Laquanda Dawkins begins her second season at the helm of Southern Poly Women’s Basketball in 2011-12 after leading the Hornets to their second consecutive NAIA tournament appearance. The highlights of the season were Southern Poly women top Loyola for second straight SSAC crown and earned the East Division regular season.
In her first season at Southern Poly, Dawkins coached the Hornets to twenty-nine victories, including the program's first victory against a NCAA Division I team (Winthrop University, 12/16/11); in the programs history.
Dawkins has coached women’s basketball for twelve years with one season of head coaching experience to her credit at Southern Polytechnic State University. In addition, coaching stints at Gardner-Webb University, The University of Iowa, Florida International University and Winthrop University. She also has classroom experience at the university level and is committed to developing young women both athletically and academically.
Prior to joining the Hornets, Dawkins spent the previous four seasons as recruiting coordinator at Winthrop University (2006-10). Her admirable recruiting skills and her on-court coaching duties helped the Eagles achieve one of their best seasons in school history, which featured an appearance in the WNIT Tournament. From 2006-2010, the team compiled 55 wins. In the 2009-10 season, Winthrop finished sixth in field goal percentage nationally and twenty-fifth in scoring defense nationally. During the 2008-09 season, the team made its first postseason appearance at Division I level (WNIT participant). Winthrop posted back-to-back winning seasons in Big South Conference games for the first time in history at the Division I level. From 2007-08, the Eagles finished third in defensive field goal percentage nationally, had its best start in school history as a Division I program and garnered a school record for wins in a season at any level (20). Also for the first time Winthrop finished above .500 in the league in school history, and appeared in three straight semifinals of the Big South Conference tournament.
From 2003-2006, Dawkins was the recruiting coordinator at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida. In her three seasons at FIU, the team compiled 48 wins and in 2005-06 the team made an appearance in the WNIT. After advancing to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament behind the firepower of First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Lasma Jekabsone, Florida International University received its fifth invitation to the WNIT. The Golden Panthers hosted their second postseason basketball game, a preliminary round overtime victory over the BIG EAST's Cincinnati, before falling at cross-town rival Miami in the following round. Dawkins also obtained her Master of Science in Physical Education in 2006.
Prior to taking the position at FIU, Dawkins first four years out of college were spent on the coaching staffs at Gardner-Webb University and The University of Iowa, where she helped lead the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten tournament title in 2000-01.
A standout performer for the University of North Carolina, the Class of 1999 graduate earned her B.A. in Physical Education. During her time as a Tar Heel the team won three Atlantic Coast Conference titles in 1994-95, 1996-97 and 1997-98. Dawkins was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll and received the Coach's Award.
Dawkins is also a 2008 graduate of the Black Coaches Association A.C.E. Program. In addition, Dawkins is a member of BCA (Black Coaches Association) and WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association). The native of Shelby, North Carolina, has had her high school jersey retired by Crest Senior High School.
This marks the first season for Stephon Seraile, a native of Washington, D. C., as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Lady Hornets basketball team. In addition to his recruiting responsibilities at Southern Poly, Seraile will assist with academics, team travel, strength and conditioning, player development, scouting, and video exchange, and on the floor coaching.
He most recently coached for five years at Wootton High in Rockville, MD. Coach Seraile was an integral part of the program built at Wootton. Additionally, Wootton won the 4A West Division for the first time in 23 years. He served as Associate Head Varsity and Head JV Boys Basketball Coach positions.
Prior to his stint at Wootton, Seraile was Head Basketball Coach with the Maryland Flames and most currently with the Montgomery County Select AAU.
Seraile earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, MD. In addition, Seraile is a member of the BCA (Black Coaches Association)
"I am blessed and really excited to have a young, tireless working coach like Stephon to be a part of our program. He brings tremendous energy and knowledge that will contribute to the continued success of our program to the championship level," Dawkins said.
The Runnin' Hornets are proud to welcome Theo Willmon for his first season as an assistant for the women's basketball program. The Melbourne Florida native attended Eau Gallie High School. Prior to this season, Theo spent the last ten seasons as an assistant varsity coach at Salem High School in Conyers, Georgia. Willmon's responsibilities include game preparation, scouting and film breakdown, recruiting, player development, and strength and conditioning. Theo is currently attending the University of Phoenix to pursue a B.S. degree in Business Management.