GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG has added three new assistant coaches to its women’s basketball staff, head coach Wendy Palmer announced Tuesday. Latasha Shipman, Darren Guensch and LaToya Carter will all join the Spartan staff.
“Latasha Shipman has a wealth of experience and is a proven winner,” Palmer said. “She’s passionate about the game and works hard and has been a part of building a program and having success. I’m excited to have her return to her home state of North Carolina and to help build a successful program here at UNCG. Her energy, enthusiasm and passion for the game are unparalleled.”
Shipman comes to UNCG after a four-year stint at Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla., where she was primarily responsible for post player development, academic advisement, community relations and scouting under MEAC Coach of the Year LeDawn Gibson. The Lady Rattlers were 69-51 with a 39-25 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference record during Shipman’s tenure.
FAMU’s best season with Shipman on the sideline was its most recent. The Lady Rattlers went 22-8 on the season, finishing second in the MEAC with a 14-2 league record and falling in the semifinals of the MEAC Championship. The squad turned in a league-best 14-game winning streak during the season and finished with 20-plus wins for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
FAMU senior Antonia Bennett was named the 2012 MEAC Player of the Year, while classmate Qiana Donald garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors.
During Shipman’s tenure, FAMU beat South Florida and Florida on the road and Alabama at home, all during the 2009-10 campaign, in which the Lady Rattlers went 18-11 overall.
Prior to her time at Florida A&M, Shipman spent four years at her alma mater, Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., helping the Lady Bears to three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships and a pair of NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances.
As a player for Shaw, Shipman scored more than 1,000 career points and pulled down more than 700 career rebounds prior to graduating in 2004. She helped the Lady Bears to a pair of CIAA championships as the team went 59-6 over her final two seasons.
She played professionally in Chile for one year.
“I am excited to be a part of the Spartan family here at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and honored for the opportunity to work with coach Wendy Palmer,” Shipman said. “UNCG is on the path of becoming something special, and I’m just happy for the opportunity to watch it unfold.”
Guensch comes to UNCG after two years as an assistant coach at VCU and another two as the Rams’ director of basketball operations. The Rams were 86-47 with Guensch on staff, making four straight postseason appearances.
“Darren has a paid his dues in a variety of different roles in this profession,” Palmer said. “His work ethic and determination have prepared him for this next step in his career, to be a part of building a program here at UNCG, in a state that he has ties to. He’s excited to hit the ground running.”
As an assistant coach the last two years, Guensch helped the Rams to a pair of postseason WNIT appearances. The Rams were 19-15 in 2011-12, advancing to the WNIT Round of 16. VCU went 19-12 and also made a WNIT appearance in Guensch’s first season as a coach.
Guensch was responsible for perimeter player development at VCU and coached two Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team guards and an All-CAA guard in Andrea Barbour. He also helped bring in No. 20 recruiting class among mid-majors, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
With Guensch serving as its director of basketball operations from 2008-10, VCU went a combined 48-20. The Rams advanced to the WNIT Round of 16 in 2009-10 and earned an NCAA tournament at-large bid the year prior.
Prior to joining the VCU staff, Guensch served as George Mason’s director of basketball operations for two years. He got his start in coaching at Loudoun County High School in Leesburg, Va., serving as head coach of the freshman team and an assistant varsity coach for the 2005-06 season. He directed the freshman squad to a program-best 16-2 record and its first-ever district championship. He also helped direct Loudoun County’s varsity team to a program-best 29-2 record, district and regional championships and an appearance in the state semifinals.
Guensch graduated from Radford in 2005.
“UNCG is such a special place because of the people, campus and community, and it is a privilege to join the Spartan family,” Guensch said. “Success has followed coach Palmer everywhere she’s been and I am excited to contribute as we build into the lives of our student-athletes in the classroom and on the court.”
Carter joins the UNCG staff after two years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.
“LaToya is young, energetic and works hard,” Palmer said. “She has a passion for this game, overcame adversity throughout her playing career at Gardner-Webb and pushed forward knowing she wanted to be a coach. She has worked her way up from being a high school coach to coaching in college. She’s really been active out on the recruiting scene, and I’m excited to have her here. Having played in the state, she knows the lay of the land here in North Carolina. She’s going to be great for us.”
In Carter’s two years on the staff, the Runnin’ Bulldogs went 27-36, highlighted by a 23-11 showing in 2010-11. GWU won its first-ever Big South Conference tournament title that year, advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
Before returning to Boiling Springs, Carter was an assistant coach for two years at Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C. There, she helped the Chargers to a 48-10-1 record, a state championship in 2010 and a state runner-up finish in 2009.
As a player at Gardner-Webb, Carter was a four-year Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic selection and helped the Bulldogs to their first-ever A-Sun tournament finals appearance in 2006. She was named the team’s best defensive player in 2007-08.
As a freshman in 2003, Carter played under head coach Serena King and assistant coach Melinda Goodson, both former UNCG players.
“I am excited about being a part of UNCG,” Carter said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to coach alongside head coach Wendy Palmer and carry out her vision of excellence and winning. Coach Palmer is a competitor and a winner. She knows what it takes and how to get there. I am assured the best is yet to come and I am ready to bring the excitement, energy and winning tradition of women’s basketball back to where it belongs.”