Butler women’s basketball adds new faces on staff and roster

The team gathers on court for a team meeting. Collegian file photo 

DANA LEE | SPORTS EDITOR | delee1@butler.edu

As of June 30, the women’s basketball team finalized a series of coaching staff and roster shifts for the 2017-18 season. 

In his fourth year as head coach, Kurt Godlevske added assistants John Marcum and Kierra McCleary. Butler Athletics announced the hires on the team website in May and June.

Marcum spent a season at Grand Canyon University where he helped the team post a 15-12 record during his year as assistant coach. Prior to his time in Arizona, he was an associate head coach at East Carolina University for three years. In 2015, Marcum brought in a top 50-recruiting class for East Carolina.

“When you look over his impressive resume you can instantly see how well connected he is in our industry,” Godlevske said in a press statement. “Years of experience in this field will help our staff as a whole and there is no doubt that he will be a huge asset for us in terms of being a tireless recruiter.”

The final piece to the coaching staff was added June 28.

McCleary was an assistant at Northern Illinois University for two seasons. The team wrapped up the year with a 21-12 overall record and a Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game. During her time at Northern Illinois, McCleary worked with guards and helped develop Third Team All-MAC Ally Lehman.

“She has a reputation of building strong relationships with student athletes, promoting academic success, and she’s a tireless recruiter,” Godlevske said. “Kierra is going to fit our Butler values and continue to grow those values within our women’s basketball program.”

The new assistants replace Damon Bailey and Julie Shelton, who both served as assistants for three years alongside Godlevske before stepping down.

Bailey resigned in April to focus on Hawkins Bailey Warehouse, a distribution company he co-owns. Bailey and Godlevske coached together at Bedford North Lawrence High School before coming to Butler.

His daughter, Alexa Bailey, will not return to the Butler roster after playing two years as a guard.

Shelton left Butler earlier this week to serve as the assistant athletic director for Mt. Vernon High School, where she previously was head coach for 16 years. Shelton will return coaching the girls’ varsity basketball team in her new position.

New faces appear in the Bulldogs’ roster as well. Forward and guard Alisha Aube arrives from Thornton Academy High School in Maine, where she averaged 18 points, five rebounds and three assists in her final year.

“I chose Butler because it was the best fit academically and athletically for me,” Aube said in a Butler news release. “The coaching staff and team were so welcoming. It felt like a home away from home.”

Godlevske also brings in transfers Katherine Strong from Virginia Commonwealth University and Naira Caceres from the University of Maine. Strong and Caceres will have to redshirt the upcoming season according to NCAA transfer rules.

Meanwhile, Whitney Jennings will finally see playing time after redshirting last year. Jennings spend two seasons at the University of Iowa, where she competed in all 67 games, starting in 62 matches. She scored the 11th-most points among freshmen in Iowa history and averaged 9.6 points per game in her second year.

She adds to a roster featuring returning members Tori Schickel and Sydney Shelton, two of the team’s All-Big East honorees. Kristen Spolyar also looks to make a return after tearing her ACL halfway through a strong freshman campaign.

The team comes off a 6-25 overall record with two conference wins.





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One Comment;

  1. Truth BeKnown said:

    6-25 – that says it all………how successful has he been at all since his first season when he had natural athletes that he ran off?