WU Hires Ioane and Lapray to Coach Bearcat Basketball Teams

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University has chosen its new head coaches for the men's basketball and women's basketball teams. Both coaches have been hired from within Willamette's own coaching staff. In fact, both coaches have significant ties to Willamette, including playing basketball for the Bearcats in college.

Men's basketball Head Coach Kip Ioane and women's basketball Head Coach Anne (McShane) Lapray were introduced at a press conference inside Cone Field House on Monday, March 16 at 12:30 p.m. (PDT). The press conference was webcast live by Full Access Sports. The webcast is available on Ustream. There is 4:40 of leader video prior to the press conference. Please feel free to fast forward to the actual event.

Ioane will take over for Head Coach Gordie James, who recently announced his retirement after 22 seasons leading the Bearcats. Ioane has been an assistant coach under James the past eight years.

"Kip's knowledge of Willamette, our basketball program and the common bond with alumni will serve him well," said Director of Athletics Mark Majeski. "Kip brings a vision for the future of the program that will enhance the legacy Coach James will leave behind. His energy, enthusiasm and passion for winning will provide tremendous leadership for our team."

Prior to coaching at Willamette, Ioane played basketball for the Bearcats and Coach James for four seasons. He was a two-year captain and a four-year letterman for the 'Cats. He also was a finalist for the Josten’s Trophy, given each year to the top player in NCAA Division III.

Ioane is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Willamette. He received his MAT degree in 2001.
He currently teaches business at McKay High School in Salem. His wife, Kelly (Sorenson) ’01, was a star for WU in volleyball and basketball. Kip and Kelly are the parents of Lincoln, born in May, 2007.

Lapray will take over the head coaching responsibilities for the women's team after assisting former Head Coach Bruce Henderson for four years before Henderson passed away in December. Lapray and fellow assistant coach Sara Brooks shared coaching duties for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Brooks, already on campus as an Athletics Department intern, served as Interim Head Coach. Lapray previously was an assistant coach at Willamette from 1997 through 1999.

"Anne has exceptional energy and brings a tremendous commitment to everything she does," Majeski said. "She is looking forward to the continued development of the Willamette women's basketball program. Her efforts helped influence all of our players to elevate their contributions on the court this past season. Anne has a vision that will create a sound future for the Bearcats and she will be moving forward at full steam."

Lapray was a starting forward on the Willamette women’s basketball team that qualified for the 1995-96 NAIA Division II National Tournament. As a high school player, she was the 1989-90 Gatorade Player of the Year for her efforts as at Oregon City High School.

She started her collegiate playing career at Oregon State University until a knee injury sent her to the sidelines. Later, she played at Portland State University, where a second knee injury almost ended her career.

At Willamette, she was an Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference selection during her senior year. She received a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in 1996.

Lapray and her husband, John, live in West Salem. They are the parents of three daughters, Jane, Maggie and Mary, and a son, Jack.

Willamette's new head coaches will begin their duties immediately. Lapray will be on campus on a full-time basis later this spring. Ioane will be at Willamette full-time after he finishes the 2008-09 academic year as a teacher at McKay.

Anne Lapray (left) and Kip Ioane (right) were introduced by Mark Majeski (center) at a press conference on March 16.

Anne Lapray (left) and Kip Ioane (right) were introduced by Mark Majeski (center) at a press conference on March 16.