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Women's Basketball: Stringer fills out her staff

Two new assistants will be sitting on the bench next to C. Viv next season.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Back in May, it was announced that assistant coaches Tia Jackson and Chelsea Newton would be leaving C. Vivian Stringer's staff.  The search for replacements has taken almost two months, but today Stringer announced her two new assistants with the addition of Kelley Gibson and Ervin Monier as assistant coaches.

Over at least the last ten years, Stringer has had a fondness for bringing back former players as coaches.  The departure of Newton (Rutgers) and Jackson {Iowa) are examples.  Current holdover assistant Tasha Pointer is another.  But in this search, Stringer broke away from her coaching tree to bring in two very different people, including a male, the first to my recollection at Rutgers.

In Gibson, Stringer seems to be looking for a recruiter of major impact.  During five seasons at Syracuse, Kelley Gibson served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping the Orange to the postseason each year, including three-straight NCAA Tournament berths. As the team's recruiting coordinator, Gibson helped put together the No. 6 ranked recruiting class in the country in 2012, including a trio of McDonald's All-Americans, the No. 10 ranked recruiting class in 2013, as well as an incoming class of 2015 ranked at No. 21.

An all-conference player at Maryland, Gibson earned ACC Honorable Mention in 1999 and 1996 ACC All-Rookie Team honors, despite enduring three ACL injuries during her career. She finished her career among the Terp leaders in 3-pointers, assists, steals and blocks.

Ervin Monier has a broad range of experience on both coasts. Monier spent the last five seasons as the associate head coach at La Salle, serving as head coach Jeff Williams' top assistant since taking over the program in 2010-11.  During the 2013-14 campaign, La Salle knocked off four WNIT-qualifying Atlantic 10 opponents, all while posting league bests in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percent defense en-route to the most league wins since the 1996-97 season.  Prior to joining the Explorers program, Monier served as associate head coach at Southern California under head coach Michael Cooper. At USC, Monier helped the Trojans to its best record in the Pac-10 since the 2004-05 season with a 12-6 record in 2009-10 and a conference tournament semifinal appearance. Monier also spent five seasons as the associate head coach at Rhode Island from 2004-09 and was an assistant under Dawn Staley at Temple from 2000-2004.

Monier is a 1985 graduate of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas with a degree in English communications arts.

The loss of two assistants in one year is somewhat unusual, and could be an issue.  AD Julie Hermann was not concerned.  "I think everyone was excited about what women's basketball accomplished last season making it to the Second Round of NCAA's. That created some great opportunities for her entire staff. Their opportunities have given us the chance to bring in great talent and a fresh way of doing things. For the program to continue to move even higher you have to continually reinvent yourself sometimes....I think Vivian has done a tremendous job of hiring people who can step into this storied program, bring their great talent and help raise our game."

Bringing in a male presence is new for the Knights.  But not on the national scene.  There are only three male head coaches in the Big Ten and only three in the AAC.  But that includes, of course, Geno Auriemma at UConn.