DAVIS, Calif. - Jody Steliga, a two-time coach of the year and most recently an assistant coach at Colorado Christian, is UC Davis men's basketball's new director of operations as announced by head men's basketball coach Jim Les on Wednesday. Steliga will take over for Mark Darnall, who returned home to accept a position at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as its new assistant men's basketball coach.
"I'm excited to join the prestige of the University, community, and UC Davis basketball. I'm grateful for this opportunity and chomping at the bit to contribute to Coach Les' staff and the program," said Steliga.
"We are very excited to add Jody to our basketball staff," said Les. "She is passionate about basketball and has the skill, energy, and enthusiasm to positively impact our student-athletes.
"This program is also thrilled for Mark and his well-deserved opportunity at UW-Platteville. He will be an outstanding coach; that school, and staff, is fortunate to have him. We are very appreciative for the past five years of dedicated service Mark has provided our program, and UC Davis -- he will be missed," Les added.
Steliga joins the Aggies after leading the Cougars to their most successful season in program history by finishing with 23 victories and a final four appearance in the Rocky Mountain Conference Tournament.
Prior to her coaching stint in Colorado, Steliga served eight seasons as the head women's basketball coach at Mendocino College, her alma mater, and helped the program achieve an unprecedented level of success.
Known for their academic achievement and extensive community outreach, Steliga's teams also posted winning records on a consistent basis. Under her tutelage, the Eagles won their first-ever Bay Valley Conference Championship in 2013 and earned state playoff berth for the first time in school history.
In each of her seasons at Mendocino College, numerous players earned all-conference distinction; throughout the Steliga era, a collective 13 student-athletes earned first team recognition and another 20 received academic all-conference accolades.
For her team's accomplishments in the classroom, community and on the court, the Bay Valley Conference bestowed Coach of the Year honors to Steliga in 2012 and '13.
As a student-athlete at Mendocino College, she was named to the school's Dean's List, collected all-conference and academic all-conference awards before transferring to Concordia University (Irvine, Calif.) to continue her academic degree and playing career.
Before graduating in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in art (specializing in graphic design), she led Concordia to postseason berths in each of her two years on campus and ended her playing career as an Academic All-American.
Inducted to Mendocino College's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, Steliga also earned her master's degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy that year.
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