POSTED: 10:56 p.m. HST, Mar 22, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 03:14 p.m. HST, Mar 23, 2012
University of Southern California women's basketball associate head coach Laura Beeman was introduced by the University of Hawaii as its new women's hoops coach this afternoon.
Beeman, the eighth coach in program history, was received to a round of applause at the press conference at the Les Murakami Stadium hospitality room.
"It's not often that you have a dream, and that dream comes true," Beeman said. "To have my first Division I head coaching job at the University of Hawaii is very, very special."
She was selected unanimously among five finalists by UH's four-person search committee, UH athletic director Jim Donovan said. He glowed about her resume — a successful 15-year run as head coach at Mt. San Antonio College, followed by two years at USC.
"We are very pleased to hire a coach that has the vast experience and success that Coach Beeman has achieved," Donovan said. "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.
"Absolutely (her in-person interview helped)," he added. "Great, in-depth conversation about Xs and Os.Her philosophy in basketball, her philosophy in team building. And building a whole student-athlete."
Beeman takes over for Dana Takahara-Dias, who was not retained on March 7 after UH lost in the first round of the WAC tournament.
Beeman beat out four other finalists for the job, including current UH associate head coach Gavin Petersen. There was a total applicant pool of nearly 50.
USC head women's basketball coach Michael Cooper lauded the choice of his associate head coach, Laura Beeman, as the new Rainbow Wahine head coach.
"Hawaii definitely has a great, great coach that is gonna turn that program around instantly," said Cooper, an NBA veteran and former WNBA coach.
"It is not gonna take her years to do it, she is gonna do it immediately," Cooper said.