Montclair State head women’s basketball coach Karin Harvey has announced the promotion of Courtney Cunningham to Associate Head Coach along with the addition of Brian Sansom as an assistant coach.
Cunningham begins her fourth season with the Red Hawks and came to MSU in 2008 after serving as an assistant coach for both basketball and lacrosse at Stevens Institute. Since joining the Montclair State program, the Red Hawks have won 48 games and the NJAC North Division title in the 2008-2009 campaign. Montclair has also had six players chosen to the All-NJAC Team, including three-time pick Kisandra Ayanbeku, who was also selected the Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
"Courtney’s been my right-hand person for three years," Harvey said. “I lean on her for a lot - everything from X-and-O situations to day-to-day contact with our student-athletes to recruiting. “She is going to be a great head coach in the future and has been instrumental in taking our program to the next level.”
An outstanding two-sport athlete at Drew University, Cunningham collected All-American honors in both basketball and lacrosse. A three-year captain on the hardwood, Cunningham was a three-time Middle Atlantic Athletic Conference selection and was the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2004. She would be named the MAC’s Player of the Year in 2007 and was selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Kodak Division III All-America Team that same season. On the lacrosse field, Cunningham was a two-time All-MAC pick and was twice named to the IWLCA All-Region Team (2006 and 2007). She was named to the organization’s Division III All-American squad in 2007.
A Dean’s List student in each of her four years at Drew, Cunningham was also a four-time selection to the MAC All-Academic Team and was named the Female Student-Athlete of the Year by the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (CAANJ) in 2007. Cunningham graduated Cum Laude from Drew in 2007 earning her degree in Political Science with a minor in Business Management.
"This is well-deserved recognition for the extraordinary job that Courtney has done since she arrived at Montclair State three years ago,” added Harvey. The loyalty that she has demonstrated to our program for the past three years has been amazing. She is a valued and trusted member of the staff and a tremendous teacher and student of the game.”
Sansom comes to Montclair State after several years at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Last season he served as the interim men’s head coach and two years ago held the same position with the women’s squad helping them Pitt-Bradford to a runner-up finish in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Tournament. Sansom was an assistant for the women’s team from 2005-08 where he was responsible for several aspects, including recruiting, player development and fundraising. He was also an assistant coach at Wilmington College (OH) before taking over the Pitt-Bradford women’s program in 2009.
A familiar face around the Pitt-Bradford campus, Sansom also assisted with the Panthers’ softball program for two seasons as the first base and outfield coach. During that time, Pitt-Bradford won the AMCC Tournament in 2007 and added a regular-season conference crown in 2010.
“I am thrilled to have Brian joining our coaching staff,” Harvey said. “He brings a great deal of experience, knowledge, and passion. I am confident he will do a tremendous job and look forward to working with him.”
Sansom graduated from Pitt-Bradford in 2008 with his bachelor’s degree in Sports and Recreation Management and earned his master’s degree in Sports Management Studies from California University (PA) in August. He has served as the Executive Director and coach of the Penn-Ohio Athletic Club, which oversees more than 35 AAU teams and has been a clinic instructor for several camps, including the Care for the Children Clinic in Bradford, PA.