Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Director of Athletics Mike Sutton announced today the appointment of Kristen Dowling as the new head coach for CMS women's basketball. Dowling joins CMS effective June 15.
"We were very pleased with the interest shown in our women's coaching position, and Kristen stood out among many excellent candidates," Sutton said. "She is bringing a variety of excellent qualities and experiences to our team and department."
Dowling spent the 2010-12 seasons as an assistant women's basketball coach at Pepperdine University. It was her second time on the Waves coaching staff. From 2006-08, during her first stint, Dowling was a fulltime graduate assistant for Pepperdine. Dowling helped the Waves to an 18-12 finish, and a spot in the postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament in 2011. She would then spend the next two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at CSU Bakersfield before being asked to return to Pepperdine as an assistant in June 2010.
"I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity to lead the CMS program," Dowling said. "I am looking forward to working with and learning from the entire CMS family, while building upon the great tradition that Jodie started."
Dowling replaces longtime Athenas basketball coach Jodie Burton, whose retirement was announced in April.
At Cal State Bakersfield, Dowling was part of a coaching staff that guided the Roadrunners to the two best records in school history. Her 2008-09 team compiled an overall record of 19-10, and the 2009-2010 squad posted a 16-13 mark, which was tops among the seven NCAA Division-I Independent women's basketball programs––earning Bakersfield its first Division-I, post-season trip to the Women's Basketball Invitational.
"Kristen's experience in the SCIAC as an undergrad, coupled with her drive and initiative to learn from other outstanding coaches and programs, caught our attention immediately," Sutton said. "Additionally, her commitment to the student-athlete model, as evidenced by her own success in academics and athletics, is a critical component of our own CMS program. She comes from a highly competitive recruiting environment and understands the importance of finding talented athletes who are also good overall 'fits' with an institution."
Dowling played collegiately at the University of Redlands, where she led the Bulldogs to their second-ever Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 2004, and helped the university win a Women's Basketball Coaches Association Class Act Achievement Award. Dowling graduated Phi Beta Kappa, earning her bachelor's degree in Spanish, with a minor in physical education. She went on to earn her master's in educational technology at Pepperdine, and is a graduate of Nike's "So You Want to Be a Coach" program, as well as the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy.
Dowling worked as a coach at the high school and youth levels. A native of Upland, she graduated from Upland High School and spent one season as coach of the freshman team there. She also spent two years working while an undergrad with the Nothin' But Net youth basketball program, assisting after school clinics, youth leagues, and tournaments.
"Kristen will be welcomed in our department for her energy, enthusiasm, and desire to provide an outstanding basketball experience for our Athenas," Sutton added.