Tiffany Sardin, former University of Virginia standout, Chicago Public Schools Hall of Famer and City of Harvey Hall of Famer, has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Chicago State, Director of Athletics Elliott Charles announced.
“Chicago State University is thrilled to welcome Tiffany Sardin to the Cougar family, coaching our women’s basketball team” said President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq.. “Chicago is lucky to have Sardin back home and our athletes will benefit tremendously from her expertise as a coach and her commitment to academic excellence.”
Sardin, a Chicago native, returns to her hometown after spending two years at Longwood University serving as assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator prior to the 2019-20 season.
“I am so excited to be able to come home and lead the Chicago State women’s basketball program,” said Sardin. “I grew up in Chicago. I was able to earn a college scholarship here, and now am blessed with this opportunity. Coming home with a goal to build a program and help develop young women is truly special to me. Thank you to Director of Athletics, Elliott Charles, Senior Associate Athletic Director Jessica Poole and President Scott for this incredible opportunity. Their belief and trust in me to lead the young women of CSU, has me more than excited and ready to get started.”
Chicago State Director of Athletics Elliott Charles is excited for Sardin to join the Chicago State Athletic family.
“Coach Sardin will be an incredible mentor and teacher for our student-athletes.,” said Charles. ” She has forged relationships with student-athletes, coaches, and administrators that will be instrumental in the development of the Chicago State Women’s Basketball program. We are excited to have Coach Sardin bring a new brand of basketball to the Windy City and join us as a part of #OurChampionshipEra”
The 2019-20 campaign saw Kyla McMakin named Big South Freshman of the Year, while Akila Smith lead the Big South in blocks and Tra’Dayja Smith led the league in assists. The Lancers broke three single- season records and opened the Big South slate with a 4-1 record, it’s best start to league play since 2012-13.
McMakin’s 565 points shattered Longwood’s freshman single-season record of 484 points and her 565 points ranks as the third-most ever scored in a single-season at Longwood. Additionally, Smith played a vital role in the Lancers’ offense at the point, guard position finishing No. 4 in the nation in assists per game and atop Longwood’s single-season list with 188 total dimes.
Upon arriving at Longwood, Sardin oversaw a Longwood offense that improved its scoring average by nearly 5.0 points per game, posting the highest scoring average since joining the Big South. Under the tutelage of Sardin Longwood’s Dayna Rouse had a breakout season. Rouse averaged 14.4 points per game and shot .565 from the floor on the way to All-Big South second team honors.
Sardin also oversaw the development of Longwood forwards Mallory Odell and Akila Smith, both of whom emerged as major contributors down the stretch. Odell finished as Longwood’s top rebounder at 7.0 per game and averaged a career-high 6.7 points per game in 2018-19, while Smith ended her inaugural campaign as a starter in Longwood’s final 10 games.
Prior to arriving in Farmville, Sardin spent two years at Clemson University, where she served as position coach for the forwards and centers while also assisting in recruiting. She helped Clemson to an 11-win improvement in her first season and followed that by helping the Tigers to the program’s first ACC Tournament win in three seasons.
Sardin has also made assistant coaching stops at Illinois-Chicago and Boston University.
Sardin honed her coaching skills learning under the legendary Debbie Ryan at the University of Virginia, where she had a decorated playing career. From 2002-06, Sardin helped the Cavaliers to a 71-53 overall record and back-to-back 20-win seasons as a junior and senior. A three-year captain, she was named to the ACC All-Tournament team in 2005, and received the program’s Coaches’ Award of Excellence, Best Offensive Player and Leadership Awards in 2006.
The Chicago Public Schools Hall of Famer, got her start in coaching at William Byrd High School outside of Roanoke, Va., before making the jump the collegiate level two seasons later in 2012 as an assistant at Mount Olive College. She spent one season with the Trojans before making the jump to the Division I ranks at UIC.
Sardin also spent time in the professional ranks in Portugal. She led her team in scoring and rebounding as they secured their first Euro Cup appearance.
Sardin received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Virginia in 2006 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in human service, criminal justice and counseling at Liberty University.
Photo Courtesy Chicago State AthleticsChicago State WAC