Willamette Hires Swadener as Head Coach of Women's Basketball

Portland State Assistant Ready to Lead Bearcats on Road to Success

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University has hired Peg Swadener as the Bearcats' next head coach of women's basketball, Director of Athletics David Rigsby announced today. Swadener, currently the associate head coach of women's basketball at Portland State University, will begin her new duties in July.

"I am delighted to welcome Peg to the Bearcat athletics family," Rigsby said. "For almost fifteen years, Peg has been a fixture in the Northwest college basketball coaching community. I cannot imagine a better person to lead our program."

Swadener has been an assistant coach at Portland State for the past five seasons. She was hired as an assistant coach in 2007 and quickly earned a promotion to associate head coach in 2008.

She has served as the team's recruiting coordinator, scouting coordinator and academic coordinator. In addition she has been the communication liaison between the team, support staff and administrative staff. She has mentored and trained the assistant coaches.

Her recruiting efforts led to Eryn Jones, Courtney VanBrocklin and Kate Lanz to choose Portland State. Jones was named Big Sky Conference Most Valuable Player in 2010-11, VanBrocklin was chosen Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2010-11 and Lanz was named Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2011-12.

As the academic coordinator for the PSU women's basketball team, she has overseen the academic efforts of the Vikings. Two of PSU's players have earned Academic All-America recognition from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) since 2007-08.

"Beyond her impressive coaching pedigree, Coach Swadener brings a strong commitment to academic success and the comprehensive student-athlete experience," Rigsby commented. "She is a tireless recruiter, coach and educator who will help our students develop on the court and off the court."

Swadener coached Portland State's guards from 2007-08 through 2009-10, including two-time First Team All-Big Sky Conference selection Claire Faucher. In 2010-11 and 2011-12, Swadener was assigned to the post players on the roster, including Kelli Valentine, who earned First Team All-Big Sky honors.

"I have always wanted to develop a program where I can recruit and coach a highly motivated student-athlete who seeks excellence on the court, in the classroom and in life," Swadener said. "I have dreamt of putting together a staff that understands the well-being of the student-athlete, and keeps that in mind through all aspects of the job. It is my goal to create a program that can put those two ideas together and can still compete to win championships."

"I have been waiting for the right fit to take this next step and I feel that I have finally found that place in Willamette University," Swadener commented. "I value the quality of education at Willamette. The Northwest Conference is a national caliber conference, and one which I believe can also attract the high achieving athlete. The combination of the education and conference has the makings of a great program."

While working at Portland State, Swadener was active in getting the women's basketball team involved with Special Olympics.

She coached the Washington County "A" basketball team within Special Olympics Oregon and included PSU players as assistant coaches. Many of her players also participated in open gym time with athletes from Special Olympics. She hopes to develop a similar program at Willamette.

Swadener's extensive coaching experience with the Vikings has added to her overall knowledge as a coach.

Prior to coaching at PSU, she was an assistant basketball coach at Boise State University from 1997-98 through 2001-02, was an assistant coach at Idaho State University in 2002-03, was an assistant coach at the University of Oregon from 2003-04 through 2005-06, and was an assistant coach at Princeton University in 2006-07.

During her 15 years as a collegiate coach, Swadener has been directly involved in all of the important facets of college basketball. She has worked extensively in recruiting, academic support, scheduling team travel, directing camps and organizing video. She has been actively involved with practice and game duties.

Swadener was the head girls' junior varsity coach and assistant girls varsity coach at Marist High School in Eugene, Ore., in 1995-96 and 1996-97.

As a collegiate athlete, Swadener competed on the University of Oregon women's basketball team from 1989-90 through 1993-94. She received Pac-10 Academic Honors three times. She was a representative on the Team Council, a group of athletes providing a liaison between Oregon's student-athletes and the administration. She received the Centurion Award from Oregon in 1992, as one of the top 100 all-around students attending the university.

Swadener received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Movement Science from the University of Oregon in June of 1994. She earned a Master of Science degree from Boise State University in Exercise and Sport Science in December of 2010.

After five seasons with Portland State, Peg Swadener has been named the women's head basketball coach at Willamette University.

After five seasons with Portland State, Peg Swadener has been named the women's head basketball coach at Willamette University.