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UCSB’s First-Year Coach Unveils New Women’s Basketball Staff

Lindsay Gottlieb hires three assistants and a director of operations, and predicts 'great things lie ahead.'

The new look to the UCSB women’s basketball program is complete after first-year head coach Lindsay Gottlieb announced the four new members of her staff on Monday. Gottlieb has hired Kelly Barsky, Jaida Williams and Evan Unrau as assistant coaches and Araceli Gil as the program’s new director of operations.

“UCSB women’s basketball has a tradition of excellence, community and camaraderie, and I feel that I have assembled a staff that will further those ideals,” Gottlieb said. “Kelly, Jaida, Evan and Araceli comprise a group that is bright, energetic and dynamic. They are all committed to developing our student-athletes both on and off the court, and I know great things lie ahead for us.”

Barsky comes to Santa Barbara after spending the past four seasons as an assistant at St. Francis College under head coach Brenda Milano. Responsible primarily for guard development, Barsky also served as the Terriers’ recruiting coordinator, monitored student-athletes’ academic progress and oversaw community service, alumni relations, fundraising and marketing for the program. In addition to her duties as an assistant coach, Barsky was recently promoted to senior women’s administrator at SFC. 

Before joining the staff at St. Francis, Barsky was an assistant at the University of New Hampshire from 2002-04 after working as an administrative assistant for the UNH men’s basketball program from 2001-02. She was a member of the Keene State College women’s basketball team for four years.

“I have known and respected Kelly for a long time, and feel very fortunate that she is on board,” Gottlieb said. “She will bring an unprecedented level of organization and enthusiasm to our staff and to our team. She has a keen basketball mind, a passion for coaching and teaching student-athletes, and I know she will contribute to our success on so many levels.”

Barsky will have many of the same responsibilities at UCSB that she had at SFC, including working with the team’s point guards, coordinating recruiting and overseeing scouting. She also will be placed in charge of the program’s academic development. 

Williams joins the Gaucho staff after two successful seasons as an assistant at the University of South Florida, where she assisted with recruiting, game preparation and player development under Jose Fernandez. Before joining the staff at USF, Williams served as the director of operations at the University of Iowa for one season. As a player, Williams played at Cal Poly Pomona in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and helped guide the Broncos to an overall record of 23-7 record in her two seasons. She also played at Barry University as a freshman and sophomore and was an All-Sunshine State Conference First Team selection after leading the Buccaneers in scoring and rebounding in 2001-02. 

A native of Miami, Williams is a 2005 graduate of Cal Poly Pomona.

“You meet Jaida for five minutes, and you know she is special,” Gottlieb said. “She has a personality that fills up a room, she is a talented coach and recruiter, and she will be a tremendous mentor to our young women. I am thrilled that Jaida is coming back to California and joining the Gaucho family.”

Respected in the women’s basketball world as an excellent recruiter, Williams will be heavily involved in that capacity in Santa Barbara. She also will work with the wings, serve as the team’s compliance liaison and be involved in scouting.

Unrau comes to UCSB after spending last season as the video coordinator for a Stanford program that made an incredible run to the NCAA National Championship game against Tennessee. A four-year letterwinner at Missouri, she earned Honorable Mention All-America honors after guiding the Tigers to their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance her senior season. A two-time first team all-league selection, Unrau captained the Big 12 All-Star team that represented the United States at the 2003 World University Games in Daegu, South Korea. She was drafted by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics in the third round in 2004 and played professionally in Luxembourg in 2006-07.

A native of Fort Collins, Colo., Unrau graduated from Missouri in 2004.

“Evan has played and coached at the highest levels, and she will be such an asset to our staff,” Gottlieb said. “She was a tremendous post player and will lend her expertise to our front court. Evan is also creative and sharp and coming off of her experience with Stanford — making it to the national title game — she will help keep UCSB at a championship level.”

Unrau will work mainly with post players, will be actively involved in recruiting and will serve as the point person for the program’s video operations.

Lastly, Gil returns to Santa Barbara to join the staff as the director of basketball operations. A Santa Barbara native and local standout at Santa Barbara High School, Gil reunites with Gottlieb after playing for her for three years at the University of Richmond. An outstanding leader on the court, Gil posted career averages of 7.8 points and 2.7 assists in four seasons with the Spiders and was named Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention after averaging 9.3 points and 3.4 assists as a senior in 2005-06.

“It’s such a thrill to welcome back a former player of mine onto the staff, and I could not be happier to have Araceli on board,” Gottlieb said. “She was one of the brightest, most hardworking and coachable players I have ever come across, and that will translate to the work environment. While we were at Richmond, she always told me how wonderful Santa Barbara was, and now we get to take this journey together.”

Extremely organized and detail-oriented, Gil will organize team travel and camps, as well as oversee film exchange and video editing. She also will serve as the program’s alumni liaison and work actively with the Fastbreakers Booster Club.

“I truly have surrounded myself with talented coaches that will challenge and inspire me to be at my best everyday, and they will do the same for the young women we coach,” Gottlieb said. “I am thrilled to welcome all four of them to the Gaucho family.”

Bill Mahoney is UCSB‘s assistant athletics director.

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