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Basketball: Co-head coaches named for UL women’s hoops

Basketball: Co-head coaches named for UL women’s hoops

Basketball: Co-head coaches named for UL women’s hoops

Dan McDonald

The University of Louisiana didn’t have to look far to complete its women’s basketball coaching staff.
Meredith Hall, wife of four-year UL head coach J. Kelley Hall, will join her husband in partnership in more ways than one, with Meredith being named as co-head coach effective today.

"This is equal across the board … pay, everything," said Kelley Hall. "We both answer to David (interim athletic director David Walker) and Dr. Authement (UL president Ray Authement)."

Meredith Hall has been the program’s volunteer assistant for four seasons after serving as assistant coach at her alma mater Virginia Commonwealth for three years from 1998-2001. Her hiring as co-head coach was approved this week by the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors.
She takes the staff spot previously held by Rosalynn Landes, who left the program at mid-season. Bill Damuth, also a four-year member of the Cajun staff, remains as UL’s top assistant.

"The door was open for an opportunity," Meredith Hall said. "I could probably get a head coaching job somewhere, but to be here it’s an honor and a good opportunity."

"She did a terrific job as a volunteer coach," Walker said. "Her experience as a collegiate student-athlete and having seven seasons of coaching is invaluable.

"Our women’s basketball program has made tremendous strides in the last four years, and together they’re going to keep us headed in the right direction."

UL has finished second, first and second in the Sun Belt West Division the last three years and went 18-10 this season.

The Cajuns are 53-34 over the past three years.

Many of Meredith Hall’s duties won’t change. She’ll continue to oversee the Cajun guards and work with the team conditioning program. But the new role allows her to be more involved with promoting the program, and she can now legally recruit off-campus.

"This year more than ever, with the Sun Belt Tournament here in Lafayette, we’re going to need the community support," Meredith Hall said. "When we come back from summer recruiting in August, I’m going to get out there and drum up the energy now and not wait until the tournament."

"She’s a heck of a recruiter," Kelley Hall said. "More than anything else, Meredith can be more visible in the community from an official standpoint. She’s always been able to coach … that part’s been easy. But it’s been hard for her to step back because she wasn’t an official university employee. It’s a win-win situation for us and the university."

Meredith Hall was team captain at VCU for two seasons and also played with the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.

Serving as co-head coaches makes a state regulation prohibiting spouses working for spouses inapplicable. It also means the two are likely locked into their UL posts for the foreseeable future.

"This shows people we’re not going to just win and jump somewhere," Meredith Hall said.

"What this does is give us more stability," Kelley Hall said. "It solidifies us here for a long time."

And working with a spouse that closely?

"It has its pros and cons," Meredith Hall said. "We have a lot of coaching philosophies in common. We come home and put the girls to sleep and we’re talking basketball.

"He and I don’t always agree on every single thing, but what we do have the ability to do is communicate. Besides, he can’t get mad at me for very long because we live together."

Originally published June 1, 2006