Saint Louis University head women’s basketball coach Rebecca Tillett has named Tiffany Sardin an associate head coach. Sardin spent the previous two seasons as the head coach at Chicago State University, following a two-year stint on Tillett’s staff at Longwood University.
“There are certain moments in the course of a career that are unexpected,” Tillett said. “The opportunity to work with Tiffany again always seemed like a wistful passing thought. She is first and foremost an incredible leader and mentor. If you enter a space with Tiffany, you sit up taller, believe in yourself a little more, and want to elevate to her consistently high expectations. She heightens my thinking and provides wise counsel. Together we have a chemistry in recruiting and leading that has led to previous success.
“I am thrilled we are teammates again,” Tillett said. “It was important to me that we hire someone with head coaching experience and midwest ties as we aim to pursue championships.”
“I am so thankful to be joining Tillett and her staff on this new journey at SLU,” Sardin said. “I have sincere gratitude to Chris May and Dr. Janet Oberle for their support of the athletic programs and for this opportunity.
“It’s not a surprise to either Tillett or I that we are back together again,” Sardin said. “Everything she has done and continues to do to empower and elevate those around her is admirable. I’m looking forward to helping build a championship program.”
Sardin’s revitalization of Chicago State’s program began coming to fruition this past season, as the Cougars matched their number of victories to the total number of wins in the four years prior to her arrival, including an overtime victory against the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. The win marked the first time CSU had come out on top against a Big Ten opponent since the 2008 season.
Under Sardin’s tutelage, guard Aaliya Collins became the first player in Chicago Sate women’s basketball history to receive national recognition. Collins was awarded USBWA National Player of the Week plaudits after posting a 57-point week across three games where she also shot 56.1 percent from the floor and tallied a double-double.
Collins was also named to the Western Athletic All-Conference second team and All-Rookie team this past season during Sardin’s tenure.
Prior to being at the helm of Chicago State’s program, Sardin spent two years on Tillett’s staff at Longwood, including a promotion to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Lancers’ 2019-20 breakout season.
Longwood’s 2019-20 season matched a program-best eight Big South wins while also featuring an increase of nine total wins from the first season Sardin joined coach Tillett’s staff.
Sardin filled a variety of roles on the Lancer staff, including recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator, and helped develop the program’s first two All-Big South Team members. Serving as her position coach in her first two seasons, Sardin was instrumental in the development of Akila Smith, a future Big South Player of the Year and two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Before Longwood, Sardin served as an assistant coach at Clemson University where she coached the Tigers’ forwards and centers, while also assisting in the Atlantic Coast Conference program’s recruiting efforts. In her first season with Clemson, Sardin helped the Tigers to an 11-win improvement and the program’s first ACC Tournament win in three seasons.
Sardin’s coaching career began with her time as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago and continued as an assistant coach at Boston University.
While at UIC, Sardin helped lead the Flames to two historic seasons, winning a program-record 26 games, taking home the first postseason championship (Women’s Basketball Invitational) in program history and making the nation’s largest turnaround (17 more wins than 2012-13) in 2013-14.
Sardin recorded a decorated playing career for the University of Virginia, where from 2002-06 she helped the Cavaliers to a 71-53 overall record and back-to-back 20-win seasons as a junior and senior. 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.
Sardin played professionally in Portugal, leading her squad in scoring and rebounding and helping them secure their first Euro Cup appearance.
Sardin received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Virginia in 2006.