RIVER FALLS, Wis. (uwrfsports.com) – Blake DuDonis has been named the eighth head coach in UWRF women’s basketball history, director of athletics Crystal Lanning announced on Friday.
“We are excited to welcome Coach DuDonis to the Falcon Family!” Lanning said. “He is an experienced recruiter and has a passion for developing competitive student-athletes in the classroom and on the court. He is a strong advocate for the game of women’s basketball and will bring a high level of energy to our women’s basketball program and to the athletic department.”
DuDonis comes to River Falls after serving as a national evaluator for Blue Star Basketball, the oldest and largest national evaluation organization in women’s basketball, and as an advanced regional scout for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. He has previously served as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo, Gardner-Webb University and Merrimack College.
“I am so honored and thankful to be named the next head women’s basketball coach at UW-River Falls,” DuDonis said. “I want to thank Crystal Lanning, Kellen Wells-Mangold, and the entire search committee for giving me this incredible opportunity. Everyone I spoke with during the process told me of the potential the program had, and the moment I stepped on campus I realized how true that was.
We have everything a student-athlete needs in order to be successful in the classroom, life, and on the court. This program will be run with great enthusiasm, integrity, and passion as we pursue excellence in all that we do. My staff and I will work hard to ensure our student-athletes become the best they can be in every area of their life during their time here at UW-River Falls and will be ready to make an impact on the world once they graduate. I can’t wait to get started.”
While at Buffalo, DuDonis helped guide the Bulls to 19 wins and the program’s first ever appearance in the WNIT. Overseeing the post unit, he mentored 2nd team All-MAC performer Kristin Sharkey, as well as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year Krista Baccas. He also assisted in the academic advisement of their student-athletes in route to a team GPA of 3.397, the highest in the department that year and highest in program history.
His time at Buffalo followed two seasons at his alma mater, Gardner-Webb University. In his first year, the team increased their win total by nine, one of the largest improvements in the country. During his time there, DuDonis was in charge of the development of Catrina Green who turned into one of the best players in program history. Recording 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, Green became the first player in Gardner-Webb history to reach both of those benchmarks.
After starting his coaching career at Merrimack College, DuDonis has also served as the head coach at Carlson High School in Michigan, as well as being a play-by-play and color commentator on the SEC Network+ and other networks for multiple sports.
DuDonis earned a B.S. degree in Journalism from Gardner-Webb University where he served as a student assistant coach and male practice player for the women’s basketball team.
The UWRF women’s basketball team is scheduled to open the 2019-20 season at Page Arena on November 8, 2019 versus Marian University.DIII WIAC