For Starkey: A last assistant, a tough schedule, a start to recruiting

The women’s basketball team has its full complement of assistants, a very tough non-conference schedule coming up and has already made some offers to recruits for the 2017-18 class.

Recently I got my first chance to sit down and talk to new women’s coach Todd Starkey since his initial press conference in April.

In an hour conversation, we talked about his staff, recruiting and the upcoming season’s schedule. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk about his roster before he had to go into a meeting about KSU’s vacant sports information director job. We’ll catch up on that later in the summer.

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting notes from the interview.

Starkey’s staff is complete with the addition of Morgan Toles, who had been a graduate assistant (and former starting point guard) at Florida State. Totes graduated in 2013 after leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in assist-turnover ratio her senior year. She had 405 career assists between Florida State and Auburn, where she started 52 games in her first two years in college and led the SEC in assists her sophomore year.

Florida State was 25-8 last season and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Toles’ point-guard experience will be welcome at Kent State; the position was a weakness  last season with walk-on freshman Paige Salisbury and sophomore Naddiyah Cross splitting most of the job.

The rest of Starkey’s staff, all previously announced, is:

  • Pat Mashuda, who had been head coach for 12 years at Division II Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He and Starkey had been friends when Starkey coached at Lenoir-Ryne University in North Carolina.
  • Fran Recchia, had had been an assistant and recruiting coordinator at Redford University, a Division I Big South school in southwest Virginia. She’ll be Kent State’s recruiting coordinator.
  • Alison Seberger, who had been at assistant at Lenoir-Ryne, where Starkey had hired her in 2012. Starkey left Lenoir-Ryne after that season to become an assistant coach at Indiana University, where he served for two years before being named head coach at KSU. Seberger’s title is coordinator of basketball operations, which is sort of a junior assistant coach.

All of the staff’s coaching background is in primarily in the South. Mashuda grew up in Pittsburgh and coached at several smaller colleges in western Pennsylvania before going to Chowan. Seberger is from Illinois and played college basketball at Illinois State.

Starkey said he didn’t plan to hire Southerners and interviewed eight candidates, including several from the Midwest, on the  Kent campus and three others by phone. Here’s a photo from Starkey’s Twitter account (from left, Mashuda, Recchia, Seberger and Toles). His caption read: “Best staff in America! So blessed these 4 chose to join me in this adventure!”

Coaching staff.jpg

Next posts will be on recruiting, the schedule (not fully announced yet but a tough one) and a few notes on the team.


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