Smallwood Named Associate Head Coach At Cal
July 27, 2004
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Sunny Smallwood, who spent the last 11 seasons as an assistant women's basketball coach at Washington, was named the associate head coach at California, the Golden Bears' head coach Caren Horstmeyer announced Tuesday.
Smallwood, Washington's recruiting and defensive coordinator, is a 14-year veteran of the Pac-10, having also served as an assistant coach at Washington State from 1990-93. A fixture in Husky women's basketball, she was an assistant for all eight years of June Daugherty's tenure since 1997 and for three years under Chris Gobrecht (1993-96). Smallwood saw Washington earn nine postseason berths and amass a record of 202-129.
'I am both thankful and appreciative of my opportunity to be a part of such a great program as Husky women's basketball,' Smallwood said. 'I value most the incredible people with whom I have been so lucky to share this experience. It's been a privilege to coach such quality players, to associate with such dedicated fans and to work hard alongside my athletic department colleagues who inspire me with their passion and persistence.
'As difficult as it is to leave Washington and the people I now call friends, I am very excited about my new role at Cal and any opportunity I may have to make a positive difference in their future success.'
During her tenure she helped the Huskies to six NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the regional semifinals in 1995 and the Elite Eight in 2001. Nine of her years in Seattle featured top-five finishes in the Pac-10, with a runner-up mark in 1995 and a share of the conference title in 2001.
Several of Smallwood's players have earned regional All-America honors during their careers, along with numerous Pac-10 accolades for both basketball and academics. A Husky player has been on the Pac-10 first team every year but one during her tenure.
In addition to her talent for developing players, Smallwood boasts a stellar recruiting resume. Noteworthy players include Jamie Redd and Amber Hall, UW's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, respectively, and additional Pac-10 honorees Megan Franza, LeAnn Sheets, Loree Payne, Andrea Lalum and Giuliana Mendiola. Under Smallwood's guidance, the Washington recruiting base reached an international level as well, luring such standouts as Laure Savasta from France and Hall from Canada, both of whom have played on their countries' national teams.
'This is a great step for Sunny as she aspires to be a head coach,' Daugherty said. 'Washington has experienced a great deal of success with her over the years, and we appreciate all her efforts. We're really excited for her and wish her all the best.'
A product of Boise, Idaho, Smallwood began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Washington State from 1990-93. In her inaugural year, the Cougars earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament and finished the regular season with an 18-10 mark.
Smallwood joined WSU's staff after seven years as the head coach of the Boise (Idaho) High School girls' basketball team. During her stint at the helm, Boise posted three 16-win seasons and enjoyed state tournament appearances in 1986 and 1989.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Smallwood played Division I college basketball at Boise State, where she was a starting guard for the Broncos from 1979-83. She was a three-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Week and a two-time Mountain West All-Academic first team selection. Smallwood graduated in 1983 with a degree in elementary education.
Born in Deadwood, S.D., Smallwood attended high school in Price, Utah, where she was an all-around star at Carbon High, earning 16 letters and graduating with a 3.94 GPA.