O’Regan Names Samantha Prahalis Assistant Coach at JMU

James Madison women’s basketball head coach Sean O’Regan has added Samantha Prahalis to the coaching staff as announced on Wednesday evening.

“I’m very excited to have Sam join our family,” O’Regan said. “She will bring the passion and knowledge she played with to help us get better as a program. We went through an extensive process and she continued to rise as the best fit for us.”

Prahalis comes to JMU after serving as the head coach for the girls’ varsity basketball team at North Babylon High School in New York this past season. Prior to her time at North Babylon, Prahalis was a very successful head coach at Ward Melville High School from 2017-19.

As the girls’ varsity head coach, Prahalis led the team to their first two County semifinal games in school history. Additionally, in her final season with the Patriots she led the team to 20 wins.

Prahalis began her coaching career as the volunteer assistant coach for the girls’ varsity team at her alma mater, Commack High School from 2016-17. As she was transitioning to be the volunteer assistant coach, Prahalis served as the head basketball trainer at Susa Sports from 2015-16.

“I am very excited to be joining the JMU women’s basketball program,” Prahalis said. “Being a part of a winning culture and tradition that Sean has built is very exciting and I’m eager to learn from him and the entire team. I would like to thank Sean for giving me this great opportunity and I look forward to helping these young ladies grow on and off the court.”

Prahalis played collegiate basketball from 2008-12 at Ohio State. She finished her career as the Big Ten career assists leader totaling 901 assists. In her final season, she was named Big Ten Player of the Year after averaging career highs in points (613), points per game (19.8), steals per game (2.2) and rebounds per game (4.1).

After a stellar senior campaign, Prahalis was drafted sixth overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2012 WNBA Draft. In her rookie season she finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and was named to the All-Rookie First Team.

Prahalis went on to play overseas in multiple stops from Romania (2013-14), Russia (2014), Turkey (2015), Italy (2015-16) and. Hungary (2016-17).

Prahalis, native of Commack, N.Y., earned her bachelor of arts degree in criminology from Ohio State in 2019.