The Grand Canyon women’s basketball team has completed its coaching and support staff, head coach Nicole Powell announced on Wednesday.
The following were added to Powell’s staff: Nikki Blue (assistant coach), Taylor High (assistant coach), Brad Langston (assistant coach), Merideth Marsh (video coordinator) and Meghan Winters (director of basketball operations).
“We’ve put together an engaging, dynamic staff that will be instrumental in the success of our program,” Powell said. “Each person has a passion for the game and a teacher’s heart, and I am thrilled to be working alongside such exceptional people.”
Blue comes to GCU following three seasons as the top assistant at CSU Bakersfield. She will take a lead in the development of guards and team offensive concepts. She brings 10 years of coaching experience following five seasons in the WNBA as a player. Blue helped the Roadrunners to a 2014 postseason appearance with 23 wins.
Before Bakersfield, Blue spent six years as an assistant coach at UNLV, where she helped the Rebels land the Nevada Player of the Year out of high school and develop the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2008. Blue attended UCLA and earned Pac-10 First-Team honors during each season (2002-06). She helped lead the Bruins to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and was named a WBCA All-American in 2006.
Blue played four seasons with the Washington Mystics and one with the New York Liberty. She was teammates with Powell in New York for the 2010 campaign, before playing two seasons in FIBA with in Turkey and Greece.
“I absolutely love Nikki’s personality and more importantly, her integrity,” said Powell. “She brings a wealth of knowledge to the job with ten years of collegiate coaching experience, an amazing track record in recruiting, and an understanding of the game through her professional experience that is unique.”
High spent the past four seasons at Texas Women’s University, and will work with perimeter players while also leading the defense. At TWU, High’s work included everything from recruiting, scouting, film breakdown and on-court walkthroughs. He successfully brought in recruits from across the country while developing a pair of Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year players and helping lead TWU to its first ever at-large NCAA Tournament bid in 2016.
Prior to TWU, High spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Pratt Community College in Kansas and was an assistant coach at Dodge City Community College from 2008-11. He served as the head manager for the University of Kansas men’s basketball program, working under Bill Self for four seasons.
“Taylor’s work ethic and drive are unmatched,” said Powell. “He’s a great teacher of the game and will diligently serve our players both and on and off the court.”
Langston arrives at GCU having coached at Hawaii last season, working with player development, scouting and both offensive and defensive strategies. At Hawaii, the team maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.42 while Langston developed a first-team All-Big West player and landed another on the Big West All-Freshman Team. Prior to Hawaii, Langston coached five seasons at West Campus High School in Sacramento, Calif., where the Warriors won five consecutive league titles and reach the state tournament three times. He helped develop two players in the ESPNW Top 100 at WCHS and founded the Evolution Skills Academy, coaching numerous players who went on to play collegiately.
“Brad has a gift of working with and connecting with young people,” said Powell. “He knows how to develop skills while also developing character and has a great knack for recruiting talent across the country.”
Marsh comes to GCU from Wright State, where she worked with scouting reports, player development, collaborated game plans, coordination of camps and monitored student-athlete’s academic coursework.
At Vanderbilt University, she was a three-year starter and named Second-Team All-SEC in her final two seasons. She scored 1,332 points in her collegiate career and helped Vandy to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons, including back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2008 and 2009. Marsh also played professionally in Europe after her successful collegiate career.
Winters arrives at GCU from the University of Oregon, where she is finishing her master’s degree and spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 season as a graduate assistant manager. She was on staff as the Ducks advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight before falling to UConn. Winters was a four-year letterwinner at Gonzaga, claiming both West Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships. The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons.
Work has already begun on the recruiting trail and in the practice facility as the Grand Canyon women’s basketball program begins a new era.DI Staff Update