The newest face of the women’s basketball team, Tonya Cardoza, was formally introduced as the program’s newest coach during a media conference at the Liacouras Center this afternoon.
Just 56 days after Dawn Staley left the Owls to take over the reigns in South Carolina, Temple found its successor.
Cardoza, a former teammate of Staley at Virginia, brings with her 14 years of coaching experience. As an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma at Connecticut, Cardoza is familiar with winning. She helped guide the Huskies to five national championships and a 464-41 overall record.
“At Connecticut, we strive to be the best, and I’m trying to do it right away [at Temple],” Cardoza said. “I know that there is a foundation [at Temple] and the players are willing to work. I’m willing to work and we’re going to try and do this as quickly as possible.”
Cardoza, an offensive specialist, worked primarily with guards at Connecticut. She trained WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird and pledges to remedy the Owls’ inconsistent offense.
The Owls shot only 40.7 percent from the field last season and relied heavily on senior guard Ashley Morris. Cardoza promises an “up-tempo” style of basketball, in which everyone gets involved offensively.
“I know I made the right decision, and I’m excited to be apart of your family,” Cardoza said. “Dawn – she set the bar, and I’m ready to take the baton and run with it.”
Anthony Stipa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photos by TTN Photo Editor Rachel Playe)