June 17, 2010

TRICE-HILL, GUENSCH ADDED AS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ASSISTANTS

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University Head Women's Basketball Coach Beth Cunningham has announced a pair of staff changes for the 2010-11 campaign.  Former North Carolina State University assistant coach Trena Trice-Hill (right) will join the Rams in the same capacity, while Darren Guensch has been promoted to assistant coach after spending the previous two years as Director of Women's Basketball Operations at VCU.

Following a 14-year professional career in the WNBA and with the Federal International Basketball Association, Trice-Hill joined the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant at Hampton University in 2002.  There, she helped guide the Pirates to back-to-back MEAC titles and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances before returning to her alma mater N.C. State for a five-year stint under the late Kay Yow.  After her time with the Wolfpack, Trice-Hill accepted an assistant coaching position at Shaw University, where she spent the 2009-10 season.

"Beth [Cunningham] is an outstanding coach with a bright future," Trice-Hill said.  "She has built the women's basketball program to one of the top teams in the conference.  I believe in her vision and look forward to helping her build a championship team."

Trice-Hill has experienced success at each stage of her basketball career.  As a player at N.C. State, she guided the Wolfpack to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and ranks among the school's all-time greats with 1,761 points and 984 rebounds.  Trice-Hill was a Wade Trophy Finalist in 1986, which honors the nation's best women's basketball player, and went on to participate in the 1988 Olympic Trials.

"Trena will impact our program immediately," said Cunningham.  "Through her coaching career at N.C. State, Hampton and Shaw, she has built relationships that will positively impact our recruiting.  In addition, the success she had as a player at N.C. State and as a professional athlete for 14 years will certainly impact our team and student-athletes on and off the floor.  She will be a great mentor and her presence will be critical in the continued development of our program."

Guensch (left), meanwhile, has been promoted to an assistant coaching role after spending the previous two seasons as the program's Director of Basketball Operations.  He also served in the same capacity for two years at George Mason University from 2006-08.

"I feel very blessed with this opportunity to move into an assistant coaching role and to continue to serve our VCU team and community," said Guensch.  "Since joining the VCU family in 2008, I've been impacted by many players and coaches that define what our program is all about.  I'm ready to do whatever I can to help Coach Cunningham, our staff and our team continue our journey towards excellence on the court and in the classroom."

Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, Guensch served as head coach of the freshmen girls' basketball team at Loudoun County High School in 2005-06, where he was also an assistant for the varsity squad.  He guided the freshmen to a 16-2 record, including a 14-game winning streak, and helped the varsity team capture district and regional titles, and an appearance in the Virginia state finals.

"Darren has been an integral part of our success the last two years," Cunningham added.  "I am excited to have him in a new role as an assistant coach.  He has earned the respect and confidence of our staff and student-athletes and is certain to be a valuable up-and-coming young coach."

Trice-Hill and Guensch fill the void of former VCU assistants Julia Huddleston and Curt Kassab.  Huddleston, who spent the past seven seasons with the Rams, became the top assistant at Furman University in May, while three-year veteran Kassab recently resigned his post to pursue a business endeavor.

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