Northeastern University Women’s Basketball Staff Update

Northeastern women’s basketball head coach Kelly Cole introduced Mandy Pennewell and Ashley Robinson as the program’s new assistant coaches on Thursday. Pennewell and Robinson, who arrive at Northeastern from the coaching staffs at Iona and Pennsylvania, respectively, will replace the Huskies’ former assistants, Mike Leflar and Kindyll Dorsey.

“I am pleased to announce the additions of Mandy and Ashley to my staff and welcome them both to Northeastern,” said Cole. “They bring a wealth of experience to our program from their student-athlete careers, as well as from their coaching backgrounds. They are both eager to help us continue to raise the bar on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.”


As the women’s basketball recruiting coordinator at Iona during the last three seasons, Pennewell organized all recruiting activities for the Gaels, evaluating student-athletes year-round on the high school and AAU circuits to identify those that best fit the program’s needs. Specializing with the team’s guards, she monitored player development plans while assisting more broadly with the implementation of defensive strategies and philosophy.

During the 2015-16 season, Pennewell helped lead Iona to its first-ever MAAC championship and NCAA tournament appearance, co-directing the Gaels to 23 wins and the upset of top-seeded Quinnipiac during the league title game. She aided in the development of junior guard Marina Lizarazu, who collected All-MAAC First Team, MAAC All-Tournament Team, and postseason Most Outstanding Player honors.

Before coaching at Iona, Pennewell headed women’s basketball recruiting efforts for two seasons at Southern New Hampshire, where she earned her master’s degree in sports management and athletic administration in April 2015. From 2009 to 2013, she was the assistant coach of the Le Moyne women’s basketball team, serving as the ‘stand-in’ head coach during the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.

Pennewell earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2009 from Quinnipiac, where she was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain on the Bobcats’ women’s basketball team. She is a member of Quinnipiac’s 1,000-point scoring club (1,231) and ranks among the program’s all-time greats in 3-point field goals made (175) and 3-point field goal percentage (34.9). During the 2007-08 season, Pennewell was named to the All-NEC Second Team, helping power the Bobcats to 25 wins and an appearance in the WNIT.


While serving as the women’s basketball assistant coach at Penn during the 2017-18 season, Robinson was primarily responsible for the instruction and development of the Quakers’ post players. Participating in all aspects of practice and game coaching, she helped guide senior forward Michelle Nwokedi to placement onto the All-Ivy League First Team, as well as freshman center Eleah Parker to Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.

With Robinson on the bench, Penn won 22 games during the 2017-18 season and the Big 5 championship, despite finishing runner-up to Princeton within the Ivy League during the regular season and conference final. The Quakers successfully advanced to the 2018 WNIT, where they knocked off Albany during the first round.

Robinson earned her start in collegiate coaching at Holy Family University (Philadelphia), where she was a member of the women’s basketball staff during the 2016-17 season. In addition to leading season-long practice plans with the Tigers’ post players, she assisted with overseeing the academic progress of the student-athletes, promoting an environment that encouraged academic achievement, as measured by eligibility, retention, and graduation.

During the past two seasons, Robinson has also helped created scouting reports, weighed in during team strategy discussions, and been actively involved with recruiting efforts.

A six-year women’s basketball student-athlete from 2009 to 2015, Robinson excelled on the court at Saint Joseph’s, where she captained the Hawks during her final two seasons. During her career, she was a member of five postseason teams, reaching the NCAA tournament twice (2013, 2014) – once via Saint Joseph’s 2013 Atlantic 10 championship. Robinson was the recipient of the Patricia Ryan Unsung Hero and Roosevelt Hunter Community Service awards and was a three-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

Robinson completed her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Saint Joseph’s in 2013 before earning dual master’s degrees from the school in 2015 in business administration and science with a concentration in managing human capital. Since graduating, she has coached the Comets AAU Basketball Organization and been a counselor at the Cindy Griffin Basketball Camp, Phil Martelli Basketball Camp, and Old School Basketball Camp.

Photo Courtesy NU Athletics

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