BRADFORD, Pa. — Kaserra Owens has been named the permanent head coach of the Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team, the school announced Thursday.

Owens had served as the interim head coach last season and was an assistant in 2018-19 after a standout playing career with the Panthers from 2013-17.

“I love Pitt-Bradford,” said Owens, a former star player at Bradford Area High School. “It has given me so many opportunities in life. I’ve been able to meet mentors and friends, travel internationally and have the chance to play and coach the game I love. Most importantly, it is where I found my faith and grew into the person I am today.

“I am grateful for another opportunity from this university to continue to grow as well as provide my players with some of the same opportunities I have had in my time here. I thank President (Catherine) Koverola, Coach (Bret) Butler and the search committee for allowing me to continue working at the institution that I love.”

Owens was a four-year starter for the Panthers, totaling 900 points, 503 rebounds and 197 assists in 97 career games. She helped UPB to 66 wins and reached the AMCC playoffs in all four seasons, making one appearance in the conference championship game.

“I am extremely pleased to have Kaserra join us as the permanent head coach,” said Butler, athletic director. “Kaserra is an up-and-coming basketball coach, and I am thrilled for our athletes and our department, the great community of Bradford and our excellent university.

“I am excited about the future of our program under her leadership.”

Sean Brown, one of Owens’ former Pitt-Bradford coaches, added, “I am very proud of Kaserra and think she is a great hire. She is a very driven and hardworking young woman, and her ties to the university, the program and the local area will only help her and the program succeed.”

After a year away from the program, Owens returned to Pitt-Bradford as an assistant under then-coach Sharay Hall in 2018. She was named interim head coach after Hall left in the summer of 2019 to take an assistant coaching position at Colgate University.

As a player at Bradford High, Owens was the leading scorer on a pair of Owls teams that went 45-4 and won two District 9 titles in 2011-12 and 2012-13. She finished her Bradford career with 1,020 points.

“Pitt-Bradford and this community have given me so much, I hope to use this position as a chance to give back to both,” Owens said.

Pitt-Bradford boasts seven men’s and seven women’s NCAA Division III athletic teams as well as club-level cheerleading, hockey and esports teams.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Shay resigns as head coach; Williams named interim boss

BRADFORD, Pa. — Ryan Shay has resigned as head coach of the Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team, the school announced Wednesday.

Shay, who came to UPB from the University of Rochester, had been head coach for two years. The Panthers struggled to a 1-24 mark in 2019-20, losing their final 22 games of the season.

Nate Williams, who just completed his first season as an assistant coach with the Panthers, will serve as interim head coach until a permanent replacement can be hired. Williams joined UPB from Emmanuel College in Georgia.

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