June 12, 2008|
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Laura Gonsalves joins the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's basketball program as an assistant coach, announced head coach Amanda Levens.
"Laura brings a great deal of experience to our program. The fact that she played at a high level collegiately and professionally is a direct indication of her motivation and competitiveness. Her experience working in different programs will bring additional perspective to our staff. Laura is committed to building a program and keeping it on top," said Levens.
Coach Gonsalves comes to SIUE's program at an important time in its history. SIUE is continuing its reclassification into NCAA Division I play. SIUE also has gained membership into the Ohio Valley Conference, which announced the Cougars will begin scheduling league members over the next few years.
Gonsalves comes to SIUE from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she served as the assistant coach for the 2007-2008 season. While at UAF, Gonsalves helped coach the No. 2 scorer in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Before UAF, Gonsalves served as the associate head coach at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. During the 2006-2007 season, Gonsalves helped the Mountaineers to a 15-13 record, which included a 13-6 record in conference action.
She also spent two seasons as an assistant at Southern Utah University, where she was responsible for recruiting and post player development.
Prior to coaching, Gonsalves gained a broad international playing experience. From 1996-2003, she played for teams in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, China, Switzerland, and China. Gonsalves claimed Most Valuable Player honors twice in China National Cup tournaments, in a country where she was one of the first Americans to play basketball as a professional.
From 1991 to 1995, she was a four-year starter at the University of Washington. During her collegiate career, the Huskies advanced the NCAA tournament three times and won the inaugural WNIT Pre-Season Tournament in 1994.
Gonsalves holds a bachelor's degree in general studies from the University of Washington.