CLAREMONT, CA. -- Former Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball standout Alaina Woo has been named interim head coach for the 2019-2020 season as announced by Jen Scanlon, Director of Athletics. Woo transitions into this role after serving as an assistant coach during the 2018-2019 season.
"We are thrilled to announce Alaina Woo as the Interim Head Women's Basketball Coach for Pomona-Pitzer," said Scanlon. "Alaina is a Sagehen through and through. She has represented the women's basketball program and our department exceptionally well over the years, first as a student-athlete and a SAAC leader on the conference and national level, and then as an assistant coach helping this team reach one of its best seasons in history. There is no better person to take over the reins and keep the positive momentum going forward in this next year."
Woo began her career at Tufts University, coaching under 2015 U.S. Marine Corps/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year, UConn alum and current Princeton head coach, Carla Berube. She assisted Tufts to a 26-5 record, including appearances in the NCAA Elite 8 and NESCAC championship.
"This is exciting news for Alaina and Pomona-Pitzer women's basketball," said Berube. "Although Alaina might be young in years, her experiences as a student-athlete, a member of the National SAAAC committee and an assistant coach at Tufts and Pomona-Pitzer have her prepared to take on this exciting challenge. Alaina is very bright, compassionate and is a tireless worker. She cares about the wholistic experience of the Sagehens during their four year college career. I enjoyed working alongside Alaina very much and wish her the best as she embarks on this new journey at the college she calls home."
Woo returned to Pomona-Pitzer this year, assisting head coach Jill Pace to a historic year for the program. The team won their first conference tournament championship in program history, made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, notched their first 20-win season since 1992 and won a program record 14 conference games. Pace returns to her East Coast home this year, following her naming as head coach at Tufts.
"I could not be happier for Alaina to be leading the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball program," said Pace. "I have coached Alaina, coached alongside her, and she is a trusted friend. Alaina is a tireless worker with a strong basketball mind, and she cares deeply about this program, being an alum and having been an assistant coach. Pomona-Pitzer Women's basketball is in a great place, and I'm excited to see all that the Sagehens accomplish with Alaina at the helm."
As a Sagehen, Woo was a four-year starter and two-year captain. She sits top-10 on the all-time scoring list as a 1,000 point scorer, and currently holds the all-time record for career three-pointers. As a senior, Woo led the conference in scoring with 16.7 points per game, and was a first team all conference selection. Off the court, she served as chair of the Chair of the NCAA's Student-Athlete Engagement Committee, Vice-Chair of the NCAA's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and President of the Pomona-Pitzer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She also acted as the Division III student representative on the NCAA's Committee on Women Athletics, and the NCAA's Commission to Combat Sexual Violence.
"Thanks to Jen Scanlon for this opportunity, and for her ongoing support of our program," said Woo. "I want to also thank Coach Pace for her sustained trust and mentorship, and Coach Berube for being a willing and thoughtful teacher in my first years coaching. Watching Pomona-Pitzer women's basketball grow as a player and coach has been one of my greatest pleasures, and I am so excited to be leading an awesome group of women this year."
Woo graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Public Policy Analysis and a concentration in Science, Technology and Society. She is a native of San Carlos, CA, developing under California public school coaching great, Steve Picchi.
About the program
Competing as the Sagehens, the shared athletics program of Pomona and Pitzer Colleges fields 21 varsity teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA's Division III. Pomona and Pitzer are both members of The Claremont Colleges, a unique consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate institutions in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Sagehen Athletics' rich history dates back more than a century.