UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Lady Lion assistant coach Maren Walseth has been named the head coach of the North Dakota State women's basketball program. Walseth, who played at Penn State from 1998-01, has been an assistant coach on Coquese Washington's staff for the past seven seasons. It is a homecoming of sorts for Walseth, who is from Minneapolis, Minn., and whose sister, Annika, played for the Bison for one season. Walseth was officially introduced at a press conference in Fargo on Thursday afternoon.
"I also want to thank Coquese Washington, Dr. Joyner and the administration at Penn State for preparing me for this day," Walseth said. "Penn State has been my home for 12 years and making the decision to leave was not an easy one. I have grown tremendously in my time as a student-athlete and as an assistant coach here in Happy Valley. I will always be very Penn State Proud!
I am extremely excited to join the Bison family and the Fargo community," Walseth continued. "The commitment to winning on and off the court is well-established at NDSU and is something that I am looking forward to being a part of. I am ready to get to work and start the climb to the top."
"North Dakota State is getting a gem in Maren Walseth," Washington said. "She is an outstanding coach who will work tirelessly to build NDSU into a Summit League power. She is a winner, both as a player and coach, and she will bring that winning spirit and ethic to North Dakota State women's basketball."
In her seven seasons at her alma mater, Walseth has developed three All-Big Ten post players in Nikki Greene, Mia Nickson and, most recently, Talia East. Greene was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and became the first player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks. She finished her career ranked second in school history in blocked shots (215), fourth in rebounding (994) and 30th in scoring (1,132) and was the 26th overall selection by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 WNBA Draft.
Nickson completed her career ranked 10th in Penn State history in rebounding average (7.0), 20th in rebounds (632) and tied for 20th in free throws made (257). As a senior, she ranked 12th in the Big Ten in rebounding (6.8) and was fourth in offensive boards (3.1). East made huge gains as a senior, collecting career bests in rebounds and blocked shots en route to All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades. She was 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding with a 7.4 average, sixth in the league with a .533 field goal percentage and tied for ninth in the Big Ten in blocked shots with a 1.4 average. East finished her career as a member of Penn State's 500-rebound club and ranks eighth in blocked shots (102).
Walseth returned to Happy Valley after three seasons as an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy. While at Navy, Walseth was primarily responsible for working with the post players, including the development of All-Patriot League performer Nikki Curtis and All-Lowe's Senior CLASS first team selection Kate Hobbs. Additionally, Walseth assisted with recruiting, prepared team scouting reports, managed the film exchange program and worked with the male scout team. She also served as the academic liaison for the women's basketball team.
As a player at Penn State, Walseth was a key member of the Lady Lion team that advanced to the 2000 NCAA Final Four. Walseth, who was also a member of the 1998 WNIT Championship team, is 16th on the Lady Lions' career scoring charts with 1,328 points and 19th in rebounding (645). During her career, Walseth earned All-Big Ten first team accolades in 2000 and 2001, a Kodak All-District berth in 2001 and a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman squad in 1998.
After her time at Penn State, Walseth, who was the Sacramento Monarch's third-round pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft, spent four years in the professional ranks. Walseth spent the 2002 season with the Washington Mystics of the WNBA, before heading overseas to play with Cavigal of the French Basketball Federation in 2002-03. She also played with SCAB 63 of the French Basketball Federation, in addition to a season with the Colorado Chill of the National Women's Basketball League.
Walseth was inducted into the Bloomington Jefferson (Minn.) High School Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in the fall of 2006. Also part of the inaugural class were NHL players Ben Clymer and Mark Parrish and former Charlotte Hornet Kevin Lynch.
Walseth earned her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in movement science from Penn State in 2002.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. The 2014 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Total Package Team Camp (June 19-21), Elite Camp (June 21-22), Pre-National Team Shootout (22-24) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 1-3). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit GoPSUsports.com/camps and click on Girls Basketball Camp under Summer Camps.
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