HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii introduced Laura Beeman as the school's women's basketball coach on Friday.
"It was kind of like the stars aligned a little bit and I felt this was the right position for me," Beeman said at a news conference. "We'd definitely like to make a name for ourselves immediately in the Big West and try to get into the NCAA tournament. We want to play a level of basketball that's enjoyable to watch, that people want to come to see us play and fans want to support these young women."
Beeman has spent the last two seasons as Southern California's associate head coach under Michael Cooper. The Trojans went 42-25 in that span, including 18-12 this season. Before that, Beeman was Cooper's assistant with the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, helping the team reach the Western Conference finals in 2008.
Laura Beeman, shown at a news conference Friday in which she was named the University of Hawaii’s women’s basketball coach, has experience coaching in college and the WNBA.
UH Media Relations photo
"We are very pleased to hire a coach that has the vast experience and success that Coach Beeman has achieved," said UH athletic director Jim Donovan. "Not only does she have a personality that will fit well in Hawaii and a proven track record, Coach Beeman has extensive recruiting contacts in California which will be a huge plus for us as we head into the Big West Conference next season."
The Rainbow Wahine, like most of the school's athletic programs, are joining the Big West for the 2012-13 academic year, after 32 years in the Western Athletic Conference.
Beeman replaces Dana Takahara-Dias, fired earlier this month after going 32-58 in three seasons.
Beeman spent 15 years as head coach at Mount San Antonio College, going 390-110 with 10 conference championships and four California Community College titles.
She played at Cal State San Bernardino, graduating in 1992, and holds the school records for assists in a career, season and game.