Tritons Promote Dalayna Sampton to Full-Time Assistant Coach
LA JOLLA, Calif. — As the University of California San Diego women's basketball team reshapes its coaching staff ahead of the upcoming transition to Division I in 2020, head coach Heidi VanDerveer announced the promotion of Dalayna Sampton to full-time assistant coach on Friday.
Sampton spent one season as a part-time assistant on the UC San Diego coaching staff in 2018-19 after a tremendous two-year playing career for the Tritons.
“I am thrilled to have Dalayna join our staff as a full-time assistant coach,” VanDerveer said. “In one short year, she has established herself as a talented young coach.
“She is an excellent communicator, has high energy, and is a tireless worker.”
A native of Vallejo, Calif., Sampton was an WBCA All-America Honorable Mention and CCAA Player of the Year as a senior in 2017-18, averaging 14.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
After gaining a valuable year of coaching experience, she intends to make an even bigger impact on the program in year two.
“I’m excited and ready to go,” Sampton said. “A lot of learning took place my first year, and along this learning curve I was able to empower women' which is why I loved being a Triton.
“At UC San Diego, no scholar-athlete is overlooked, which in itself is special. I always felt my voice was heard, and more importantly, that I was cared for. As a coach, I am able to be that person who makes others feel needed and important, and that is my favorite part."
VanDerveer believes Sampton’s background as a standout player helps her build connections with current scholar-athletes and recruits.
“Dalayna understands the level of commitment it takes to balance world class academics and nationally competitive basketball,” said VanDerveer. “She truly relates well to each of our players. You can tell that she genuinely cares about each player as a scholar-athlete and more importantly as a person.
“As an added bonus, Dalayna played in the Big West, so she understands the league and the caliber player it will take to compete at that level.”
Associate head coach Chelsea Carlisle, another former Triton standout player, acknowledged it isn't always easy transitioning from being a player to a coach.
"Dalayna has done a great job balancing friendships and coaching former teammates," said Carlisle. "It always takes a little time, but she's becoming more and more comfortable.
"I'm super excited for Dalayna, the program and the athletic department as a whole."
Sampton believes this is only the beginning of great things to come.
“Although I was a scholar-athlete here, this year has been a whole new experience,” said Sampton. “I learned how much work is put into the back end of a successful program, and I loved being part of it.
“I want to keep learning from the best.”
UC San Diego (30-1) won the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) tournament and regular season championships in 2018-19, en route to earning the top seed in the NCAA West Region and finishing No. 6 in the final WBCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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