adams earned the program’s fifth Rookie of the Year honor.