Vanessa Abel Named Duquesne University Assistant Coach

Duquesne University head women’s basketball coach Dan Burt announced today that Vanessa Abel, a former four-year letterman for the Dukes, has been named assistant coach.

Abel returns to her alma mater from Western Michigan where she served as an assistant coach this past season.

“Bringing Vanessa back as an assistant coach is a fantastic addition to our program,” said Burt. “Her professional experience along with being an all-time Duquesne great will allow her to immediately impact our program in player development and recruiting. She has great pride in our program and basketball family. She IS our family. I’m incredibly happy to welcome her home.”

Abel helped guide Saint Francis U to a 41-25 record (29-7 in Northeast Conference play) as an assistant in 2017 & 2018 prior to making the move to WMU.

She was part of a staff that led the 2018 Red Flash (24-10) to a share of the NEC regular-season title, conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

While at SFU, Abel worked with NEC Player of the Year Jessica Kovatch, who set a new NCAA single-season record with 141 3-pointers made in 2018.

The Scottdale, Pa. native, who was part of four 20-win WNIT teams at Duquesne (2009-13), finished her career ranked among DU’s top 10 in assists, steals and 3-point percentage. A third team All-Atlantic 10 pick as a junior for the 24-9 Dukes, Abel played for teams that went a combined 88-41 and won nine or more A-10 games three times in her four seasons on the Bluff.

A member of both the 2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous Five and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 10, Abel led the WPIAL in scoring as both an junior and senior at Southmoreland High School.

Abel, who played professionally in Germany, Sweden and Romania prior to moving into coaching, completed her undergraduate degree in elementary education in 2012 and added a master’s in sports leadership, also from Duquesne, in 2013.