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UH picks USC's Beeman to lead women's basketball team

By Brian McInnis and Ferd Lewis

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.

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Kuokoa wrote:
Gee first UH gets the fomer football offensive coordinator from USC as head football coach, now the USC women's basketball associate head coach as head womens basketball coach. Wow! Can UH afford these people?
on March 23,2012 | 09:04AM
fairgame947 wrote:
You forgot Gib. He was from USC also.
on March 23,2012 | 10:24AM
aiea7 wrote:
glad that the punahou mafia did not prevail.
on March 23,2012 | 10:29AM
dalawyer wrote:
MT lacked the qualifications to coach at the collegiate level.
on March 23,2012 | 12:27PM
4lynette wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 23,2012 | 12:56PM
dalawyer wrote:
Duh! It's common understanding that they try to poke their nose in everything! JD made the right call on this one!
on March 23,2012 | 01:16PM
808warriorfan wrote:
If your daughter was a member of the team how would you feel ????? Would you go to JD and say "hey don't listen to my kid" ????? Of course not; you'd be supporting your daughter and wanting her voice heard. Have you played sports; I have...I'd bust my ass for a coach I wanted to play for vs someone who was forced on me.
on March 23,2012 | 01:22PM
808warriorfan wrote:
4lynette...Sorry if the truth hurts but .....
on March 23,2012 | 01:21PM
4lynette wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 23,2012 | 04:44PM
thatsashame_0723 wrote:
So, by that rationale, your name must either start with a number or your using an alias too. Bottom line - Taylor's resume didn't stack up against Beeman's.
on March 23,2012 | 05:09PM
808warriorfan wrote:
This thing with the selection committee is a huge FARCE. The players, I believe 10 current and 3 recruits, signed a petition wanting Assistant Coach Gavin Peterson and WERE NOT HEARD. I'm a staunch UH fan but right now A VERY PISSED OFF FAN.....JIM DONOVAN HAS TO GO !!!!!
on March 23,2012 | 12:18PM
dalawyer wrote:
Why does JD have to listen to the players on their preference for Gavin Peterson as coach? JD needs to clean house with any holdovers from the prior staff. They're all worthless, that's the exact reason why Dana is history! If the returning players and recruits don't like the decision, then quit or transfer! They're to blame, they should have won more games for their former coach. Let's get a real coach for the Wahines. Better yet, Beeman needs to get recruit a whole new team as they all stunk this past year!
on March 23,2012 | 12:26PM
walaau808 wrote:
Agreed! Ultimately, the players decided the fate of Coach Dana by their play. JD heard them, but the selection of a new coach isn't the players choice to make. They were recruited to win, plain and simple as that! I think that Beeman already comes with a proven, college track record, and obviously a keen interest in coaching here. Welcome Coach Beeman, we're excited to have you here at the University of Hawaii!
on March 23,2012 | 12:44PM
primowarrior wrote:
The players don't and shouldn't have any say in the selection of the Head Coach. The Head Coach reports to the A.D. and has to meet standards and qualifications for the position that are set by the institution and the administration, not the players.
on March 23,2012 | 03:01PM
vanzhula wrote:
I AM NOW excited to watch THE NEW RAINBOW WAHINE BASKETBALL!! :) Best wishes to Coach Beeman and the staff and players..see you all next year YEA!!!
on March 23,2012 | 12:56PM
false wrote:
This appears to be a good hire. too bad the players didnʻt get their wishes but their insistence on input may have hurt the prior coach.
on March 23,2012 | 01:45PM
4lynette wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 23,2012 | 04:46PM
thatsashame_0723 wrote:
I agree with you here, Lynette. Players ( errr student- athletes) play and go to class. If a university wants to include them in the process that's their prerogative. In the end, it's the university who makes the decision, not the players. The potential damage of having players feel they named their coach could prove detrimental to team chemistry down the road should players later feel the coached "owed" them something.
on March 23,2012 | 05:16PM
oldertimer808 wrote:
808Warrior you shouldn't be mad at the choice. The hiring of any coach is not decided by any petition from current players. The players are here to be a student/athlete and participate in the college experience and work hard to be the best possible player and to contribute to the success of the program. The ultimate decision is with the selection committee and Mr. Donovan. You cannot dismiss the qualifications of the new women's basketball hire. I wish all the applicants success with what ever their paths hold for them.
on March 23,2012 | 02:38PM
primowarrior wrote:
Nice job by the selection committee. Laura Beeman has had great success at Mt. SAC and USC and looks to be a great choice as the new Head Coach of the Wahine program. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the team does next season!
on March 23,2012 | 03:11PM
Westcoastjoe wrote:
Not all team members signed that petition...a few wanted the best coach available... And coach Beemen is best... Good job AD
on March 23,2012 | 03:33PM
AieaJon wrote:
At what pirce? What is the new coach's salary relative to the old one. UHwomen's basketball program will never make money, but I hope the additional cost of the coach, which I assume is more than the old one, can at least be covered by money from the additional fans that come out, which I assume will be you and anyone who said it was a good selection. But I doubt all of you will buy season tickets if you haven't before. If you are a season ticket hollder, I am happy for you.
on March 23,2012 | 03:58PM
cocobean wrote:
Recruiting has been the downfall of the program. Bolla was out of coaching for 7 years when UH hired him. Dana nor anyone on her staff had any kind of out of State recruiting connections. Laura Beeman is well known in the Cali high school and community college girls basketball scene. She has a solid recruiting base she can tap into. We need taller post players with some degree of athleticism. Need ballhandlers. It remains to be seen if she accomplish this. As the say in all womens sports - it ain't about the Xs and Os, it's about the jennys and Jo's.
on March 23,2012 | 04:00PM
Blue_Powder wrote:
Seems like Beeman will bring better recruiting to the position than what existed in the past. However, it appears that this may be just a "stepping stone" job for her. Her statement that "To have my FIRST Division I head coaching job at the University of Hawaii is very, very special" implies that she will have others down the road. If she does have success and attracts attention from other schools, expect her to be gone. Hopefully she has someone who views Hawaii as a destination job on her staff who could take over should she leave. Either way she seems like she has the credentials. Best of luck to her and the Wahine.
on March 23,2012 | 04:22PM
Kaimiloa wrote:
I hear what you're saying about "stepping stone." But, the nature of coaching is that it is very rare for coaches to stick around for many years. Either they take other jobs or are fired. This used to make me mad but now it just seems to be the nature of the beast. Getting hungry coaches that have something to prove suits me, even if they change out every so often.
on March 23,2012 | 10:26PM
PabloWegesend wrote:
Congratulations to the new coach! Let's bring the glory to Hawaii Wahine basketball!
on March 23,2012 | 06:12PM
entrkn wrote:
Looks to me like Hawaii has become one of the most desirable coaching destinations in the NCAA... good job Jim Donovan.
on March 23,2012 | 07:44PM
jkjones wrote:
This is another in a string of selections by UHAD that had no smell of cronyism. That speaks for responsible leadership and accountability. It all starts at the top--and, that is how programs grow based on merit. Solid work by Jim Donovan in vetting and selection. Best wishes to coach Beeman and all the basketball wahine.
on March 23,2012 | 08:04PM
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