Newly hired head women’s basketball coach Deandra Schirmer added an assistant coach as Tianni Kelly has joined the Valdosta State Lady Blazer staff. Kelly comes to Titletown from Florida Southern College.
“I am very excited to announce Tianni Kelly as the newest member of our women’s basketball staff,” Schirmer said. “I have become very familiar with Coach Kelly while competing against each other in the Sunshine State Conference. She is a veteran coach with championship pedigree and I feel very fortunate to have her on board. She has a great knowledge of the game, but I believe her devotion to the players and passion to teach and develop these young women is what sets her apart. I am confident that she will be a key factor in bringing Lady Blazer basketball to the championship level we are striving for.”
Kelly completed her second season at Florida Southern, helping lead the Lady Mocs to a 30-4 record and a Sweet Sixteen berth this past season. FSC went 18-2 in conference play and the Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament championships. Kelly coached two Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America selections this past season in Camille Giardina and Honorable Mention All-America honoree Anja Fuchs-Robetin, who both earned All-America honors the season before. While at FSC, Kelly helped guide the Lady Mocs to a 55-9 record.
In addition, Kelly was named to the WBCA Thirty Under 30 list, recognizing some of the top young coaches across college basketball after her first season at FSC.
Prior to FSC, she spent three seasons at her alma mater, University of Charleston (W.Va.). There, she helped lead the Golden Eagles to 50 victories, including three-straight trips to the Mountain East Conference Tournament. She helped coach six all-league selections and one CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America selection in Nichole Perry in 2015.
Kelly, a native of Pickerington, Ohio, played for the Golden Eagles as a forward as she made two appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament (2011, 2014) and winning the 2011 WVIAC regular season title. She graduated from Charleston in 2014 with a degree in business administration and sports administration. She then earned her master’s degree in business and leadership from UC in 2015.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this staff and the Blazer family,” Kelly said. “God has blessed me with the privilege to work for two great athletic departments, great coaches and the Valdosta State athletic department and Coach Schirmer are no exception to that experience. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenge of building on the success this program has already had, and I’m beyond excited to work with Coach Schirmer. I am eagerly anticipating the success that she and I and this program will have together.”
Photo Courtesy VSU AthleticsDII Valdosta State