Saturday, August 19, 2017

Former women’s basketball player returns to WVU as assistant coach

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Mike Carey announced the hiring of former Mountaineer student-athlete Christal Caldwell as an assistant coach on Thursday.
Caldwell has spent the last two seasons at La Salle. She is the first Mountaineer student-athlete to play under coach Mike Carey and return to Morgantown as an assistant coach.
“We are very excited to have Christal return to West Virginia University,” Carey stated. “She brings a unique perspective to our staff because she knows what it takes to be a Mountaineer. Christal has shown tremendous growth as a young up-and-coming coach and I know she’ll do great things here at WVU. We are looking forward to having her back in Morgantown.”
“I want to thank Coach Carey for this opportunity,” Caldwell said. “There is no greater feeling than knowing that I will be coming back to my alma mater and that I will be in a position to help continue the success of our women’s basketball program. Having played at WVU and under Coach Carey, the love I have for the University is indescribable. I’m so excited to get started and do what I love, which is to develop young women and help them grow on and off the basketball court. It’s true when they say, ‘once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.”
Most recently, Caldwell served as an assistant coach for the Explorers who saw an incredible turnaround in 2016-17. La Salle finished the campaign with 17 victories, 12 more than the previous season.
As the guards coach, Caldwell guided two Explorers to conference honors, including league scoring leader Amy Griffin to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and Jasmine Alston to the A-10 All-Defensive Team. Additionally, Griffin led the Philadelphia Big 5 in scoring and was a Philadelphia All-Big 5 First Team honoree in 2017. Also under Caldwell’s guidance, Adreana Miller led the Big 5 in free throw percentage.
Caldwell worked in implementing team programs and assessing strength and weaknesses for each student-athlete. Additionally, she served as the coach liaison between academic services, compliance, marketing, equipment and facilities.
In 2015-16, Caldwell served as the director of operations at La Salle. She was responsible for managing the team’s business affairs, coordinating travel and practice times as well as organizing and managing the team budget.
In her two seasons, Caldwell helped guide Amy Griffin to the Atlantic 10 scoring title (17.7 points per game) and a third team Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection last season. Meanwhile, Micahya Owens averaged 13.4 points per game last season and became the 24th Explorer to score 1,000 career points under the tutelage of Caldwell.Caldwell joined the Explorers in 2015 after spending the previous two summers as the head camp counselor for various women’s basketball camps in the Charlotte area. As head camp counselor, Caldwell designed training activities and led group activities for camp participants.After a decorated career as a guard at West Virginia, Caldwell played professionally for FIBA’s Sepsi SIC in Romania. The Charlotte native was a four-year letterwinner for the Mountaineers, scoring 1,246 career points on the way to All-Big East Honorable Mention as a sophomore and All-Big 12 First Team honors as a junior. Caldwell also led WVU to a Big 12 Conference title in 2014, the first regular-season conference title for the Mountaineers since 1992.

Caldwell earned a degree in psychology from West Virginia, where she also minored in child development and communications.

Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications- Russell Luna
Cover Photo Credit: WVU Sports

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