Lisella leaving bench at Rowan

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Gabby Lisella retired from her position as head women’s basketball coach at Rowan University where she set the program record for career victories with 245.

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The University announced Lisella’s retirement as head coach and that she will remain as the Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations.

“Coach Lisella has always emphasized mentoring and caring for her student-athletes. Her distinguished coaching career will be known for her integrity and values as much as her record-setting win totals. She values her player relationships above all else and those will remain her greatest legacy," said interim director of athletics Dr. John Giannini said in the release.

Lisella took over the program in 2000 after Candace Crabtree left the program to become the head coach at Division I Drexel. Lisella won 245 games in 18 seasons with her best season coming in 2015-16 when the Profs went 23-6 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Lisella was named the 2016 Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.

"I have always believed that my primary responsibility as a collegiate coach has been to prepare our student-athletes to be successful after graduation," said Lisella in the release. "I couldn't be more proud of the amazing women that have come through our program.  They have proven themselves to be outstanding in their chosen career paths and, more importantly, are people of character."

Rowan announced that Lisella’s assistant coach Demetrius Poles would lead the Profs on an interim basis next season. Poles was Lisella’s assistant for three seasons, an assistant coach on Rowan’s men’s basketball team for four seasons and the starting center on the 1996 men’s national championship team.

That team was coached by Giannini who moved into the Athletic Director role on an interim basis. Giannini coached Rowan men’s basketball for seven seasons during which he went 168-38 with three trips to the national semifinals. He is the Director for the University’s Center for Sports Communication and Social Impact.

The Rowan women finished 15-11, 13-5 in the NJAC last season.

The Profs open the upcoming season at home versus Delaware Valley on Nov. 12.