Former Aztecs' Assistant Reiss Completes Titans' Coaching Staff
FULLERTON, Calif.—Former San Diego State assistant coach Tammi Reiss has been hired as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton effective immediately, Titans' head coach Daron Park announced Friday.
"I am thrilled to have a person with Tammi's enthusiasm and experience join our program here at Cal State Fullerton," said Park. "She brings an amazing background having played for the legendary Coach Debbie Ryan at Virginia and then to coach at SDSU with Beth Burns, who I have so much respect for, I know Tammi has learned from two of the best in the business."
Reiss becomes the third and final addition to the Titans' coaching staff for the 2013-14 season, joining fellow assistant coaches Taja Edwards and Steven Fennelly, who were both hired on May 2 after spending time at Ole Miss and Iowa State respectively.
Reiss recently completed her second season at SDSU, helping guide the Aztecs to an impressive 53-14 overall record, 27-4 conference mark, to go along with back-to-back Mountain West regular season championships, one Mountain West tournament championship, one NCAA Tournament appearance, and one trip to the WNIT.
Under Reiss' tutelage, the Aztecs collected two 14-plus game win streaks, including a stretch last season where SDSU won 15 straight contests and 18 of its last 20 games to end the season, including a 69-46 win over UC Santa Barbara in the first round of the WNIT.
While at San Diego State, she also helped develop Courtney Clements and Chelsea Hopkins into two of the best guards in the nation, as Clements just recently became one of three rookies to make the WNBA's Atlanta Dream roster, after receiving honorable mention All-America recognition each of the past two seasons with Aztecs, including being named the Mountain West Player of the Year for the 2011-12 campaign. Hopkins also collected Mountain West first-team honors last season, while joining Clements on the WBCA's All-Region VII team.
Before arriving at SDSU, Riess also found success in the professional ranks, as she served as an assistant coach for the WNBA's Utah Starzz from 2001-02, before joining the franchise in its move to San Antonio in 2003.
While with the Starzz, the franchise made their first-ever postseason appearance in 2001 and a year later improved upon that, as Utah advanced all the way to the Western Conference finals, before eventually falling to the eventual WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks.
Prior to that, Riess spent three seasons an assistant coach at her alma mater, guiding Virginia to three Sweet 16 appearances, two trips to the Elite Eight, and a pair of ACC regular season titles in 1994 and 1995 under the guidance of legendary head coach Debbie Ryan.
Her basketball success also extends to her playing career, as she is considered one of the all-time greats in Virginia women's basketball history. As a player (1988-92) she helped lead the Cavaliers to three straight Final Four appearances and was a four-time all-league honoree and twice was tabbed to the ACC championship all-tournament squad. The guard ended her career ranked first in school history in three-pointers (139) and three-point field-goal percentage (.416), and was second in points (1,842) and free throws (437).
After her collegiate playing career, the Utah Starzz selected her as the fifth overall pick in the 1997 WNBA Draft. Reiss averaged 7.2 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Starzz.
"Tammi's accolades speak for themselves," said Park. "She will do an amazing job relating to our student-athletes and providing them with a first hand account of what it takes to be successful not only on the court, but in life.
"I have had a chance to spend many hours discussing my coaching philosophy with Tammi and it was evident very early on that her values and beliefs match those of this program. She will fit right in at Cal State Fullerton."
The Eldred, New York native was an Academic All-American as a senior and was a three-time conference all-academic selection. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sports management from the University of Virginia in 1992.