Varel elevated to Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Transylvania

Hannah Varel has been named the new Head Coach of Transylvania Women’s Basketball, Transylvania Athletics announced this morning. Varel becomes the 8th Women’s Basketball Head Coach at Transylvania since 1968.

“I want to thank President Lewis, Dr. Sheilley and the entire athletics administration for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Transylvania University.” Varel said. “I’m extremely excited and humbled to continue mentoring our student-athletes and building championship culture. Our program will continue to epitomize success on the court, in the classroom, and throughout the Lexington community.”

Varel was a key factor in Transylvania Women’s Basketball’s recent national success. Since joining the Pioneers as an assistant in 2020, Varel has helped lead the Pioneers to their 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championships and 3 straight undefeated regular seasons, 3 consecutive Elite Eights, back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances, and a National Championship in 2023 with a perfect 33-0 record. From November 18th, 2022 to March 14th, 2024, Transylvania Women’s Basketball won 64 consecutive games, the third longest streak of all time in NCAA DIII Women’s Basketball.

Since joining Transylvania in 2020, Varel has helped lead Transy to a 105-8 record.

In 2023, Varel was a Thirty Under Thirty Honoree. The WBCA Thirty Under 30 program was created to recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches aged 30 and under at all levels of the game. Each honoree has exemplified their involvement in community service, mentorship and impact on others, professional manner, and attitude and professional association involvement. The Pioneers finished 33-0 and won the school’s first ever National Championship.

Before the 2023-2024 season, Varel was promoted to Associate Head Coach by Juli Fulks.

In 2024, Varel was named the WBCA DIII Assistant Coach of the Year. The WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year is presented to one associate head coach or assistant coach in each membership division who demonstrates commitment to their program, their student-athletes and their head coach; their impact coaching on court; their mentorship and impact on other coaches; and their professional manner and attitude.

“I am delighted to have Coach Hannah Varel as our new head coach. In her 4 seasons with us, she has proven to be a key contributor to the success of our team.” said Vice President of Athletics, Dr. Holly Sheilley. “Her commitment to the student-athletes, both on and off the court, made this an easy decision.  I know she is more than ready to take over our program and I am excited for her.”

Varel joined the Pioneers from fellow Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference member Hanover College, where she had spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Panthers Women’s Basketball program. 

Prior to her arrival in Hanover, Varel spent three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in St. Louis, Missouri as an Assurance Senior Associate, managing twenty team members. She also served as a team captain for the PwC International Basketball Tournament for a traveling team in Athens, Greece during the summer of 2018.

Varel is a 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accountancy and later gained her CPA in the Missouri State Board of Accountancy. Following her graduation, Varel gained coaching experience as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Columbia High School from 2015 through 2018.

Tagged with: