April Phillips, who made three NCAA Tournament appearances as a member of the Xavier Musketeers, played professionally overseas and has had coaching stints at Seton Hall, University of New Haven and Georgia Tech, has been named an assistant coach on the LMU women's basketball staff, Head Coach Charity Elliott announced on June 10, 2015.
"We are very excited to have April join the LMU Lion family," said Elliott. "She is a true `Angeleno' coming out of Long Beach Poly High School and we are thrilled that she is coming home. She had a tremendous playing career and has been involved in several very good women's basketball programs under some amazing head coaches and now she is ready to make a huge impact on our program. She is a tireless recruiter and someone that our players and recruits can look up to as a fantastic role model."
Phillips spent the 2014-15 season as a graduate manager at Georgia Tech and the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach at the university of New Haven. Prior to working with the New Haven Chargers, Phillips served as Coordinator of Basketball Operations at Seton Hall University. During her time at Seton Hall, Phillips' direct responsibilities included assisting Hall of Fame head coach Anne Donovan with practice planning, recruiting, student-athlete welfare and other day-to-day operations.
Phillips was the co-president and head trainer and coach at S&A Next Level Basketball, an organization that runs NCAA-certified women's leagues in addition to various clinics and camps from 2010-13. She served as the general manager of basketball operations of Sportsplus in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 2010-11, where her responsibilities included marketing of basketball leagues, camps and training. Phillips is also a certified basketball official and has coached players from both the high school and collegiate ranks.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Phillips began her collegiate basketball career at Georgia Tech, playing for the Yellow Jackets during the 2005-06 season. She averaged 3.2 points per game and 2.8 rebounds per game. Following her freshman year, Phillips transferred to Xavier where she played women's basketball and competed in track and field. Throughout her college career, Phillips averaged 6.6 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game. She was named to the All-Atlantic 10 third team her senior season and owns the school's outdoor shot put record as a member of the track and field team.
Phillips is no stranger to postseason play, having advanced to the NCAA Tournament with Xavier all three years of her career. Phillips was a part of the squad that won the Atlantic 10 Championship in 2008 and 2010 and aided the Musketeers to an Elite 8 appearance in 2010. She earned the Thomas E Saddler Award in 2010, given to the Xavier student-athlete who exhibits the ideal student-athlete Xavier, including hard work and enthusiasm.
After graduating from Xavier with a degree in Business Information Systems and minors in Communication and Gender & Diversity Studies, Phillips was invited to preseason camp with the New York Liberty of the WNBA. She played professionally in Israel, Finland and Belgium.
Phillips prepped at Narbonne High School and Long Beach Poly High School, while also playing club ball for OGDL and Cal Sparks. She was a wo-time Nike All-American and twice named a Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American. She was named the nation's sixth-best wing player according to the 2004 All Star Girls Report and was also named one of the top 250 seniors in the Class of 2005, according to the same publication.
Phillips was a member of the USA Developmental Hoop Festival Champion Team in 2004, was named to the Press Telegram Dream Team in 2004, the Press Telegram All-Star Team in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and the L.A. Times All Star Team in 2005. She earned MVP honors at the Tennessee River City Classic while earning the honor of Best All-Around Player at her high school. She led Long Beach Poly to the Moore League Championship during her junior year and helped the team to runner-up honors in the region championship.
Phillips also excelled at track and field, finishing fourth in the state in the shot put while leading her team to the state championship in her junior year. She was named all-state in track and field in 2004 and 2005, and won the California Legislative Sports Award for Track and Field. She also earned a Pursuit of Excellence Student-Athlete Medallion in 2005.
Chris Elliott begins his fourth season as an assistant coach on the LMU women's basketball staff in 2015-16.
Elliott has coached alongside his wife, head coach Charity Elliott, for nearly their entire careers, most recently at UC San Diego. He joined her Triton staff in 2009 after spending two years with Synergy Sports Technologies - a company that provides game video editing and analysis for the NBA, the NBA Developmental League, NCAA Division I games and several major European leagues.
At UCSD he helped guide the Tritons to an overall record of 25-5 and a second straight California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title in his first season in La Jolla in 2009-10 and helped the Tritons to another 20-win campaign after the team went 20-11 in 2010-11. In 2011-12, UCSD went 30-3, including going unbeaten in their first 26 games while also spending seven weeks ranked #1 in NCAA Division II, the first #1 ranking in school history.
He was on her staff at Portland State from 2004-2007, helping rebuild the Viking's program and leading the team to consecutive Big Sky Tournament appearances.
Prior to his stint at Portland State, Elliott spent the 2003-04 season as the strength and conditioning coach for the women's basketball program at Arkansas. He also served as an assistant alongside Charity Elliott at Cal Baptist from 2001-03.
Elliott earned a Bachelor of Science from Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) in 1991. He also attended the University of Miami (FL) and was a defensive back on the Hurricanes' 1983 National Championship team.
Bridgette Reyes, a former NAIA Co-Player of the Year, and most recently the head coach Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif., joins the LMU coaching staff beginning in the summer of 2016.
"I've followed Bridgette's career since she was a player and have seen her grow and develop into a fantastic coach," said LMU Head Coach Charity Elliott. "She has played and coached for one of the best coaches in the country in Russ Davis, and has done an amazing job at Bishop Montgomery. She has two CIF titles under her belt and is now ready to make the move back to collegiate coaching."
At Bishop Montgomery, Reyes was responsible for all aspects of the program including planning, recruiting, coaching and managing. She was twice named the CIF Division 4AA Southern Section Coach of the Year, led two teams to the CIF Division 4AA Southern Section Championship, made two State quarterfinalist appearances and coached two CIF 4AA Players of the Year. She has also coached four First Team All-Del Rey League selections and four First Team All-CIF 4AA selections.
"Bridgette is a very competitive, high energy young coach and I can't wait for our players to get to know her," Elliott added. "She's going to do a great job here at LMU and will undoubtedly make an immediate impact on our program."
Prior to taking over the Bishop Montgomery program, Reyes spent the 2012-13 season on the coaching staff at Cal State Dominguez Hills, assisting in all aspects of the program including on-floor coaching, scouting, recruitment and evaluation of prospective student-athletes and equipment procurement.
She spent the 2011-12 season back on the bench at her alma mater, serving on the women's basketball staff at Vanguard University.
Reyes began her collegiate playing career at Boise State for the 2006-07 season, helping the Broncos to the 2007 Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships, as well as a trip to the NCAA Tournament. She spent the final three seasons of her career at Vanguard where she was named the NAIA Co-Player of the Year as a senior in 2010. She was also named a 2010 NAIA First Team All-American, 2010 Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, 2010 Vanguard University Female Athlete of the Year 2010 Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce Les Miller Outstanding Student-Athlete, 2009 All-GSAC and 2009 NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.
She led the Lions to the 2008 NAIA Division I National Title while also winning the 2009 and 2010 GSAC Championships and reaching the NAIA Division I quarterfinals each of those seasons.
Reyes earned her bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Vanguard in 2010 and went on to earn her master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University (Irvine, CA) in 2012.
Director of Operations
Former University of Oregon standout Nia Jackson begins her second year as the Director of Operations for LMU women's basketball in the 2015-16 season.
Jackson was a member of the Ducks' program from 2007-12. She was named her team's Most Valuable Player following both her junior (2010-11) and senior (2011-12) seasons, while also earning First Team All-Pac-10 honors in 2011-12. Averaging 17 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in 2010-11, she also earned the Ducks' Best Offensive Player and Best Defensive Player honors.
Jackson departed Oregon ranked in the top 10 in single-game assists (11, recorded twice during the 2010-11 season, T-10th), single-season steals (83, 2009-10, T-6th), career assists (355, 9th) and career steals (204, 4th).
Upon graduating from Oregon in the spring of 2012 with a degree in sociology, Jackson began her own business, "Nia Jackson Individual Basketball Training." She has worked with males and females ages 5-21 on fundamental technique, knowledge of the game and work ethic.
Jackson played one season (September 2012-April 2013) of professional basketball for HoNsU Jyvaskyla in Finland, leading the team to its first playoff appearance in franchise history.
After retiring from playing due to knee injuries, Jackson has worked as a personal trainer and coach in Seattle, while also working in operations at LA Fitness.