Kerri Nakamoto Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks interim athletics director Kayne Gutierrez has named Kerri Nakamoto the head coach for the Alaska Nanooks women’s basketball program.

Nakamoto becomes the 14th head coach in Alaska women’s basketball history, replacing 2017-18 interim head coach Brett Sawyer. Last season, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference featured six female head coaches among its 11 teams.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to take over the women’s basketball program at UAF,” Nakamoto said. “Everyone is excited to support the program and start the processes necessary to create something special in Fairbanks. I look forward to recruiting high-character and talented young women and giving them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience UAF and all the campus and the area have to offer.”

“We are so excited to have Kerri join the Nanook family and serve as our women’s basketball head coach next season,” Gutierrez said on Tuesday. “She has the energy and determination to keep this program moving forward. We are all looking forward to working alongside her and seeing the new direction women’s basketball is headed.”

Prior to joining the Nanooks, Nakamoto was the head coach for fellow NCAA Division II program California State University at Monterey Bay since 2013. While with the Otters, Nakamoto accumulated a record of 38-96 overall at the school and 24-82 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play. Nakamoto’s 38 victories rank her No. 3 among Otter women’s basketball’s coaches.

In the classroom, Nakamoto had 14 CCAA All-Academic Team honorees and served as the creator and director of the CSUMB Diversity Learning Series, which highlighted student activism on college campuses.

From 2005-2013, Nakamoto served as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the women’s basketball program at California Polytechnic State University, a Division I program, while also earning her master’s degree in education-school counseling from Cal Poly in 2009.

Nakamoto served as the assistant women’s basketball coach at her alma mater, University of San Diego, from 2003-2005 after a successful four-year career with the Division I program. Nakamoto’s playing career concluded in the spring of 2003, when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Nakamoto is currently serving on four leadership committees, including the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Working Rules and Officiating Committee, the WBCA Division II Coaches Top-25 Poll and the WBCA Division II All-America Committee.

“I am pleased that we at UAF were able to attract and hire a women’s basketball coach of Kerri Nakamota’s caliber and stature,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Keith Champagne. “She is an experienced coach  who knows how to assemble a diverse team of players from various backgrounds to play at a high level and achieve outstanding results.”

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