LA JOLLA, Calif. - After five seasons as head coach of the UC San Diego women's basketball program, Charity Elliott will step down to assume the head coaching position at Loyola Marymount, UCSD Director of Athletics Earl W. Edwards announced on Tuesday.
Elliott will take over the Lions' program after guiding the Tritons to an overall record of 30-3 and an appearance in the NCAA Division II West Regional Championship game in 2011-12.
"I am truly, truly grateful for my time and experience at UC San Diego," Elliott said. "I want to personally thank Earl Edwards, Wendy Taylor May, Ken Grosse and the rest of the athletics department staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to guide such extraordinary young women for five amazing years. I am so proud of the success we've had as a program and I thank all of the student-athletes that have allowed me to coach them and, in doing so, provided me with countless memories that will last a lifetime.
"I am looking forward to this next step in my career, but I know there are many great things to come in the future for the UCSD women's basketball program. I am looking forward to following the team's success."
Elliott compiled an overall record of 127-34 (.789) in five seasons in La Jolla, leading the Tritons to four NCAA Tournament appearances over that span. UCSD has been absolutely dominant in California Collegiate Athletic Association play during her tenure, posting an impressive record of 90-16 (.850) in conference play and winning three CCAA regular season titles.
Elliott has been named the CCAA Coach of the Year three times in her five seasons at UCSD and was named the WBCA West Region Coach of the Year after guiding the Tritons to a record-breaking campaign this season. The Tritons went 27-1 during the regular season and earned the top seed in the CCAA Tournament after going 21-1 in conference play. UCSD set a school record with 26 straight wins to open the season, while also establishing the best start in the history of the CCAA.
UCSD earned a No. 1 national ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll for the first time in program history in mid-January and spent seven straight weeks at the top of the poll. The Tritons went on to earn the No. 1 seed in the NCAA D-II West Regional and defeated Chico State and Western Washington before falling to second-seeded Alaska Anchorage, 68-63, in the regional final.
Elliott coached the first three-time All-American in program history in Chelsea Carlisle, who was also named the CCAA Most Valuable Player and NCAA Division II West Region Player of the Year as a senior this season. Carlisle graduates as UCSD's all-time career assist leader (575), while ranking third in both scoring (1,950) and steals (262).
"We're very pleased with the success that Charity has had in her five years at UCSD," Edwards said "She is a fantastic coach and she did a tremendous job for us. We hate to see her go, but she has an excellent opportunity in front of her and she'll go on and do great things with the program at LMU. We wish her the very best going forward."
A 1992 graduate of Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State), Elliott came to UCSD after spending three seasons as the head coach at Division I Portland State. She was also the head coach at Cal Baptist for two seasons and has served as an assistant at the University of Arkansas, Southwest Baptist, Southwest Missouri State and San Diego State.
As a player, Elliott helped guide Southwest Missouri State to an overall record of 31-3 and to the program's first NCAA Final Four appearance as a senior in 1991-92. She was named SMS' Woman of the Year at the end of that season and led the Bears to an overall mark of 57-8 in her two years with the program.
Elliott takes over for longtime Loyola Marymount coach Julie Wilhoit, who compiled a 232-261 overall record in 17 years with the program. The Lions finished with an overall record of 8-22 and a 3-13 mark in the West Coast Conference in 2011-12.
Elliott becomes the fifth head coach in program history at LMU.