Starkey officially named head coach of women’s basketball

Photo courtesy of Twitter (@ToddStarkey33)

Photo courtesy of Twitter (@ToddStarkey33)

Zac Sommer

The Kent State women’s basketball team named Todd Starkey the new head coach for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

Starkey will be taking over for former head coach Danielle O’Banion, who led the Flashes to a 6-23 record last season.

Starkey spent the last two years as the assistant coach for Indiana University women’s basketball team, who finished 21-12 in the Big Ten. Before Indiana, Starkey spent nine years as the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University, an NCAA Division II school in Hickory, North Carolina, finishing with a 165-95 record as he becoming the winningest coach in the program’s history.

In his last six years with Lenoir-Rhyne, Starkey averaged 20 wins per season while leading the Bears to three regular season conference championships.

The Youngstown-native said he is appreciative about the opportunity and is eager to begin his tenure as head coach for the Flashes.

“I am very excited to join the Kent State community and to have the chance to build on a program that has such a great history,” Starkey said . “I want to thank President Beverly Warren, Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen and Deputy Athletic Director Casey Cegles for giving me this great opportunity.”

Nielsen said Starkey’s experience makes him a suitable candidate for the Flashes.

“His head coaching experience and recruiting ability make him the ideal fit for our institution,” Nielsen said. “Todd’s commitment to academic excellence is well noted throughout his career, and he understands the program’s role within the university and community. We are excited to bring his competitive spirit and experience to Kent State University.”

Starkey’s commitment to academic success is evident as he maintained a 100 percent graduation rate of players who remained past their sophomore year, to go along with a 3.0 or higher grade point average every year for these players during his time at Lenoir-Rhyne.

Zac Sommer is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].