Lindsay Whalen officially named the first two members of her coaching staff: Kelly Roysland and Carly Thibault-DuDonis.
Roysland is a former player at the University of Minnesota who briefly overlapped with Whalen. After playing, she moved into coaching. She served as an assistant to Pam Borton at Minnesota from 2010-2014 before moving to take the head coach at Macalester College in St. Paul. While her record at Macalester is not particularly impressive, the Scots have been a garbage basketball program for a long time. Roysland 11-14 record last year was the highest since 2011. Roysland has head coaching experience as well as D1 assistant experience. While at Minnesota, she had recruiting responsibilities (notably Carlie Wagner) in addition to coaching guards. Perhaps equally important for alumni relations is that Roysland comes from Minnesota and has been involved with Minnesota high schools for an extended period of time.
Carly Thibault-DuDonis spent the past two seasons on the Mississippi State coaching staff where she helped the Bulldogs to the Final Four and national title game in both of her seasons in Starkville. While on Mississippi State’s staff, she was the recruiting coordinator and worked with Bulldogs’s guards. Thibault-DuDonis helped the Bulldogs land a top 20 class.
From our vantage point, both of these are positive hires, and make us more confident in Whalen’s vision. Thibault-DuDonis is considered to be an excellent recruiter and has contacts in Michigan as well as the South. Roysland provides another pipeline to Minnesota and has handled the administrative side of being a head coach. Equally, all three current coaches on staff are going to be excellent teachers, especially for the guards.
The current open coaching position on staff is obviously someone who can coach the post. If we have a preference, we would lean towards a coach who has been involved in the D1 game for awhile and has had success with bigs.