The Pomona-Pitzer Athletic Department is proud to announce the hiring of Alaina Woo as the next head coach for women’s basketball and Assistant Professor of Physical Education.
“After a competitive national search process, in the end it was clear we already had the right person here,” said Interim Director of Athletics Jen Scanlon. “Alaina has meant so much to these colleges and our department through all the stages that we have known her. First, as a student-athlete that excelled on the court and represented us so well on the national SAAC level. Then, as an assistant coach who helped this program achieve its best season in recent history. In her year as Interim Head Coach, Alaina managed a lot of adversity with transitions and injuries to guide this team through a successful season and she proved her ability to be a great asset as a Physical Education teacher and valued colleague in our department. It will be exciting to see Alaina continue to build this program in her vision. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to lock in a proud Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Basketball alum who we expect is going to have a long and successful coaching career for the Sagehens.”
Woo transitions to the head coach role after previously serving as an interim head coach for the 2019-20 season. Woo led the Sagehens to a 15-11 overall record and 10-6 in SCIAC play last year during her interim season. The Sagehens earned the four seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament and the second-straight winning season for the first time since 2002. The Sagehens earned a win over SCIAC rival CMS at home for the first time since 2012 and had wins over seven of the eight conference schools during the regular season.
“I would like to thank Jen Scanlon, Bill Swartz and the entire search committee for the opportunity to lead Pomona-Pitzer women’s basketball forward,” said Woo. “Pomona and Pitzer are uniquely remarkable institutions that align with my own values, and it is truly special to be a member of such a loyal and supportive community of faculty and staff. It is an exciting time to be part of the women’s basketball program, and I look forward to building upon our camaraderie and momentum.”
Woo began her career at Tufts University, coaching under 2015 U.S. Marine Corps/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year, UConn alum and current Princeton head coach, Carla Berube. She assisted Tufts to a 26-5 record, including appearances in the NCAA Elite 8 and NESCAC championship.
Woo returned to Pomona-Pitzer in 2018, assisting head coach Jill Pace to a historic year for the program. The team won their first conference tournament championship in program history, made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, notched their first 20-win season since 1992 and won a program record 14 conference games. Pace returned to her East Coast home last season, following her naming as head coach at Tufts.
“I couldn’t be happier for Alaina, Pomona-Pitzer, and Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Basketball,” said Pace. “Alaina is a true leader who thinks the game very well, and most importantly, is a great person who will guide her team with class on and off the court. She has given her heart and soul to the Sagehens for many years, and I’m excited to follow her success in this new chapter. Go Hens!”
As a Sagehen, Woo was a four-year starter and two-year captain. She sits top-10 on the all-time scoring list as a 1,000 point scorer, and currently holds the all-time record for career three-pointers. As a senior, Woo led the conference in scoring with 16.7 points per game, and was a first team all-conference selection. Off the court, she served as chair of the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Engagement Committee, Vice-Chair of the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and President of the Pomona-Pitzer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She also acted as the Division III student representative on the NCAA’s Committee on Women Athletics, and the NCAA’s Commission to Combat Sexual Violence.
“I am so fortunate to be part of a women’s basketball community full of great minds and even better people. Thank you to Jill Pace and Carla Berube for sustained trust, mentorship and friendship. Thank you also to my assistants and our players. The women in our program are hard working, resilient and fun, and I could not be more excited to continue to grow and build together.”
Woo graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Public Policy Analysis and a concentration in Science, Technology and Society. She is a native of San Carlos, CA.
Photo Courtesy Pomona-Pitzer AthleticsD3 SCIAC