|Assistant coach Lisa Panepento, left, will take over for Wooster women's basketball coach Ashley Reid.
Wooster athletics photo
Following five years as head coach of Wooster's women's basketball program, Ashley Reid is taking on a new opportunity as the school's first assistant to the athletic director for diversity and inclusion, and along with that move, long-time assistant Lisa Panepento has been named interim head coach for the 2015-16 season, director of athletics Keith Beckett announced on June 1.
"I am very excited about the appointment of Lisa as interim head coach. She has a long history and commitment to the program," stated Beckett. "As an alum of the program, and more recently as the assistant coach, Lisa's passion and Fighting Scot spirit will be further revealed and provide a seamless transition during this exciting period."
Beckett continued, "It is (also) with much excitement that I welcome Ashley into her new role. The position is newly created, recommended by lead officers in the office of inclusion at the NCAA following their review visit and assessment of the department. As the chair of the (athletic) department's inclusion and diversity committee, coupled with the many other undertakings she has been directly involved with to support and promote diversity, Ashley was an obvious choice from the applicant pool. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the position, combined with a strong foundation and excitement about additional professional development is the perfect chemistry for success."
Reid's responsibilities include addressing matters that were identified by the NCAA's evaluation team, fostering systems of communication between athletics and other campus offices on matters of inclusion and diversity, working with admissions and coaching staff on efforts for the recruitment, retention, and graduation of a diverse student-athlete population, and programming events and initiatives that positively effect the student-athlete experience and overall cultural climate of the college.
"(This) is an honor to have the opportunity to serve The College of Wooster and (its) athletic department in a role that promotes Wooster's commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Reid. "I am very excited to join the administration team in athletics, and it is my desire to work collaboratively across campus to enhance all student experiences."
In addition to being Wooster's lead assistant coach the last five years, Panepento formerly was the head coach at Kalamazoo and is a member of Wooster's W Association Hall of Fame. The two-time all-North Coast Athletic Conference standout piled up 1,201 points and 608 rebounds, and helped the Scots to one of their two conference championships. She also excelled in the classroom, earning a prestigious Academic All-American® honor as a senior.
"I'm honored and very privileged to be in this position, and plan to continue to move the program forward," she said. "My heart has always been here at Wooster. As an alum, this opportunity to give something back is a dream come true, and I'm excited to move things in the right direction."
With 12 returning letterwinners and six first-year players expected for the 2015-16 campaign, Panepento, who also worked in Wooster's admissions office from 2004-10, is anxious to get things started and implement her core coaching philosophy. "Quite honestly, what I want people to see is very enthusiastic, hard-working young ladies. Our enthusiasm should be evident. I'm a very high-energy person, very optimistic, and I hope to have our team reflect that."
The Scots will play a five-game homestand to kickoff the 2015-16 season, starting on Saturday, Nov. 14, and also consisting of the Nan Nichols Classic, named after Panepento's former coach and the most successful in team history.