Former collegiate head coach joins Green Wave staff for 2012-13 season
New assistant brings two stints as head coach to the program following year as team's director of operations
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Beth Dunkenberger begins her fifth season with the Green Wave and fourth as assistant basketball coach. After serving as the program's director of operations during the 2011-12 season, Dunkenberger will once again assist in all facets of the team's game planning, recruiting and student-athletes' academic progress.
Under Dunkenberger's tutelage, Tulane has posted 66 wins in just three years years, averaging 66.2 points per game. The Green Wave have made the postseason all three years, including the program's first NCAA Tournament at-large bid since 2003. In fact, the 2014-15 Wave featured a 1,000-career point scorer and three-time all-conference honoree in Danielle Blagg, the program's first freshman all-conference selection and Louisiana Freshman of the Year Kolby Morgan, and American Scholar Athlete of the Year and Senior CLASS First Team All-American Jamie Kaplan.
Dunkenberger brought a wealth of coaching experience to the Green Wave squad, including head-coaching stints at Western Carolina from 2000-04 and Virginia Tech from 2004-11 where she posted 175 combined victories. In addition, she also served as a graduate assistant and assistant coach with the Hokies from 1988-97 and as an assistant coach at Florida from 1997-2000. All told, Dunkenberger-coached teams have advanced to the postseason on nine occasions, including a pair of NCAA Tournaments and one WNIT bid during her time leading the Virginia Tech program.
As head coach of the Hokies, Dunkenberger guided her team to .500-or-better records five times, including a 21-10 mark in 2005-06 when Virginia Tech advanced to the second round of the NCAAs. She also led her team to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and to the third round of the WNIT in 2007. Dunkenberger helped four student-athletes claim All-ACC honors - Kerri Gardin in 2005 (honorable mention) and 2006 (third team), Kirby Copeland in 2007 (honorable mention), Brittany Cook in 2008 (second team) and Utahya Drye in 2009 (honorable mention) - while Andrea Barbour claimed a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team in 2008.
Several of her players also went on to play basketball professionally, including Gardin - who became the first former Hokie to play in the WNBA when she suited up for the Connecticut Sun from 2008-10 and the Washington Mystics in 2011. Copeland, Nara Diawara and Dawn Chriss all played in Europe, and Diaware was selected to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games for her native country of Mali.
Dunkenberger originally moved to Blacksburg, Va., in 1988 and spent the next two years as a graduate assistant before serving as a full-time assistant from 1990-97. As an assistant, she helped the Hokies win the Metro Conference Tournament crown in 1994 and the Metro regular-season title in 1995 as Virginia Tech advanced to the NCAA Tournament both years.
From there, Dunkenberger accepted an assistant coaching position at Florida. From 1997-2000, she helped the Gators go a combined 73-36 record, including a 23-9 mark and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1997-98. With Dunkenberger on staff, Florida also made the NCAA Tournament in 1999 and advanced to the 2000 WNIT title game.
Dunkenberger earned her first head coaching spot Western Carolina in 2000, and over the next four seasons, helped the Catamounts post 65 victories. She was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year following the 2002-03 season when Western Carolina tallied 21 wins - the most by the team since moving to the Division I level in 1981 - and advanced to the finals of the SoCon Championship.
Under Dunkenberger, WCU's Tiffany Hamm claimed All-Southern Conference honors from 2002-04, earned Player of the Year by the SoCon Sports Media Association in 2003 and was tabbed the league's Freshman of the Year in 2001. In addition, Ki-Ki Glass earned a spot on the 2002 SoCon All-Freshman Team.
While all of her teams have performed admirably on the court, Dunkerberger's squads have also stood out in the classroom as well. Her Virginia Tech teams featured a trio of Academic All-Americans, 11 Academic All-District honorees, a pair of ACC postgraduate scholarship recipients. Among those honorees was Laura Haskins who was the first-ever recipient of the Kay Yow ACC Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 2009.
At Western Carolina, her student-athletes claimed Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar recognition three times - including two-time winner Yoneko Allen - and her 2000-01 team finished sixth in the national academically with an overall grade point average of 3.313.
A standout student-athlete in her own right, Dunkenberger played collegiately at Randolph-Macon College from 1984-88 where she claimed all-conference and Academic All-District recognition, and was tabbed the school's Top Student-Athlete in 1988. A native of Shawsville, Va., Dunkenberger, was the valedictorian at Shawsville High in 1984, graduated cum laude from Randoph-Macon with a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1988 and completed her master's degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1990.