Lakeland names Lona as new Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Lakeland University has named Ashley Lona as its new head women’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics April Arvan announced today.

Lona comes to Lakeland after serving as an assistant coach the past two years at NCAA Division III University of Redlands (Calif.). She replaces Amber Peterson, who led the Muskies the past three years before departing for an assistant coaching position at Division II Augustana (S.D.) University.

“It is a tremendous honor to lead the women’s basketball program at Lakeland University,” said Lona. “I would like to thank President (Beth) Borgen, Director of Athletics April Arvan, and the entire search committee for entrusting me with the leadership of this program.”

Lona comes to Lakeland with seven years of experience as an assistant coach and administrator with programs at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels. Most recently at Redlands she was part of a successful program with teams that posted a combined 38-13 record over two years. The Bulldogs won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament this year to advance to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Redlands also won the SCIAC regular season title in 2021-22, finishing 19-5 overall.

Before her time at Redlands, Lona was the director of basketball operations at Southern Illinois University for two years. She handled administrative duties for the NCAA Division I Salukis of the Missouri Valley Conference including travel, recruiting, fundraising and also was the team’s academic liaison.

Lona also was a graduate assistant coach at Montana State University-Billings from 2011-13, and began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at NCAA Division II Northern State (S.D.) University under legendary coach Don Meyer. In between her time as a coach, Lona also worked in the fitness industry for three years, including two years as general manager and head strength/conditioning coach at Calibrate Sports Health in Littleton, Colo.

Lona played three years of basketball at Northern State, appearing in 20 games over her freshman and sophomore seasons before knee injuries cut short her playing career. She received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and administration with a minor in coaching from Northern State in 2010 and completed her master’s in exercise and sport leadership from Montana State-Billings in 2013.

“I am excited to continue building on the successful tradition of women’s basketball at Lakeland. I look forward to bringing my passion to the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, as we will compete at a high level, work hard, play with energy, and have a sense of pride in our culture. I am eager to empower the student-athletes of Lakeland to discover who they are, while seeking excellence personally, academically, and athletically. Go Muskies!”

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