Bishop named women’s basketball head coach

By Tiffany Roesler

The March Madness of the Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball
team’s lack of a head coach has finally come to an end.

Danelle Bishop was officially announced as the Broncos head
coach last Monday, after bearing the title of interim head coach
throughout the 2010-11 season.

She led the Broncos to the NCAA Div. II Elite Eight tournament
in St. Joseph, Mo. for the first time since 2002, as they finished
off the season 28-5 overall.

Cal Poly Pomona clinched the CCAA Championship and West Region
Championship titles under Bishop in the 2010-11 season as well.

“It’s a humbling opportunity, and it’s exciting at the same
time,” said Bishop. “I’m coming in after some great legendary
coaches, and that’s the part that is humbling. There’s just been
such great tradition here.”

The head coach position had been open and posted up on the
California State University website since February and stirred up
some questions for those curious as to who would be coaching the
women’s basketball team next season.

But with the March 28 announcement, it is clear Bishop isn’t
going anywhere.

Brian Swanson, director of intercollegiate athletics, said the
hiring process was delayed because of the team’s success advancing
through the conference, regional, and national tournaments.

“We wanted to keep a focus on the student-athlete experience as
they advanced through the tournament,” Swanson said. “That was our
first and foremost priority, but also making sure that we were
cognizant about processes we had to follow.

“I know people were very anxious, and we were anxious too, but
you can’t really do anything as you’re advancing. It was only in
good consequence of what was happening as a result of that.”

Bishop is the fifth head coach in the women’s basketball team’s
history and proved she was more than qualified for the position
during her first season.

Before Cal Poly Pomona, Bishop coached at Cal Baptist University
(2007-10) as well as Azusa Pacific University (2003-07), tallying
up a total of 166 wins so far in her coaching career.

As a former basketball player herself, Bishop played at Tarleton
State (1998-99), Delta College (1996-97) and University of Florida
(1995), earning three All-Conference honors and team MVP.

Experience and passion for the game is not a worry for the
women’s basketball program. However, losing superstar senior guard
Reyana Colson poses its setbacks for the future.

“It’s tough; Reyana-type players don’t come around very often,”
Bishop said. “They don’t just come around where you can recruit one
every year or so. We’ve been on just trying to recruit kids that
can score, [and] we have a lot of kids that didn’t have to score as
many points this year that are capable of doing that.”

Despite the loss of Colson, Bishop is keeping her focus on
bringing out the full potential of the returning lineup and moving
forward from there.

Returners such as junior center Megan Ford, and junior guards,
Rosslyn Beard and Sarah Semenero, hit career-highs last season
under Bishop.

Sharp shooter freshman guard J.J. Judge finished off her first
season at Cal Poly Pomona with a .354 shooting percentage from
behind the arc, which was the team’s second-highest 3-point
percentage behind Colson.

“J.J. Judge was trying to learn as much as she could this year
from Reyana,” Bishop said. “We all learned from Reyana in a lot of
ways.”

Even with the absence of Colson, Bishop has shown poise and
confidence in the team in regards to next season, and these are
qualities that she and the team have carried throughout this season
as well.

“I feel so lucky to have her [Bishop] as my coach and know that
she is going to bring success to Cal Poly Pomona for many years to
come,” Ford said.

As far as being new to the program, Bishop has settled in and is
welcomed and respected by members of the department.

“I think coach Bishop is a great fit here at Cal Poly Pomona,”
Beard said. “She has gotten to know our fans, our parents and the
faculty and staff working in the Athletic Department.”

Bishop named women

Amanda Newfield / The Poly Post

Bishop named women’s basketball head coach

Men

Jonny Tai / The Poly Post

Men’s basketball team wins five consecutive games

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