Chattanooga Women’s Basketball Staff Update

Chattanooga women’s basketball head coach Deandra Schirmer announced the addition of four new members to her coaching staff on Saturday, with the Mocs welcoming Tianni Kelly, Nicole Heyn, Mallory Odell and Alexis Uffmann.

Kelly will serve as the team’s associate head coach under Schirmer, while Heyn, Odell and Uffmann will each hold assistant coach titles on the staff. This marks the first time in the history of Chattanooga women’s basketball that the program will have an all-female coaching staff.

Tianni Kelly comes to the Mocs after her most recent stop saw her serving as the head coach for the University of Charleston’s women’s basketball team in West Virginia for four seasons. While there, Kelly would lead the Golden Eagles to three NCAA Tournament appearances including an Elite Eight run in 2021. The former Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year ended her time at Charleston by leading the Golden Eagles to a record of 85-32 overall.

“Tianni has already had a historic coaching career with many championships and countless accolades,” Coach Schirmer said. “I have so much respect for her and how she leads by example each and every day. I am so blessed to have her in my life as a colleague and as a friend, and I am so excited to work alongside her again.”

Nicole Heyn joins the UTC staff after spending one season as assistant coach for Air Force in 2023-24. An all-conference honoree and defensive player of the year award-winner back during her playing days, Heyn helped the Falcons of Air Force garner three Mountain West All-Conference selections a season ago, while coaching Milahnie Perry to the program’s single-season scoring record of 535 points. Heyn spent two seasons under Coach Schirmer at Valdosta State, one as a player (2021-22) and the other as a graduate assistant (2022-23) prior to her hiring at Air Force.

“I had the privilege of coaching Nicole as a player and coaching alongside her on my staff as well,” Coach Schirmer said. “She is just as determined as a coach as she was as a player. Once she puts her mind to something, she will definitely accomplish it. She has a passion for the game of basketball but also for mentoring student-athletes and I know our players will love building a relationship with her.”

Mallory Odell comes to the Scenic City from her role as assistant coach at Northern Kentucky last season. A former player and graduate assistant under Coach Schirmer as well, Odell helped guide NKU to having a total of three players receive Horizon League All-Conference nods in 2023-24, including coaching Carter McCray to earn 2024 Horizon League Freshman of the Year status.

“Mallory started on my staff at VSU as a graduate assistant,” Coach Schirmer said. “She was in that role for less than a month when I convinced her to come out of retirement and play her COVID year, where she went on to help us win a regional championship. In the years that I have known her, she has always been the calm in the storm. She has been the most reliable and compassionate person, and a joy to have on staff and work alongside every day. I am thrilled to have her back by my side.”

Alexis Uffmann rounds out the Mocs’ coaching staff with Uffmann joining Coach Schirmer on their move from Valdosta State to Chattanooga. Having shared in Schirmer’s vast success at VSU since 2021, Uffmann was recently recognized as a WBCA Thirty Under 30 honoree following the conclusion of the Lady Blazers’ 2023-24 season. Uffmann also played collegiately at Columbia College in Missouri, where she wrapped up her career ranking in the program’s top 10 all-time in total assists.

“I would not be in this position I am today without Alexis Uffmann,” Coach Schirmer said. “She is unbelievably intelligent and has been a driving force in our success at Valdosta State. She is talented in so many ways and is a rising star in this profession. I am so fortunate she chose to continue this coaching journey together; she knows I would be lost without her.  As a team we have an 84 percent win mark, and we look to bring those winning ways to Chatt.”

Tagged with: