Matt Bollant era begins on Sunday vs. Purple Aces
Senior ready to lead Illini back to prominence
Veteran coach called 'one of the top teachers of the game'
Illini assistant coach takes those principles into basketball
Director of Basketball Operations, Video Coordinator Positions Filled
LaKale Malone begins her first season as an assistant coach at Illinois. Malone comes to Illinois after serving five seasons as an assistant at the University of Texas.
"LaKale Malone is a great addition to our staff," Bollant said. "She has been a recruiting coordinator at BCS schools for over nine years. She is highly respected by AAU and high school coaches. What I love most about her is that she has a great heart, for both our players and our staff. When I first talked to her, she said `I want to get to know your vision because that's my vision.'"
Under head coach Gail Goestenkors at Texas, Malone had a big role in garnering top-25 national recruiting classes the last three years, including four McDonald's All-Americans. The Longhorns advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all five seasons Malone was an assistant and produced eight All-Big 12 and 11 Academic All-Big 12 honorees. She helped garner WNBA draft pick Brittainey Raven and helped recruit current Texas Longhorn, Chassidy Fussell, who is on the 2012 Wade Trophy List.
Prior to her years in Austin, Malone was an assistant coach/recruiting coordiator for Connie Yori at the University of Nebraska from 2003-07, helping build that program to a national level. She helped bring in a top-25 recruiting class in 2007 as well as 2010 first team All-American and first round WNBA draft pick Kelsey Griffin. The Huskers advanced to the post season all four years.
Malone also served as an assistant at Wagner College (2000-01) and Bradley University (2001-03).
Malone is a 1999 graduate of Indiana University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in accounting and marketing. She was a four-year letterwinner for the Hoosiers. Malone also holds a master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska.
A native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Malone played for Sports Reach, an organization with the goal of reaching and teaching the world through athletics. She competed in Israel and toured through Tunisia.