Countdown to #Seawolves Tip-Off: Meet the Staff

Beth O'Boyle

Nov. 7, 2013 is counting down the days until #Seawolves Tip-Off on Nov. 8 when both the men's and women's basketball teams are hosting their home openers. Purchase tickets today using the link below or call (631) 632-WOLF. 

Stony Brook, N.Y. -The Stony Brook women's basketball team is in good hands with a capable staff that cares about developing the complete student-athlete. In their own words, coaches Beth O'Boyle, Todd Mitmesser, Kate DeSorrento and Nerlande Nicolas and Director of Basketball Operations Stephanie Witko talk about why they love life on the sidelines in #Seawolves Country. 

Head Coach Beth O'Boyle

Twitter: @CoachOBoyle

The engineer of the seventh-best turnaround in the country, Beth O'Boyle is in her third season as the Stony Brook women's basketball head coach. She was previously the associate head coach at Canisius and spent three seasons as the head coach at Montclair State University, where she led the Red Hawks to the ECAC Division III Metro Women's Basketball Championship in 2006-07. Prior to taking over at Montclair State, O'Boyle spent four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Rochester and helped guide the team to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division III Final Four.

Why Stony Brook?

Stony Brook is a premiere academic institution with the potential to build a championship program.

Why did you decide to go into coaching?

Coaches have the opportunity to impact students in a positive way. Sports can shape character and create discipline. I am also fiercely competitive

What is your best memory at Stony Brook?

We got a big win last year on the road against a very talented Fordham team. I thought it was a turning point for us to win against a team like that at their place.

What is the best part of being a coach at Stony Brook?

I love the students we attract to a university of this caliber. Our kids are a lot of fun to work with, and I love the band! They give us a great atmosphere for all of our home games. 

Todd Mitmesser

Todd Mitmesser is entering his second season as an assistant coach at Stony Brook. Mitmesser, who works primarily with the post players, joined the Seawolves after spending four years as an assistant at Toledo, where he mentored the Rockets to an impressive 94-40 overall record and three straight postseason appearances, including a trip to the WNIT "Elite Eight."

Why Stony Brook?

Looking at the universities on Long Island, SBU was by far the most up-and-coming athletic department. Coach O'Boyle and I were a great fit for each other from the first time we spoke. 

Why did you decide to go into coaching?

Basketball is a sport I have loved for as long as I can remember. After playing, it made sense to stay with the game as a coach. 

What is the best part of being a coach at Stony Brook?

I enjoy the family atmosphere both within our program and the department.

Kate DeSorrento

Twitter: @CoachDeSo

The team's recruiting coordinator, Kate DeSorrento is in her second year as an assistant coach. DeSorrento came to Stony Brook after one season as the head coach at Hamilton and three as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at University of Rochester. At Rochester, DeSorrento helped guide the Yellowjackets to three consecutive NCAA Division III championship berths and a trip to the national semifinals in 2010.

Why Stony Brook?

I came to Stony Brook to work with Coach O'Boyle. She and I both started out working for Jim Scheible at Rochester, and she was great to me when I started my coaching career. I had total confidence she would get the job done here and I wanted to be a part of that.

Why did you decide to go into coaching? 

I didn't go into coaching initially. I started out after college working in the pharmaceutical industry but I missed being around a team. I got an opportunity to go to grad school at Rochester while I tried out coaching and I haven't looked back since. I like the challenges of resource management, motivating people, connecting with players and plotting strategy.  

What is the best part of being a coach at Stony Brook? 

I tell recruits all the time that the best part of being at Stony Brook is the people. It's a cohesive department and there's a lot of support across teams. It's motivating to be around so many successful programs and people.  

Nerlande Nicolas

Twitter: @Coach_Ner

One of two new face's on this year's staff, Rutgers-Newark alumna Nerlande Nicolas returns to the east coast after serving as the Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Dayton for one year. No stranger to assisting in the building of a program, Nicolas was previously an assistant at Rutgers-Newark. There, she helped guide the Scarlet Raiders to 19 wins in 2010-11, a 12-win improvement from the previous season. 

Why Stony Brook?

I chose to come to Stony Brook because it's a great time to be a Seawolf! Coach O'Boyle has done a great job rebuilding and creating a winning culture here. The administration is very supportive and invests a great deal in all of our athletic programs. We're a young institution that's innovative and making great progress. It's exciting to be part of something that's growing and thriving!

Why did you decide to go into coaching?

I love the game of basketball and I can't picture doing anything else. As a player, I had a great experience and really appreciated everything my coaches did for me on and off the court. It made a difference in my life and their mentoring helped shaped the person I am today. I want to give back in that same way. I'm competitive and I enjoy teaching. It's a perfect fit for me.

What is the best part of being a coach at Stony Brook?

The best part of being a coach at SBU is working with people I care about, our players, the coaching staff and our support staff. When you genuinely care about the people you work with and the student athletes in your program, it makes the job enjoyable! I love the passion at SBU. Everyone is invested from top to bottom, from our administration to our players. We have a lot of pride in what we do here. I think that's special and it's fun to be around.

Though you have only been here a couple months, do you have a favorite memory or two so far?

I have so many great memories already that it's hard to pick one. I'd say my favorite memories are of our players doing community service events, particularly the Miracle League. It was special to see our girls interact with a lot of children that struggled with developmental diseases. They were moved and they had so much fun. Things like that bring you closer as a family. Those memories are priceless. 

Stephanie Witko

Twitter: @StephWitko

As the Director of Basketball Operations, Stephanie Witko is charged with keeping the ship running smoothly. The second of the two new faces on the Seawolves bench, Witko arrives in Stony Brook with a wealth of playing and coaching experiences having most recently served as an assistant at Scranton under Mike Strong, the winningest coach in Division III history. As a student-athlete at Marymount, Witko was named an ESPN Academic All-American in 2007 and 2008.

Why Stony Brook?

The number one reason that I chose Stony Brook was the fact that I felt so comfortable with the other coaches on staff the first time I met them.  I knew it was the right fit for me. Also, for me, the job at Stony Brook offered the opportunity to move up to the Division I level and experience a different environment than what I was previously exposed to.

Why did you decide to go into coaching? 

The opportunity to impact the lives of children is something that is very important to me. I love how much you can learn from being a part of a team and playing the game we all love.  

What is the best part of being a coach at Stony Brook? 

Everyday I have the opportunity to learn from some really great coaches around me. I also love working with our kids. 

Do you have a favorite memory of your time at Stony Brook thus far?

Our first practice of the year was definitely a highlight. It was at 6 a.m. and the team came in excited and ready to go. It was a great start to what is going to be fantastic year for SBU women's basketball!

The ascent continues tomorrow at 6 p.m. For tickets, call (631) 632-WOLF.