Finkbeiner Completes His USU Women's Basketball Coaching Staff
May 18, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State woman's basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner announced the completion of his coaching staff on Friday. Robert Donaldson and Micha (pronounced Mike-a) Vandervort will join the staff, while Stu Sells will remain on the Aggies' bench.
"I consider my first recruiting job at Utah State to be my staff, and I really feel good about the quality of people that I hired. The job that is in front of us is a challenge. I think that the staff we have on board at Utah State is prepared with experience and knowledge. Everyone is very enthusiastic to hit the ground running," Finkbeiner said about his new staff.
Robert Donaldson comes to Utah State from Coventry, England where he was owner of the Coventry Crusaders Basketball Club.
Despite the overseas experience, Donaldson has several ties to the western United States. He played his collegiate basketball at Northwest Nazerene in Nampa, Idaho. As a Crusader, Donaldson had a very prolific career, and his name is still in the NNU record books. During the 1980-81 season, he was the team's top scorer (12.6 ppg) and rebounder (7.0 rpg).
The multi-faceted Donaldson has spent several years overseas as both a player and in management of teams. He played internationally for over 25 years, earning a great connection to the overseas community.
The Coventry Crusaders were created in 1992, playing in the National League Division One. The Crusaders not only played basketball, but they also reached out to the communities of Coventry and Warwickshire with basketball camps. In 2007, the Crusader Foundation was established, as a Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable status. They reached out to multi-cultural communities, looking to be positive role models.
Donaldson and his wife Beth have six kids, five boys and one girl. His brother, James, played for the Dallas Mavericks from 1985-91.
Stu Sells enters his second year on the Aggies' coaching staff and first under Finkbeiner. Sells joined the college ranks after a lengthy tenure coaching high school and club basketball.
Sells was head coach at Vallivue High School in Caldwell, Idaho, where he coached former Aggie great Jenny (Gross) Brown, along with current Aggie player, first-team all-WAC guard, Devyn Christensen. In Sells' tenure as head coach at Vallivue High School from 2004-05 to 2008-09, he amassed a 97-28 record and led the Falcons to their first state tournament appearance in school history during the 2002-03 season, qualifying to state in six of the seven years during his tenure at Vallivue, serving as an assistant the previous two seasons before becoming head coach.
Sells led the Falcons to the 2006 Idaho Class 5A State Championship with a perfect 26-0 season.
One of the original founders of the Idaho Flash Girls Basketball Club, Sells also coached the club for five years, coaching and mentoring over 25 players who earned college scholarships. Sells will face four of his former players this season, as former Flash players Stacie Gross, who is the younger sister of Jenny, as well as Lauren Lenhardt, played for Boise State, while Kylie Brown plays for BYU and Kali Roche plays for Utah Valley.
In addition to coaching, Sells is also the owner of Register Graphics, a product branding company in Nampa, Idaho, that he and his wife, Sandra, have owned and operated for the past 24 years.
Sells, who went to college at Northwest Nazarene College in Caldwell, Idaho, and his wife, Sandra, have two children, a son, Kyle and a daughter, Cassie.
Micha Vandervort (pronounced Mike-a) completes the staff coming to Utah State after being an assistant coach under Finkbeiner at Oral Roberts for four seasons.
A native of Edmond, Okla., Vandervort spent her first two seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Golden Eagles. Her duties included film exchange and film editing coordinator, facilities coordinator, serving as co-director for the ORU women's basketball summer camps and assisting with scouting.
Prior to Oral Roberts, Vandervort attended Pensacola Christian College, where she served three years as intramural basketball coach and athletics director.
Homeschooled, she played prep basketball for the Tulsa NOAH Jaguars. Vandervort was a part of National Championship teams in 1999 and 2001.
Vandervort graduated from PCC in 2006 with a bachelor's of science in physical education.
The Utah State women's basketball team returns nine players from last season's squad that won a school record 21 games and advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the second-straight season.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.