June 2, 1999
California head women's basketball coach Marianne Stanley filled the remaining vacancy on her coaching staff Wednesday with the announcement that Ronalda Smitherman has been hired as an assistant coach.
"We are very excited to welcome Ronalda into the Cal basketball family," said Stanley. "She brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the position and I think she is going to be a great fit for our program. She has an excellent track record and most recently helped lead a resurgence of the women's basketball program at St. John's under Charlene Thomas-Swinson."
Smitherman comes to Cal from St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y., where she served as an assistant coach the past two seasons. During her two-year tenure, the Red Storm more than doubled its number of victories from 1998 to '99 (6-13). Primarily responsible for the development of the St. John's backcourt, Smitherman also served as the Red Storm's scouting coordinator, assistant recruiting coordinator and schedule coordinator.
"Ronalda is a phenomenal, young coach who I know will be able to aid coach Stanley," said Thomas-Swinson, former head coach at St. John's and current assistant with the WNBA's Orlando Miracle.
A 1995 graduate of Rowan University in, Glassboro, N.J., with a bachelor's degree in physical education, Smitherman was a successful player prior to entering the coaching ranks. While at Rowan, she was a three-year starter at point guard, leading the Profs to three consecutive NCAA Division III Tournament appearances from 1992-94 as well as East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships in '92 and '94. A 1994 ECAC All-Tournament team selection, her teams compiled an 80-27 record during her four years in the program.
Smitherman got her coaching start in the New Jersey high school ranks in 1995, where she served stints as an assistant coach at St. James High School in Carney's Point, N.J., and Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, N.J. While at Woodrow Wilson, she helped guide the squad to the New Jersey state championship.
The following season, Smitherman received her first collegiate appointment at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., where she served as a graduate assistant for the 1996-97 season.