Concordia University is proud to introduce Trisha Stafford-Odom as the ninth women's basketball coach in program history. Stafford-Odom will take the reins of the program immediately and her first season will be in 2013-14. She takes over an Eagles program that hasn't made the NAIA Tournament since 1997.
Stafford-Odom comes most recently as an assistant coach from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. She has been with the Tar Heels since 2011 and signed three consecutive #1 nationally ranked recruiting classes. Her teams have perennially been ranked top-10 nationally. She worked under Naismith Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell.
"New beginnings for any program are a time filled with excitement and anxiety. Looking for new leadership in a program is paramount in creating a culture that sets the stage for success," Concordia Executive Vice President Gary McDaniel said. "Our Heavenly Father has once again blessed Concordia University Athletics with the hire of Trisha Stafford-Odom. Trisha comes to Concordia with a vast set of tools that she has developed over the years while playing professional basketball and while coaching at the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and at UCLA. Those credentials are impressive, but what stood out for me was Coach Trisha's desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to young women in her program. Developing young women into fine basketball players is one thing, introducing those same young ladies to the Savior…that is an everlasting contribution!"
Prior to UNC, Stafford-Odom was an assistant with Duke University in Durham, NC, another ACC women's basketball powerhouse. Stafford-Odom was with the Blue Devils from 2009-2011 and brought in back-to-back #1 recruiting classes. Duke won the ACC Championship in 2011 and 2010. Before her time in the ACC, Stafford-Odom was an assistant at UCLA from 2005-2008, including time as the recruiting coordinator from 2007-2008, bringing in the #3 nationally ranked recruiting class in 2008. In addition to her time at UCLA, Duke, and North Carolina, Stafford-Odom spent three seasons (2002-05) as the head coach at Westchester High School in Los Angeles where she tutored more than 10 players who earned college scholarships.
"I see this as an opportunity to put my handprint on a program that is already established," Trisha Stafford-Odom said. "I plan to be a coach and impact person for young women who I believe will have bright futures. I want to create and establish a culture of pride and dignity for the women's basketball program here. I plan to foster an atmosphere of hard work where we go the extra mile, but also have fun doing it."
A four-year letter winner at the University of California, Berkeley, Stafford-Odom ranks among the best players in Cal women's basketball history. The Los Angeles native scored 1,530 points in her career in just three seasons, good for ninth in school history. She also ranks among the school's top 10 in scoring average, field goal attempts, field goals made, free throw attempts and free throws made.
"I am extremely proud of Trish and I am excited for her to take this next step in her coaching career," North Carolina Hall of Fame head coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "She has done an outstanding job for us the past two years and she was instrumental in helping us sign the No. 1 recruiting class this fall."
"Trish is more than ready to be a head coach, and this is a great move for her career and her family. She and her husband are both from southern California and this move will put them and their boys closer to their extended family. I want to thank her and her family for all that they have meant to the Carolina women's basketball family over the last two years and wish them all the best. They will all be truly missed, but I am confident that Concordia is getting a great head coach."
Stafford-Odom was a two-time first-team All-Pac 10 selection in 1991 and 1992 and led the Golden Bears to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. During her senior season, she averaged a conference-best 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game en route to earning honorable mention on the prestigious Kodak All-America team. She was also named to the school's 1986-96 All-Decade Team.
"We are extremely proud and excited to have Trisha Stafford-Odom joining our athletic department," Concordia Athletic Director Dave Bireline said. "Her resume speaks for itself, but I believe she will develop strong young women of faith, who are also outstanding basketball players, for years to come here in Irvine."
Stafford-Odom played two seasons in the WNBA with Houston (2001) and Miami (2002). She also appeared with San Jose and Long Beach in the ABL as well as overseas in Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil and Puerto Rico.
In 2013 she was enshrined into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame. She earned her bachelor's from the University of California, Berkeley in mass communications in 1992. Trisha is married to DeWayne and the couple has two sons, Amari and Trajen.