University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball head coach Tory Verdi announced the additions of Candice Finley as Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator and Ty Margenthaler as Assistant Coach / Defensive Coordinator for the Panthers. Both Finley and Margenthaler bring over 15 years of college coaching experience to the Pitt sidelines for the 2023-24 campaign.
“I am very excited to announce both Candice and Ty as the first assistant coaches to join my staff,” expressed Verdi. “I feel they balance each other out and I know that our players are going to love getting to know them. They are winners and will prepare our players both on and off the court at a high level.”
Finley comes to Pitt after spending the past four seasons at Xavier, one season as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator (2019-20) and three seasons as associate head coach/recruiting coordinator (2020-23). During her time at Xavier, she primarily worked with the Musketeer’s post players.
“Candice is one of the best recruiters in the country and I know she will lead us in the right direction in all recruiting efforts,” said Verdi. “I expect some of the best classes in the country year after year with Candice in charge.”
During her four seasons at Xavier, Finley helped two players earn All-BIG EAST honors (Fernanda Ovalle, A’riana Gray) while off the court, 16 players earned Academic All-BIG EAST Honors. Ayanna Townsend was also named the 2021-22 BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Musketeer to earn the academic honor.
Prior to her stint in Cincinnati with the Musketeers, Finley spent six seasons as an assistant coach working under Verdi at UMass (2017-19) and Eastern Michigan (2012-16). During their time together, they produced 102 wins while earning three trips to the WNIT.
In her two seasons at UMass, Finley helped the Minutewomen post 30 wins after only winning nine games during the 2016-17 season. She also served as the recruiting coordinator during her time in Amherst, hauling in the 57th ranked class in the country in 2018 (according to Blue Star Basketball).
Prior to UMass, she spent four seasons at Eastern Michigan (2012-16) – helping the Eagles post two 20-win seasons and advancing to three postseason tournaments. The Eagles won eight games during her first season (2012-13) on the bench before recording 24 wins only two seasons later and playing in the WNIT Sweet 16.
Along with coaching the post players, she served as the recruiting coordinator and was key in twice securing the No. 1 recruiting classes in the Mid-American Conference. On the court, Finley’s post players saw continued growth and progression with several more than doubling their offensive output from previous seasons.
Finley also has assistant coaching stops at Eastern Kentucky (2008-11), Southern Connecticut State (2007-08) and Romulus (Mich.) from 2003-05. She also served as head coach at Romulus High School from 2005-07.
A three-year starter at Eastern Kentucky (1997-01), Finley concluded her playing career with more than 1,000 points, nearly 500 rebounds and more than 100 steals while making 45.4% of her field goal attempts. She earned Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a senior after leading the team in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (5.5). Finley also helped the Lady Colonels secure the 1998 OVC Championship.
She graduated from Eastern Kentucky in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in apparel design & merchandising.
Margenthaler comes to Pittsburgh with more than 20 years of coaching experience, including four seasons as a head coach. He spent the 2022-23 campaign at South Dakota where he helped sophomore point guard Grace Larkins earn First Team All-Summit League honors as she became the first player in league history to rank in the top five in points (17.5 ppg), rebounds (8.0 rpg), assists (4.4 apg) and steals (2.1 spg).
“Ty is an experienced coach that I’ve known for over 20 years,” said Verdi. “He is a tireless worker who will prepare us defensively with his vast knowledge on that side of the court. He developed some of the best post players during his time in the A-10 as Brooke Flowers grew year after year with a lot of her success coming from his tutelage.”
Prior to South Dakota, he spent six seasons at Saint Louis including his last four years as associate head coach. The Billikens made three WNIT appearances during that span, including reaching the WNIT’s Elite Eight in 2021. Saint Louis marked his second stint with head coach Lisa Stone, following five seasons on her staff at Wisconsin. During their time in Madison, the Badgers were the 2007 WNIT Runner-Up, set a program record of 23 wins and made the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
In between those two stops, Margenthaler spent four seasons (2011-15) as the head coach at SEMO where he produced three seasons with 10 or more wins.
Other assistant coaching stops for Margenthaler include Samford, Bradley and SIUE. Margenthaler served as recruiting coordinator at each stop. He has coached a pair of A-10 Players of the Year, seven all-Big 10 selections and one USA Basketball selection.
Margenthaler graduated from SIUE with a bachelor’s degree in physical education/kinesiology in 1997.
Margenthaler and his wife, Julie, have two sons, Brice and Nate.
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