Maddie Simon will join teammate Rachel Blackburn in the WBCA "So You Want To Be A Coach Program" in 2019.
Photo by Isabel Thalken/Nebraska Communications

Simon, Blackburn Earn Spots in WBCA Program

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln – Nebraska seniors Maddie Simon and Rachel Blackburn will both be members of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) “So You Want To Be A Coach” program at the 2019 WBCA Convention in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla., April 3-5.

Simon and Blackburn will be members of the 17th annual “So You Want To Be A Coach” program and will participate in the three-day workshop in Tampa with speakers provided by WeCoach. The program is designed to increase the understanding and application of skills necessary to secure coaching positions in women’s basketball, increase the understanding and awareness of competencies necessary for success in coaching, introduce female basketball players to coaches and administrators, and raise awareness of the existing talent pool of female basketball players who have a passion and interest in coaching the game of women’s basketball.

Only 60 players across all divisions of college basketball claimed spots in the competitive selection process that is part of the “So You Want To Be A Coach” program. Nebraska is the only school in the country with two participants in the program, while Simon and Blackburn are two of only five players from the Big Ten Conference (Tania Davis, Iowa; Khadaizha Sanders, Rutgers; Makayla Waterman, Ohio State) to be chosen for the 2019 program.

Simon, a 6-2 senior forward from Lincoln Pius X High School, has been a four-year contributor on the court. She has scored more than 600 points and grabbed more than 300 rebounds while playing in 96 career games with 49 starts. In 2017-18, Simon was one of the most improved players in the Big Ten Conference while playing her first full season at power forward. She spent a majority of her first two seasons on the wing for the Huskers. Simon helped the 2018 Huskers to 21 wins, a top-four finish in the Big Ten Conference, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Blackburn, a 6-3 forward from Leavenworth, Kan., had her Nebraska playing career cut short by injuries but she has continued to help the Huskers. Although she is not active on the roster in 2018-19, Blackburn continues to provide leadership to the Huskers. In 2017-18, she played in 29 games in her third season in the Husker program, including an appearance in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Blackburn came to the Huskers from Leavenworth High School and started Nebraska’s first nine games as a true freshman before succumbing to chronic knee pain. She underwent multiple offseason surgeries and redshirted in 2016-17.

It marks the second consecutive year under Head Coach Amy Williams that Nebraska has sent two seniors into the “So You Want To Be A Coach Program.” Last season, Jasmine Cincore and Emily Wood participated in the WBCA program and immediately landed jobs. Wood (now Wacker) is the Director of Operations at Omaha, while Cincore is an Assistant Coach at Murray State College (NJCAA) in Oklahoma.

2019 "So You Want To Be A Coach" Participants

Name

Institution

Division

Erica Balman

Monmouth University

NCAA I

Ali Bettencourt

Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside

NCAA II

Briana Betz-White

Loyola University

NCAA I

Morgan Birmelin

DeSales University

NCAA III

Rachel Blackburn

Univ. of Nebraska

NCAA I

Anna Lee Bollinger

Brevard College

NCAA III

Megan Brown

Univ. of Southern Mississippi

NCAA I

Taje Burston

Coppin State University

NCAA I

Chrijaun Carter

McPherson College

NAIA

Princess Davis

Texas A&M Univ.- Commerce

NCAA II

Tania Davis

Univ. of Iowa

NCAA I

Danielle Edwards

Clemson University

NCAA I

Christina Ekhomu

Northern Illinois University

NCAA II

Mekaela Fithian-Giantonio

Nichols College

NCAA III

Sierra Gerald

University of Bridgeport

NCAA II

Destiny Graham

University of Arizona

NCAA I

Kelly Guarino

NJ Institute of Technology

NCAA 1

Meredith Hamlet

Valparaiso University

NCAA I

Catherine Harrison

Middlebury College

NCAA III

Felecity Haven

University of Mount Olive

NCAA II

Kaity Healy

Seton Hall

NCAA I

Jace Henderson

University of Montana

NCAA I

Kaitlin Hogan

Birmingham Southern College

NCAA III

Rosemary Ilang

Longwood University

NCAA I

Hannah Johnson

University of Washington

NCAA I

Tessa Johnston

Emory & Henry College

NCAA III

Becca Jonas

Drake University

NCAA I

Paris Jones

Univ. of California- Santa Barbara

NCAA I

Cy Lippold

Dartmouth College

NCAA I

Mikayla Lopez

Augustana College

NCAA III

Olivia Luu

William Jessup University

NAIA

Darby Maggard

Belmont University

NCAA I

Ariel Massengale

University of Mississippi

NCAA I

Shannon Mathis

University of Texas at Dallas

NCAA III

MacKenzi Matthews

Baldwin Wallace University

NCAA III

Aryn McClure

Quinnipiac University

NCAA I

Bailey McDevitt

Linfield College

NCAA III

Francesca Minali

Georgia State University

NCAA I

Maci Morris

University of Kentucky

NCAA I

Abby Nakfoor

Ferris State University

NCAA II

Kacie O’Connor

Wayne State College

NCAA II

Amy Okonkwo

Texas Christian University

NCAA I

Julie Raeder

Cardinal Stritch University

NAIA

Khadaizha Sanders

Rutgers University

NCAA I

Laramie Schwenke

Idaho State University

NCAA I

Shandricka Sessom

University of Mississippi

NCAA I

Harper Sheets

Hastings College

NAIA

Madeline Simon

University of Nebraska

NCAA I

Jasmine Sina

St. John's University

NCAA I

Kennedi Thompson

Binghamton University

NCAA I

Ali Trani

Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville

NCAA I

Alexis Uffman

Columbia College (MD)

NAIA

Taylor Vasa

Briar Cliff University

NAIA

Emily Vogelpohl

Wright State University

NCAA I

Destinee Walker

Radford University

NCAA I

Jasmyn Walker

Western Michigan University

NCAA I

Makayla Waterman

Ohio State University

NCAA I

Harlyn Wyatt

Tulane University

NCAA I

Isis Young

Syracuse University

NCAA I

Emily Ziese

Peru State College

NAIA

 

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