GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College Director of Athletics Tom Palombo announced the hiring of Mercedes Van Wagner as the Quakers’ assistant women’s basketball coach Monday. Van Wagner replaces Kayla Felty, who resigned last March after two seasons to become the head women’s basketball coach at Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania.
Van Wagner joins the Quakers after spending three years as the assistant women’s basketball coach at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. She helped coach the team to a school-record 16-9 mark in 2011-12. The Shorewomen also won a school-record 11 Centennial Conference games in the team’s first winning season in 14 years.
While at Washington, Van Wagner also completed her master’s degree in psychology. In addition to her coaching duties, she also served as an assistant game management coordinator and member of the school’s Coaches Evaluation Committee.
Before beginning her coaching career, Van Wagner played professional basketball in Germany where she also taught English as a second language at a local preschool.
Van Wagner graduated cum laude in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She was a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Golden Bears’ basketball team and scored 1,067 career points. Van Wagner graduated as the school’s all-time leading shot blocker (199) and the second in career rebounds (839). As a senior, she was named to the First Team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) squad and was a second-team pick as a junior. The 2004 Clearview (N.J.) Regional High School graduate was named 2004-05 PSAC East Rookie of the Year.
Van Wagner joins Stephanie Flamini’s squad after the Quakers posted a 22-7 record in Guilford’s best basketball season since 2002. After winning the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament title, Guilford advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time and matched the second-highest number of wins in school history. The Quakers open the 2012-13 campaign Nov. 15 versus Greensboro College.