Stollings New Women's Basketball Head Coach
April 7, 2014
University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague announced today the hiring of Marlene Stollings as the 11th head coach in the history of the Golden Gopher women's basketball program. Stollings comes to Minnesota after two successful years at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she led the Rams to a 33-29 record and one of the top turnarounds in the nation in 2013-14. Prior to her stint at VCU, Stollings led a one-year resurgence at Winthrop University in 2011-12, where the Eagles posted just their second winning season in the last 26 years of the program.
"Marlene Stollings is one of the most respected young coaches in the country and we are thrilled to have her leading the Minnesota women's basketball program," Teague said. "Her up-tempo style, ability to recruit the nation's best talent and successful track record are undeniable. I am excited for our student-athletes and fans, as Marlene will bring an energetic style of basketball to Williams Arena."
Known for infusing a fun and fast-paced style of play into her programs, Stollings' offensive-minded game shattered scoring records and brought unprecedented success in each of her first two head coaching stops.
In 2013-14, VCU's offensive production surged under Stollings' system, as the team set school records with a 75.8 points-per-game average and 235 three-point field goals. The Rams scored 90 or more points on five occasions and twice notched a school-record 112 points during the year.
The team posted a 22-10 overall record and earned a berth in the 2014 Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). VCU's 22 wins were the third-most in program history and gave the Rams just their sixth 20-win season in school history.
In her first year as a collegiate head coach, Stollings guided the 2011-12 Winthrop squad to more than 40 team and individual school records and only its second winning season (18-13) in 26 years. Selected 2012 Big South Conference Coach of the Year, her 18 wins were the most by any first-year coach in program history. Stollings' aggressive style paid off as Winthrop averaged a program-record 69.6 points per game, ranked 10th nationally with an average of 7.6 three-point field goals per game and posted 80 or more points a school-record nine times.
"I am extremely proud to be named the head coach at the University of Minnesota," Stollings said. "I want to thank President Eric Kaler and Director of Athletics Norwood Teague for believing in my vision for the future of this storied program and for giving me this opportunity. Minnesota has great tradition and I cannot wait to be part of it. I am looking forward to meeting the team and great fans of Gopher basketball."
Prior to joining the Eagles, Stollings served as an assistant at Southeastern Conference power Ole Miss from 2007-11, while serving the final season as the Rebels' associate head coach. Her more than decade-long coaching and recruiting career also includes stops at Saint Louis, Wright State, New Mexico State and Jacksonville (Fla.).
During her career, Stollings has seen tremendous success on the recruiting trail. Shortly after being named head coach at VCU, Stollings assembled a six-player recruiting class that ranked 38th nationally and third-highest among non-BCS programs. Included among that recruiting class was Camille Calhoun, a guard/forward who was listed as a four-star recruit and among the top 100 recruits in the country.
As an assistant coach at Ole Miss, Stollings helped sign the 2009 class, arguably the best recruiting class in nearly 30 years, including Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year and Mississippi Miss Basketball Valencia McFarland. Ole Miss had two additional classes ranked in the top-50 in 2010 (42nd) and 2011 (39th), during her tenure with the Rebels.
Stollings began her collegiate playing career at Ohio State University where she was a two-time scholar athlete for the Buckeyes. Stollings then transferred to Ohio University where she earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors after finishing eighth in the nation and leading the league in scoring at 22.9 points per game her senior year. She served as team captain for the Bobcats and earned Kodak All-American honorable mention honors in 1998. Stollings remains in the Ohio University record books with 10 three-point baskets and 41 points scored in a single game.
Considered one of the finest scorers to ever play in the basketball-rich state of Ohio (Beaver-Eastern HS), Stollings was a two-time Division III High School Player of the Year and four-time conference Player of the Year. She earned Kodak All-American honors her senior season and her name appears more than 30 times in the OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) record book. Stollings still holds the state high school basketball scoring record (boys and girls) with 3,514 points, ahead of LeBron James' 2,657.
A native of Beaver, Ohio, Stollings graduated in 1998 from Ohio University where she earned a bachelor's of business administration in marketing and a bachelor's of science in sport industry.