Much like the Dave Leitao and the men’s basketball program, women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno is shaking up his coaching staff for the 2017-18 season, bringing in youth and shuffling familiar faces into new roles.
Bruno announced Friday, Sept. 15 that Lisa Ryckbosch will spend the season on the sidelines as an assistant coach, vacating her role as Director of Professional, Corporate and Community Relations.
Ryckbosch spent the 2001-02 season as an associate head coach under Bruno, after serving as an assistant coach since 1991. She returned to DePaul in 2011 with nearly a decade of head coaching experience at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
“With the departure of Bart Brooks to become the head coach at Belmont, we needed to shift responsibilities as Bart was our post coach. Lisa has extensive experience coaching the post at DePaul and as a former head coach at UIC and will be moving to the floor,” Bruno said.
Former Blue Demon guard and assistant coach of 17-years, Candis Blankson, will swap posts with Ryckbosch, taking over as Director of Professional, Corporate and Community Relations.
Bruno says Blanksons will bring organizational strength to her new role.
“Regardless of the titles or what the NCAA specifically allows, I always view each and every member our staff as just that — an invaluable resource,” Bruno said. “Our tremendous success at DePaul is the result of very talented student-athletes and a great staff. Candis Blankson and Lisa Ryckbosch have been key members of our outstanding staff.
Both Candis and Lisa have been paramount to our success, and I expect that to continue. As with our basketball team when there are times when different players are called upon to fulfill different roles, our coaching staff is switching roles.”
The most notable shake up on Bruno’s staff came this past June when the program announced former WNBA player Jasmine Lister will replace Bart Brooks.
After 11 years with the Blue Demons, Brooks will leave DePaul for Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he recently accepted a head coaching job.
Lister coached at the University of Washington under head coach Mike Neighbors this past season, after two seasons coaching under Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut, helping the program to two NCAA championship titles.
“What I like about DePaul (is) the high standards coach Bruno has set for his program,” Lister said. “There have been years and years of success as he has surrounded himself with talented and loyal people. That is something that isn’t easy to find in this game, and becoming a part of that culture was important to me.”
“Her leadership and coaching ability jumped out at me and made me take notice,” Bruno said. He says both Neighbors and Auriemma gave Lister the “highest recommendation.”
Before she began her coaching career, Lister played for the Vanderbilt University, leading her team to four-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and was named to the SEC All-Conference team each year.
Lister went on to play for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2015 and 2016.
“I was playing at Vanderbilt as recently as 2014 and played with the Sparks last year,” Lister said. “Everything about being a player is still fresh in my mind. I know what they are going through with academics, practicing, playing games and traveling. It’s not an easy thing to manage.”
Listers youth and recent playing experience promise to resonate among DePaul’s players, which coach Bruno believes will bring a fresh perspective to his storied program.