Lindsay Whalen Basketball Camps

Coaches

 

Lindsay Whalen
Head Coach

One of the most decorated players in women's basketball history, Lindsay Whalen will return to the University of Minnesota as the new head women's basketball coach at her alma mater, Director of Athletics Mark Coyle announced on April 13, 2018.

"People talk about the `it' factor, and that is always difficult to define, but everyone who has ever spent time around Lindsay Whalen knows she has it," said Coyle. "She has excelled at everything she has ever done in her life because she's unflappable, determined and has a legendary work ethic. She's played for some of the top coaches in the world, she's competed at the highest levels the sport has to offer, and I know she will be a great head coach for our women's basketball program."

"I have so many special memories at the University of Minnesota. I can't tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to make more," said Whalen. "Becoming the head coach here at the U and being a Gopher again is a dream come true. At every level, basketball has given me so much. I've learned from so many great players, coaches and mentors, and now I have a chance to share that knowledge and help shape the new generation of Gopher stars. I'm ready to get started."

As part of Whalen's agreement to become head coach, which is pending approval from the University's Board of Regents, she will continue to play for the Minnesota Lynx. Previously, Whalen announced in February that she was retiring from international competition. She had played for the U.S. National team since 2002, joining Team USA following her sophomore season with the Gophers.

Whalen returns to those same Gophers after destroying the program's record book in the early 2000s, finishing her career as Minnesota's all-time points leader, along with being second all-time in assists and third all-time in steals. A four-time all-state selection at Hutchinson High School, about an hour west of Minneapolis, Whalen went on to become the catalyst for the most successful seasons in the history of Gopher women's basketball.

She was the first three-time All-American in program history, a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. After a Sweet Sixteen appearance her junior season (2002-03), Whalen led the Gophers to their only Final Four in program history in 2004. Her jersey, No. 13, hangs in the rafters of Williams Arena.

Whalen went on to collect numerous honors and championships in the WNBA and with the U.S. National team. After playing five seasons with the Connecticut Sun, Whalen returned to her home state with the Minnesota Lynx and has since won four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017). Whalen has been named All-WNBA five times and is currently third in WNBA history in assists, to go along with being in the top-20 in career points and steals. Last year, she became the winningest player in WNBA history, having now been a part of more than 300 wins in the league. She also played professionally in Turkey, Russia and the Czech Republic.

In international competition, Whalen was a key piece to dominant performances by Team USA in world championship and Olympic competition. Whalen played for two gold medal teams at the World Championships (2010, 2014) and has also won two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016).

Danielle O’Banion
Assistant Coach

Danielle O’Banion returned to the University of Minnesota women’s basketball program when she was named assistant coach on May 2, 2018.

O’Banion was an assistant coach for the Golden Gophers during its best five-season run in school history from 2002-03 to 2006-07. In that span, Minnesota posted five straight winning seasons, including three 25-win campaigns. The Golden Gophers earned postseason berths all five seasons, including four-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2003-06. Minnesota advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2003 and 2005 and made the program’s first and only Women’s Final Four in 2004.

While at Minnesota, O’Banion worked with the Golden Gopher backcourt, which included current Minnesota head coach Lindsay Whalen. O’Banion also monitored the team’s academic progress and assisted in recruiting.

O’Banion returns to Minnesota after the second of two stints at the University of Memphis, where she served as associate head coach. Previously, she was at Memphis from 2008-12. She was as an assistant her first two seasons, before being promoted to associate head coach following the 2009-10 campaign.

Following the 2011-12 campaign with Memphis, O’Banion spent four seasons (2012-16) as Kent State’s head coach.

At the 2016 NCAA Women’s Final Four in early April, O’Banion was presented the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for women’s basketball. The Summitt Award is presented by USBWA annually to players, coaches, officials or administrators in women’s college basketball that have demonstrated extraordinary courage in the face of adversity.

O’Banion received the prestigious honor for her fight against cancer. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 lymphoma cancer in 2014 and went through a series of chemotherapy treatments. Six months after being diagnosed, O’Banion announced on Twitter that the cancer had gone into remission. She entered the 2015-16 season cancer free and still is to this day.

O’Banion’s friends attribute her remarkable recovery to her overall fitness and upbeat attitude. She did not want her illness to be a distraction to the 2014-15 Golden Flashes squad, so she did not tell the players the news until nearly three weeks after the diagnosis.

From 2009-10 through 2011-12, the Tigers posted a 66-25 overall record and a 31-17 Conference USA mark and earned three-consecutive postseason appearances. The combined 66 victories over three seasons were the most for that span of time in over 30 years.

In those three seasons, the Tigers posted two second-place finishes in the Conference USA regular season and advanced to the C-USA Tournament semifinal round twice. Memphis earned three straight postseason berths (2010 Women’s Basketball Invitational; 2011, 2012 WNIT) and advanced to the 2010 WBI championship game.

With O’Banion on staff, Memphis recruited and developed some of the best players in recent Tigers history. She helped mentor three players (Brittany Carter, Nicole Dickson, Jasmine Lee) that earned a total of five All-Conference USA honors, one C-USA All-Freshman Team pick (Dickson, 2010) and a three-time C-USA All-Defensive Team selection (Ramses Lonlack, 2010-12). O’Banion also coached a C-USA Player of the Year (Lee, 2012), Newcomer of the Year (Carter, 2010) and Defensive Player of the Year (Lonlack, 2012).

In between her collegiate coaching stops at Minnesota and Memphis, O’Banion spent the 2007-08 season at the prep level, coaching at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va.

O’Banion got her collegiate coaching start with the Harvard Crimson in 2001-02, the season after she completed her college playing career. As an assistant, O’Banion helped guide the Crimson to a 22-6 overall record, the Ivy League title and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

As a student-athlete, O’Banion was a standout for the Boston College women’s basketball program from 1997-2001. She helped lead the Eagles to the program’s first two NCAA Tournament berths in 1999 and 2000, and Boston College advanced to the tournament’s second round both seasons. O’Banion was voted a team co-captain her senior campaign.

O’Banion graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in May of 2001. She earned BIG EAST Conference Academic All-Star recognition and also participated in the NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference in the summer of 2000.

Carly Thibault-DuDonis
Assistant Coach

Carly Thibault-DuDonis (pronounced TEE-bow doo-DON-iss) was named assistant coach at Minnesota on April 23, 2018. She spent the past two seasons on the Mississippi State coaching staff where she helped the Bulldogs to the Final Four and national title game in both of her seasons in Starkville.

"I've known Carly for a long time and she's had a pretty fast rise as an assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator in helping get Mississippi State to back-to-back national title games and selling out their arena," head coach Lindsay Whalen said. "She's been a part of a real success story there, and I think she'll be able to bring that knowledge and passion that she has for the game here. She's a go-getter and a hard worker."

This past season, Mississippi State won a nation's-best 37 games en route to winning the program's first Southeastern Conference championship and advancing to the national championship game for the second-straight year.

"I'm thankful to Lindsay and the University of Minnesota for the opportunity to join her," Thibault-DuDonis said. "I'm excited about Lindsay's vision for Minnesota women's basketball and to help her get the program back to a place where it's competing for Big Ten championships and Final Four appearances year after year.

"I've known Lindsay since she was drafted into the WNBA in 2004 and I have yet to meet someone as competitive, team-oriented and dedicated as she is. That, coupled with her leadership abilities, are going to make her a great head coach at Minnesota for years to come."

In her first season working with the Bulldog guards and coordinating the program's recruiting efforts, she helped land the nation's 19th-ranked recruiting class while helping lead MSU to a then school-record 34 wins and the national title game in the program's first Final Four appearance.

Thibault-DuDonis joined the Bulldogs following two seasons on the staff at Eastern Michigan. In her final season, she helped guide an EMU offense that scored 2,445 points, third-most in a season, and dished the seventh-most assists (435) en route to going 22-12 and advancing to the second round of the WNIT. The Eagles won 20 games in each of her two seasons in Ypsilanti, as the 2014-15 squad tied the school record for wins in a season with a 24-13 mark. That team advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship before wrapping the year in the WNIT Round of 16.

Thibault-DuDonis made the move to EMU following a stint in Tallahassee as the Director of Recruiting Operations at Florida State. During her time with the Seminoles, she managed the team's recruiting database and communication plan as well as assisting with the administration of the program's basketball camps.

She played collegiately at Monmouth from 2009-13. She concluded her playing career third in school history with 166-career 3-point field goals made. The East Lyme, Conn., native shot 37 percent from the three-point stripe in her career, but knocked down 40 percent as a junior and 44 percent in her final college season. She was also an outstanding shooter from the free-throw line, knocking down 75.3 percent over her four seasons.

Her father, Mike, was a longtime coach in the NBA before making the move to the WNBA. He was the head coach of the Connecticut Sun when the team drafted current Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen in 2004, while he currently coaches the Washington Mystics. Thibault-DuDonis married Blake DuDonis in the summer of 2017.

Kelly Roysland
Assistant Coach

A former standout player and assistant coach at Minnesota, Kelly Roysland was named assistant coach at Minnesota on April 23, 2018.

She returns to the Golden Gophers after spending the past four seasons as the Macalester (St. Paul) head women's basketball coach. In 2016-17, the Scots went 11-14, the program's highest win total in five years. Roysland came to Macalester prior to the 2014-15 campaign after serving as the interim head coach (2014) and an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota for four seasons (2010-14).

"Kelly's experience here at Minnesota as both a player and a coach were huge for me; she knows the state and the university well," head coach Lindsay Whalen said. "She's been a head coach for the last four years at Macalester and done a great job there. Kelly is one of the most hardworking, loyal and trustworthy people that I've ever met, both as a teammate and in my interactions with her over the last several years. She's really impressed me with those qualities and exemplifies them every day."

While at Minnesota, Roysland worked with the Gophers' guards, as well as having responsibilities with scouting and recruiting. She aided Minnesota in securing the 17th-ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2011 and the 34th-ranked recruiting class nationally in 2010. She also helped guide the team's guards to numerous accolades, including All-Big Ten honors six times, as well as earning WBCA All-Region and WBCA Honorable Mention All-America honors.

"I'm thrilled and honored to be back at the University of Minnesota," Roysland said. "I loved my time here as a student-athlete and certainly the time that I was coaching here. To come back and work with someone of Lindsay's caliber in terms of what she's accomplished in the basketball world is very exciting and a dream scenario to have played out."

Prior to returning to Minnesota, Roysland was an assistant coach at North Dakota State University. She was hired at NDSU in June of 2008 and helped the Bison post back-to-back 16-13 records, including a combined mark of 23-13 in the Summit League.

A native of Fosston, Minn., Roysland was a four-year letterwinner in basketball for the Gophers from 2004-07, joining Whalen on the team's run to the 2004 Final Four and serving as a team captain as a senior. Roysland also played one year of volleyball as a fifth-year senior in 2007.

Roysland finished her basketball career at Minnesota ranked 12th (currently 19th) on Minnesota's all-time scoring list with 1,074 career points. She averaged 8.5 points per game over 126 contests for the Gophers, including a team-high 13.2 points per game during her senior season in 2006-07.

Roysland, whose father is the head women's basketball coach at Division II Minnesota-Crookston, earned her bachelor's degree in sport management from Minnesota in 2007. She went on to receive a master's degree in exercise science from Minnesota in 2009. She married Eric Curry in August of 2014, and the couple has one son, Brekken.

Melissa Maines
Director of Basketball Operations

Melissa Maines was named the director of basketball operations on May 24, 2018.

She recently completed the second of two stints at her alma mater, Texas Tech. She spent the past five seasons as director of basketball operations and earned a promotion to the title of assistant athletics director in 2014. Prior to that, she worked for the Red Raiders from 1996-02 in the operations position, as well as the regional director for women’s athletics.

Her responsibilities with the Lady Raiders include managing the budget, working as the liaison with Under Armour, fan engagement, team travel, supervising the graduate assistants and managers and community service outreach.

Maines graduated in 1998 from Texas Tech with a degree in exercise sports science and received a masters from there in sports administration in 2001.

Prior to returning to her alma mater, Maines was the director of basketball operations at Auburn University from 2004-2012. She initially left Texas Tech in 2002 when she was hired as the assistant to the head coach at the University of Florida from 2002-2004.