It was announced Monday afternoon that Seton Hall assistant coach, Stephanie Oliver, was named the new head coach for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds.
Oliver was the top assistant at Seton Hall for the last two seasons and was a vital piece of leading the Pirates to a school-record 28 victories and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years.
Oliver helped Seton Hall head coach Anthony Bozzella, who is a former LIU Brooklyn head coach, turn around the Seton Hall women’s basketball program that had compiled just two winning seasons since 2002-03. SHU won 20 games in Oliver and Bozzella’s first season in 2013-14, and earned the program’s first postseason berth in nearly a decade.
This past year, the Hall got back into the national spotlight by earning a national ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in nearly 20 years, reaching No. 23 in the country after a 70-51 victory over No. 14/16 Georgia on Dec. 28.
Seton Hall, the regular season Big East champions, finished 28-6 overall and went 15-3 in Big East play this season, reaching the conference tournament finals.
Oliver was critical in the development of the forwards for the Pirates. Chizoba Ekedigwe had a career year under the tutelage of Oliver; making a career high 19 starts at center for the Hall and averaging 1.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game with 24 blocked shots.
Oliver came to SHU after three years as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Bridgeport. In her three years at Bridgeport, Oliver helped to improve the Purple Knights win total each year, capping off with an 18-10 year in 2012-13.
Oliver also spent time on staff at Caldwell College and Stevens Institute of Technology, where she was promoted to interim head coach of the Ducks at the end of the 2009-10 season.
Oliver was a star student-athlete at Marist College from 2000-04 for their women’s basketball team. Over her four-year career, she scored 1,114 points and grabbed 670 rebounds, averaging 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in 109 career games. At the time of her graduation, she ranked sixth on the all-time scoring list and fifth in career rebounds.
The new head coach will look to turn- around the LIU program that went just 9-21 last season and 6-12 in conference play. The Blackbirds return their top two scorers in guards, Sophie Bhasin and Shanovia Dove for the 2015-16 season and will look to climb to the top of the Northeast Conference.
Christian Pierre-Louis can be reached at email@example.com