New Loggers coach has deep NWC roots

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Casey Kushiyama, Puget Sound women's basketball coach
Puget Sound athletics photo

Casey Kushiyama, who was an assistant coach on the Whitman and George Fox teams that reached the national title game, was named the next women's basketball head coach at Puget Sound.

University Director of Athletics Amy Hackett announced the hiring.

"We are so very pleased to have Casey joining the Logger community," said Hackett in the school's release. "Our national search produced some strong candidates, but Casey continued to pull ahead with his connection to regionally and nationally successful programs, his ability to recruit outstanding student-athletes, and his appreciation and understanding of the mission of a selective liberal arts college and NCAA Division III, made him our undeniable top choice."

Kushiyama spent the last five seasons as the top assistant to Michelle Ferenz at Whitman. During his tenure the Blues went 62-18 in the NWC with three NCAA Tournament appearances and a national runner-up finish in 2013-14.

Previously Kushiyama was an assistant on Michael Meeks' staff at George Fox when the Bruins reached the national championship game in 2011-12. He was an assistant for the Whitworth men for one season and then coached the women at his alma mater Linfield in 2009-10. The Wildcats went 6-19, 4-12 in the NWC that season, improving from their 3-22, 2-14 mark the year before.

Kushiyama replaces Loree Payne who resigned in April to take the head coaching job at Division I Northern Arizona University. Puget Sound went 26-3, 16-0 in the NWC last season and won its first NWC title outright. The Loggers lost to Whitman in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.