Guastella named Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach at Yale

Sam Guastella, who starred nearby at Quinnipiac and played professionally overseas before beginning her coaching career with La Salle, has joined the Yale women’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach. Dalila Eshe, Yale’s Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball, announced the hiring Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sam to the Bulldog family,” said Eshe, who is entering her first season at Yale. “Her experience as a player as well as her energy and passion to mentor young women will be so beneficial to the team. They will feel immediately how much she cares and is invested in them.”

Guastella spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Temple, helping the Owls to a pair of American Athletic Conference Tournament appearances. Prior to that, she got her start in coaching as a graduate assistant at La Salle in 2018-19 and was elevated to an assistant coach role for the 2019-20 season. She helped the Explorers more than double their overall and Atlantic 10 win totals in her second year. 

“I want to thank Dalila Eshe for this incredible opportunity to join the Yale University family!,” said Guastella. “I am honored to work with such an outstanding person and coach, while representing this prestigious institution. It truly is a dream come true!”

Guastella has experience in player development, practice execution and scout preparation. At La Salle in 2019-20 she helped the Explorers to their first win over a Power 5 program (Penn State) since November 2015. She worked directly with guard/forward Kayla Spruill, helping her earn the Big 5 Most Improved Player Award after nearly doubling her points per game and tripling her rebounds per game.

Guastella’s playing career was marked by success, including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, a pair of WNIT appearances and a pair of conference championships at Quinnipiac. She led the Bobcats to the best record in program history in 2014-15 (31-4). That included an undefeated conference mark of 20-0 and Quinnipiac’s first MAAC Championship. She was a first team All-MAAC selection and finished her career as the Bobcats’ all-time leader with 225 career three pointers. She also had the most career blocked shots (179) of anyone in QU’s Division I era (since 1998-99) and served as team captain.

After her college career ended Guastella began her pro career with BBC Etzella in Luxembourg.  She averaged a team-best 19.8 points per game while adding 6.6 rebounds. Guastella led BBC Etzella to the semifinal round of the Luxembourg League playoffs in 2015-16. She then spent the 2016-17 season with T71 Dudelange in Luxembourg, leading the Total League in scoring (23.7 points per game).

Guastella spent February through April 2017 in Australia playing for Hume City in Melbourne. She then played for T71 Dudelange again in 2017-18, averaging 18.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game and helping the team advance all the way to the Total League Championship before falling to Amicale. 

A 2015 graduate of Quinnipiac, Guastella has a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and was a MAAC All-Academic selection. She earned a master of business administration degree in marketing from La Salle in 2020. She is a native of Red Bank, N.J.

Photo Courtesy Yale Athletics

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