CEDAR CITY – The Southern Utah University women’s basketball program has assembled its staff as head coach Chris Boettcher announced the hiring of Jayci Stone and Dionisio Gomez as assistants on Friday.
Gomez makes his coaching debut following an international career as a player, most recently competing for Boettcher and the Shiga Lakestars of the Japanese Professional Basketball League.
“Nichy is one of the hardest-working players I have ever coached, and I am excited for him to join our staff,” Boettcher said. “I know his work ethic and enthusiasm for the game will have a big impact on our program. I am excited for him to work with our post players and help in strength and conditioning.”
Gomez is originally from Panama. He attended the University of Arkansas where he played four seasons for the Razorbacks and earned a degree in Spanish. He led the team in rebounding as a senior in 2003 and was a college teammate of seven-time NBA All-Star and current member of the Brooklyn Nets, Joe Johnson.
“He understands my coaching philosophy and is passionate about winning,” added Boettcher. “I know he will bring a positive feel to our team and the community.”
Stone has served video coordinator and director of operations at TCU, prior to which she held positions at Hutchinson Community College (Kansas), Frank Phillips College (Texas) and Alaska-Anchorage.
“Jayci is an experienced, hard-working coach who I am very excited to add to the SUU staff. She is very detailed-oriented and passionate about the players and the game of basketball,” Boettcher said. “The diversity of her resume excites me, and has helped her prepare for the responsibilities that are required here.”
The Goodland, Kansas, native began her playing career at Colby Community College, where she earned all-Jayhawk West and all-Region VI honors after averaging 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 2005. From there she went on to New Mexico State before finishing her playing career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, where she was voted the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year and earned second-team all-conference honors.
“She is very well-connected and respected in the coaching profession,” Boettcher said. “I expect her to play a big role in both recruiting and player development.”
Stone received her degree in social sciences from Kansas State University in 2008.
The new coaching staff begins work with the team this summer as the Thunderbirds prepare to match last year’s success that saw SUU reach the WNIT after securing a school-record 23 victories.