Wellman named Lawrence women's basketball coach

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APPLETON, Wis. — Ashley Wellman has been named the head women's basketball coach at Lawrence University, Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski announced today.

Wellman comes to Lawrence from Alma College in Michigan, where she has served as the assistant women's basketball coach and recruiting coordinator since August 2008. Wellman, a former star player at Alma, is the 10th coach in Lawrence women's basketball history.

"We are extremely excited to introduce Ashley Wellman as our next head women's basketball coach," Szkodzinski said. "Ashley's experience in recruiting at Alma College will undoubtedly pay dividends for our program. Her experiences and personality on and off the court make her an excellent fit for our program and department. We look forward to watching the women's basketball team progress under her leadership."

Wellman played at Alma for Charlie Goffnett, who won more than 300 games and the 1992 NCAA Division III championship in his 22 seasons with the Scots. A 2008 graduate of Alma with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Wellman served as the interim head coach at Alma in 2009 when Goffnett retired. Wellman also served as the interim head coach from April-October 2012 due to the illness of the head coach.

"I am thrilled to be named the head women's basketball coach at Lawrence University," Wellman said. "I am looking forward to working with the returning team members, athletic department, faculty and community members to re-establish Lawrence as one of the top programs in the Midwest Conference." 

Wellman, who will earn her master's degree in sport administration from Central Michigan University in May, has put Alma back on the path to success in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. In her five seasons coaching at Alma, Wellman helped bring more than 40 student-athletes to the women's basketball program.

"I am very grateful that I have this opportunity and also the support of Mike Szkodzinski, the athletic department and the administration to move this program forward," Wellman said. "I am confident that our program has the resources it needs to be successful in the coming years, and my goal is to make sure it does."

During her playing career with the Scots, Wellman earned All-MIAA accolades three times. A first-team all-conference selection in 2007, Wellman was a second-team pick in 2008 and received honorable mention in 2006. Wellman was a two-year team captain and a two-time team Most Valuable Player. Wellman was named the team's Most Improved Player as a sophomore in 2006.

Wellman finished in the top 10 in eight different statistical categories at Alma and ended her career with more than 1,100 points and more than 500 rebounds.

A native of Saginaw, Mich., Wellman was a standout player at Nouvel Catholic Central High School. Wellman led Nouvel Catholic Central to a runner-up finish at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B state tournament in 2004.

The team captain and MVP of the state runner-up team, Wellman received honorable mention on the Detroit Free Press all-state team in 2004. She also was named first-team all-area by the Saginaw News in 2004. Wellman also helped Nouvel Catholic Central to the state tournament quarterfinals in 2002 and 2003. Wellman also won Nouvel Catholic Central's Senior Class Female Athletic Leadership Award.

Wellman takes over for Tara Carr, who resigned in February after two seasons and a 3-43 record. Despite struggling in recent seasons, Lawrence has enjoyed a history of success in women's basketball. The Vikings have won three conference championships and made one NCAA Division III Tournament appearance. The Vikings have posted 23 seasons of .500 or better in 37 campaigns.