AZUSA, Calif. – Danelle Liles has been tabbed to take over the women’s basketball program at Azusa Pacific, Director of Athletics Bill Odell announced today.
A 1999 graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, Liles has spent the past 3 seasons as an assistant coach at San Joaquin Delta Junior College in Stockton, Calif., where she helped lead the Mustangs to the 2002 state tournament semifinals. While at Delta, Liles also served as the event coordinator of the West Coast JUCO Shootout as well as the administrator of the Mustangs’ Holiday Hoops Camp.
“We are excited to have somebody of Danelle’s playing experience and passion to lead our women’s basketball program,” said Odell. “She has an incredible love for the game and a love for young people, and I believe that she has the capabilities to lead this program to a point where it will have an impact on the national scene.”
Prior to her time at Delta, Liles spent one season as a graduate assistant at her alma mater Tarleton State. There she assisted with all the aspects of the TexAnn program, including preseason conditioning, recruiting, scouting, practice and game day operations, and monitoring the academic progress of the athletes.
As a player, Liles played the 1998 and 1999 seasons at NCAA Division II Tarleton State where she averaged 7.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while earning All-Lone Star Conference honors twice. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport studies in 1999 and later earned her master’s degree in physical education in 2000.
A decorated athlete at East Union High School in Manteca, Calif., Liles scored 2,210 points (17.7 ppg.) during her prep career and was a 4-time All-Valley Oak League selection, including VOL MVP honors. She led the Lancers to 4 consecutive VOL championships and was a 2-time Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team selection and received USA Today honorable mention. She later became the first female and just the third athlete in East Union High history to have her jersey retired, joining the likes of Scott Brooks, who won an NBA championship with the Houston Rockets in 1994.
Out of high school, Liles signed a letter of intent at NCAA Division I and Southeastern Conference-member University of Florida. At Florida, she played in 6 games while battling an early season back injury for the 24-9 Gators who advanced to the second round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament. From Florida, Liles transferred to Delta College and played the 1997 season, averaging 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists. She was named team MVP, All-Bay Valley Conference and participated in the California State JC All-Star game.
“I am very excited to take over such a successful program as Azusa Pacific,” said Liles. ”It may be my first head coaching assignment, but I’m confident in my abilities to see that this program continues to experience a high level of success for the next several years. I’m confident that my commitment and the girls’ commitment to excellence will be a good combination that will produce success on and off the court. We will play hard, play smart and play together with an intense style of play each night and a goal of getting back to the NAIA Tournament.”
Liles inherits an Azusa Pacific team that returns 10 players from last year’s 11-21 team that finished 9-11 in the Golden State Athletic Conference and advanced to its tenth straight GSAC postseason tournament. The 3-time GSAC champions were coming off their fourth straight 20-win campaign, a program first, but experienced their first losing season since 1992.
Liles will also teach in the university’s physical education department.