MORAGA, Calif. -- Saint Mary's women's basketball coach Paul Thomas announced Tuesday that Gaels director of basketball operations Lisa O'Meara has been hired as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
"It is with great pride I am announcing the hiring of Lisa O'Meara," Thomas said. "Lisa has been a valuable part of our women's basketball family the past three years. Her work ethic, loyalty, and ability to relate to our current student-athletes are characteristics that I strongly believe will help our program's success."
O'Meara, a native of Eugene, Ore. and graduate of Oregon Tech (then Lisa Busch), played for Thomas during his first season at SMC, 2006-07. She returned to Moraga for the 2010-11 season as Director of Basketball Operations. When not coaching, O'Meara has also taught activity courses for undergraduates in the Kiniesiology department at Saint Mary's. She earned a Master's degree in Kinesiology in 2012.
Since coming back to Saint Mary's, O'Meara has played a key role on a team that has enjoyed tremendous success. In 2012-13, the Gaels won 23 games, their most since 2000-01. That total includes three wins in the Women's NIT, as the Gaels advanced to the quarterfinals.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to begin my coaching career and continue to be part of a great program," O'Meara said. "I am very fortunate to have learned from Coach Thomas as a player and I'm eager to learn even more from our terrific coaching staff. Saint Mary's feels like a second home. I can't wait to get started."
In addition to handling all logistics related to team travel and video, O'Meara has spearheaded the team's social media campaign over the past few seasons. Through her efforts, the Gaels women's basketball team has enjoyed a larger digital footprint and greatly increased its public visibility.
O'Meara fills the vacant assistant spot created by the departure of Jesse Clark last month. Clark, who spent six years at Saint Mary's, left Moraga last month to join new head coach Stacie Terry's staff at San Diego State.
"I would like to thank Jesse Clark for his efforts for the past six years," Thomas said. "Jesse is not only a tremendous basketball coach, but someone who truly cares about the young people he works with. On behalf of my entire coaching staff I would like to wish Jesse good luck as he moves forward in his career."