A dominating presence inside during one of the most successful runs in UC Davis women's basketball history as a player, former Aggie All-American Des Abeyta returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach to help usher in a new era for the program at the Division I level.
Recognized as one of the best centers to ever play at UC Davis, Abeyta enters her eighth season on the sidelines in 2015-16, working closely with the Aggies' post players while multi-tasking with her hands in all aspects of the program, including on-court instruction of both offense and defense, scouting, recruiting, and camps.
Applying the lessons she learned from her days as a UC Davis student-athlete, Abeyta has helped lead the Aggies to a successful start at the Division I level, aiding her alma mater to four postseason berths and a spot in the Big West Conference Tournament every year since her return to campus.
Joining the staff prior to UC Davis' Division I debut in 2007-08, she has helped develop some of the finest post players in school history. Three-time first-team All-Big West Conference selection Paige Mintun led the Aggies in scoring in each of her final two seasons, current Aggie Alyson Doherty was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team in her debut and has followed that up with a pair of all-conference second-team honors, while senior Celia Marfone has finished among the top 10 in the Big West in rebounding in each of the past two seasons.
Prior to her return, Abeyta spent two seasons as the varsity head coach at Forest Ridge HS in Bellevue, Wash. Abeyta also served as an assistant coach at North Seattle Community College from 2001-02.
As an Aggie standout from 1996 to 1999, Abeyta helped UC Davis to a 94-22 overall record during her four seasons. She earned all-West Region honors from both Kodak/WBCA and Daktronics in each of her junior and senior seasons, leading the team in scoring and rebounding both years.
Abeyta's first team Kodak all-West Region selection earned her All-America honorable mention as well. Additionally, she was named first team all-California Collegiate Athletic Association during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
Abeyta also was a member of the Aggie team that finished third at the Div. II NCAA Tournament, playing alongside current head coach Jennifer Gross. She continues to rank among the school's career leaders in points, rebounds, and blocked shots, while holding a pair of top-10 single-season performances in field goal percentage.
After graduating from UC Davis in 2000 with a degree in organizational studies, Abeyta played two years of professional basketball in Greece and Portugal before entering the coaching ranks in the state of Washington.