Kelly and Buck join reigning NCAA Regional & NE10 Regular Season Champions
EASTON, Mass. (June 14, 2018) – Stonehill College has named Kara Kelly and Shelby Buck as assistant women's basketball coaches for the upcoming 2018-19 season. The announcement was made today by head coach Trisha Brown, the reigning Northeast-10 Conference and Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) Division II East Region Coach of the Year.
Kelly, a former NE10 student-athlete, joins the Stonehill coaching staff after four seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts Lowell, bringing 13 years of coaching experience overall. Buck comes to Easton after three years as assistant coach on former Stonehill assistant Kelly Thompson's coaching staff at Roger Williams University.
"We are so grateful to have Kara Kelly and Shelby Buck joining the Stonehill women's basketball family," said Brown. "Their combined experience is phenomenal, and their energy and excitement have been infectious."
Kelly brings 13 years of coaching experience to the Skyhawks bench, including two years as head coach at Rhode Island College.
Kelly (Williamson), who played collegiately at fellow NE10 member Assumption College, returns to the NE10 after four seasons as assistant coach under Jenerrie Harris at UMass Lowell. Kelly developed three America East All-Conference performers, an All-Rookie Team selection and All-Academic Team honoree in her time with the River Hawks. UML's 14 wins in 2014-15 are the program's highest total in its Division I era.
Kelly joined the coaching staff at UMass Lowell after two successful seasons as head coach at Rhode Island College. She led the Anchorwomen to a 36-20 (.643) record, including 20 wins during the 2013-14 season, earning the program's fourth NCAA Tournament appearance. RIC also captured the Little East regular season championship for the second time in program history with an 11-3 league mark in 2013-14, earning Kelly Little East Coach of the Year and the Tom Carmody Rhode Island Media Coach of the Year awards, while also a WBCA East Region Coach of the Year finalist. She recruited and developed three LEC All-Conference performers and two LEC All-Rookie Team picks, including Vandell Andrade, only the second Little East student-athlete to earn LEC Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.
"I have been impressed by Kara since she worked at our Stonehill Basketball Summer Camps, starting in her undergraduate days at Assumption," said Brown. "She is a high character individual who brings exceptional experience and passion to the program. Kara is an outstanding coach, recruiter, educator, and mentor. She has been successful at all levels of college basketball and knows how to motivate and inspire student-athletes. Our student-athletes will love playing for her and she will have an immediate impact on the success of our program."
Prior to her two years as head coach at RIC, Kelly served stints as assistant coach at Western New England University (2005-2007), as well as fellow NE10 members American International College (2007-09) and Southern New Hampshire University (2009-12). Over that span, she helped lead AIC to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament and developed and recruited one honorable mention All-American and nine All-Conference performers.
Kelly is a 2005 graduate of Assumption, where she was a member of the Greyhounds women's basketball team all four years, and earned her Master's Degree from Springfield College in 2007.
Buck served five years under former Stonehill assistant Kelly Thompson prior to joining the Skyhawks coaching staff.
Buck joins the Stonehill coaching staff after three seasons as assistant coach at Roger Williams under Kelly Thompson, who served as an assistant for Brown with the Skyhawks for five years. Buck helped guide the Hawks to a 49-24 (.671) record over her three seasons on the coaching staff, reaching the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship and earning an NCAA Tournament bid this past season, finishing with a 23-6 record overall. In addition to her on-court coaching duties, she assisted in the team maintaining a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or better all three years.
Buck served one season as an assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2014-15 prior to joining Roger Williams. The 2015 UMass Boston graduate, helped the Beacons to a Little East Championship appearance for the first time in program history, finishing with a 19-9 record overall. As a student-athlete at UMass Boston, Buck was a four-year letterwinner for coach Courtney Mattingly, serving as captain her senior year. She also represented the women's basketball program on UMB's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and received the University's William Puerto Award for sportsmanship and leadership as a senior.
"Shelby has all the qualities you want to see in a young coach – an outstanding work ethic, a passion for the game and the profession, and a desire to positively impact the student-athletes that she works with," said Brown. "The past three seasons she has worked with and been mentored by one of the best coaches in New England, Kelly Thompson, at Roger Williams. Shelby's involvement in all aspects of the RWU program, coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance, have given her the experience that translates to success. She is an invaluable addition to our program and the Stonehill community."
Stonehill finished its 2017-18 season with a 29-4 record overall, one win shy of the program record, and ranked No. 8 in the final WBCA Division II poll. The Skyhawks returned to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the third time in program history, but its first since 1995, after winning the East Regional as the top seed at Merkert Gymnasium. Stonehill won its ninth NE10 regular season championship with a 20-1 mark, winning a program-record 20-straight Conference games to set a program record for league wins.
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