Eshe chosen as new Women’s Basketball Coach at Yale

Victoria M. “Vicky” Chun, Yale University’s Thomas A. Beckett Director of Athletics, has announced Dalila Eshe (Duh-LEE-luh ES-shay) as the Bulldogs’ 11th Joel E. Smilow Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball in program history. Eshe will be introduced at a press conference this Wednesday, April 27, at 11:30 a.m., inside John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Eshe comes to Yale from Princeton where she spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping the Tigers to a No. 24 national ranking, an Ivy League title and win over then No. 15 Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament last season.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Dalila lead our women’s basketball program. She comes to us with a wealth of experience as a former student-athlete, professional athlete and coach from the highest levels of basketball. Dalila is a proven winner and her commitment to the student-athlete experience, and development of young women was clear in the interview process,” said Chun. “Her success in recruiting and player development make her a perfect fit to be our next head coach. We welcome Dalila, her wife Way Veney, and their children, Wray Lee and Wren Rose to New Haven.”

A star player and 2006 graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Eshe earned First Team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) honors as a senior, leading the Gators with 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Eshe was selected 25th overall in the WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm. She also spent time with the Washington Mystics and Atlanta Dream in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Eshe also enjoyed a successful overseas career from 2006-2014 where she made stops in Romania, Turkey, Russia, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Taiwan and Portugal.

“I would like to thank our Athletic Director Vicky Chun and our Deputy Athletic Director Ann-Marie Guglieri for trusting me to lead this prestigious program. It is an honor and a dream come true to accept this position as the next women’s basketball coach at Yale University,” said Eshe. “This program has been very successful over the last few years with the hard work of the student-athletes and the staff. I am so excited to lead this amazing group of young women. We will pride ourselves on putting in the work to win championships. I’m looking forward to getting started. Go Bulldogs!”

Though a professional athlete, Eshe, got her start in coaching soon after her collegiate playing career in 2006 as a Player Development Coach for Daily Sports Development, Inc. (Fla.), in addition to founding the Skill Development Academy in Danville, Calif.

The Tallahassee Fla., native, went on to work for the Essence Nike National Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) from 2008-2013 as assistant tournament director and assistant coach. Additionally, she worked internationally as a player development coach in Ecuador, Portugal and the Czech Republic from 2011-2013.

Eshe’s first collegiate endeavor came in 2013 when she served a season as Loyola Maryland’s Director of Basketball Operations. She became an assistant coach the next year when she joined East Carolina University. In two seasons, she helped develop Itiana Taylor into the American Athletic Conference’s (AAC) Newcomer of the Year and All-AAC performer. The Pirates also signed their first-ever top-50 recruiting class and earned a victory in the WNIT with Eshe on staff.

Eshe joined LaSalle University in 2016 as both an assistant coach and its recruiting coordinator. She led the Explorers to the signing of their first-ever top-100 recruit as well as their best incoming class in 25 seasons. On the court, LaSalle achieved its best record in eight years.

The Ivy League took note in 2019 when she joined Princeton in the same role and immediately helped the Tigers to top-40 recruiting classes in each of the past three seasons, including the No. 19 overall class in 2022.

On the court, Eshe was the position coach for the No. 5 overall WNBA Draft pick in 2020, Bella Alarie. The Tigers maintained national rankings throughout Eshe’s time and boasted the No. 1 scoring defense in the NCAA in 2020.

An official press conference intruding Eshe as Yale’s 11th women’s basketball head coach will be held inside JLA at 11:30 a.m. and is open to the public. All attendees who are not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask.

Photo Courtesy Yale Athletics

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