|| Caroline McCombs
Caroline McCombs enters her eleventh season in the collegiate women's basketball ranks and fifth season with the Pitt Women's Basketball team. Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh, McCombs spent six seasons at Valparaiso University as both an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator and associate head coach.
McCombs spearheads the Panthers recruiting efforts. She is also responsible for the development of Pitt's perimeter players, including former Panther and three-time All-Big East First Team member and Third-team All-America, Shavonte Zellous, as well as, All-Freshmen team members Jania Sims (2006-2007) and Taneisha Harrison (2007-2008). McCombs will continue to assist with scouting opponents and is responsible for scheduling Pitt's nonconference games. McCombs is also very active in the community, speaking to the seven Panther Club chapters across the state.McCombs, a native of Medina, Ohio, began her career at Valparaiso University, coaching there from 1999-2005. Prior to the 2004-05 season, McCombs was promoted to associate head coach and maintained that position until joining the Panthers.
During her career at Valparaiso, McCombs assisted the Crusaders in many team accomplishments. In 2001-02, the Crusaders won a school-record 26 games and advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals, were Mid-Continent Conference regular-season champions and tournament finalists and posted the top turnaround of any Division I school. That success was repeated in the 2003-04 season as the Crusaders were the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament champions. McCombs also coached the Crusaders to two NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament appearances during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In addition to their work on the court, Valparaiso earned a spot among the WBCA Academic Top 25 teams from 1999-2004.
McCombs graduated from Youngstown State in 1998 with a degree in dietics. While attending Youngstown State, McCombs earned an impressive list of accomplishments for the Penguins' basketball team, including places on the Mid-Continent Conference Second Team in 1996 and 1998, and on the Mid-Continent All-Tournament Team three consecutive years from 1996-98.
She also left her mark in the record books at Youngstown State. At guard she started 112 of 115 career games and scored 1,577 career points, finishing her career as the school's sixth leading scorer. McCombs is also among the school leaders with 146 career three-pointers, 493 assists, and 236 steals.
After McCombs graduated from Youngstown State, she played European professional women's basketball, competing in the Czech Basketball Federation and European Cup in 1998. She continued her education, receiving her master's degree from Valparaiso in 2001. That year, she was also inducted into the Medina County Sports Hall of Fame in Ohio. McCombs was inducted into the Youngstown State Athletics Hall of Fame in October 2008.
"We are excited to return nine letterwinners from last year's Sweet 16 team," said McCombs. "Each season we have gained valuable experience from our competitive schedule and runs in the NCAA Tournament. Our ladies have been working hard on the court and in the weight room to compete for a National Championship!"
BACKGROUND ON MCCOMBS
FULL NAME: Caroline Marie McCombs
BIRTHDATE: December 19, 1975
EDUCATION: B.A. -- Dietetics, Youngstown State (1998) M.A. -- Sports Administration, Valparaiso (2001)
COLLEGE COACHING EXPERIENCE: Pittsburgh (2005-Present), Assistant Coach
Valparaiso (2004-05), Associate Head Coach/ Recruiting Coordinator; (2001-04) Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator; (1999-2001) Assistant Coach
INTERNATIONAL COACHING EXPERIENCE: Athletes In Action (2004 - Poland), Head Coach
PROFESSIONAL PLAYING EXPERIENCE: Karlovy Vary, Czech Basketball Federation (1998)
Youngstown State Athletics Hall of Fame (2008)
Five NCAA Tournament Appearances as Coach
Two NCAA Tournament Appearances as Player
Five WBCA Academic Top 25 Teams at Valparaiso
Mid-Continent All-Newcomer Team (1995)
Two-time Mid-Continent Conference Second Team honoree (1996, 1998)
Three-time Mid-Continent All-Tournament Team honoree (1996-98)