SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—Wittenberg athletics has removed the interim tag from women's basketball coach Kelly Mahlum's job title, making her the eighth head coach in Wittenberg women's basketball history.
Coach Mahlum was named interim head coach of the Tigers last November. The Tigers' former assistant coach guided a youthful roster to a 10-16 overall record, and a spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference Quarterfinals.
After finishing the 2016-17 campaign with a 6-10 NCAC mark, Michelle Brunswick and Alex Kiess were both named honorable mention All-NCAC under Mahlum's guidance. Mahlum can now expand her horizons as the team's permanent head coach after a year in an interim capacity.
"I am thrilled that Kelly has accepted our offer to lead our women's basketball program. She has been a loyal and hard-working staff member for both Wittenberg basketball and our athletic department over these past five years. I have the utmost confidence in her and in her ability to lead our program now and into the future," said Director of Athletics Dr. Gary Williams.
No stranger to the Tigers, joining the staff in 2011 as an assistant, Coach Mahlum helped elevate the women's basketball program to new heights, including an NCAC Tournament Championship in 2014-15 and a second round appearance in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
"I am very honored to have the opportunity to become the head coach of the women's basketball program. Wittenberg University has become a very special place to me during my time as an assistant here. I look forward to guiding this program into the future. Thank you Dr. Helton and Gary Williams for your support," said Coah Mahlum.
"The relationships I have formed with current players in our program, the basketball alumnae, and the Wittenberg campus community is unmatched. I am very thankful that I will get to continue adding to the tradition of success here at Wittenberg University."
Bringing a plethora of head coaching experience to the Tigers bench, Coach Mahlum most recently served a seven-year stint as head coach at Colorado College from 2001-08. During her tenure in Colorado Springs, Mahlum guided the program to their best record in 15 seasons, while four of the institution's all-time leading scorers played under Mahlum's tutelage.
Prior to Colorado College, Mahlum served as the head coach at Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 1999-2001.
Mahlum, a Minnesota native, earned her Bachelor of Art degree at the College of Saint Benedict and holds a Master of Science in Athletic Administration degree from St. Cloud State University.
The eighth head coach for the Tigers since the inclusion of women's hoops into the NCAA in 1977-78, Mahlum replaces long time head coach Sarah Jurewicz. Returning to her Wittenberg basketball roots in 2007, Jurewicz took the head coaching reins at her alma mater in the 2007-2008 season.
She replaced one of her mentors, Pam Smith, a 1982 Wittenberg graduate and the university's women's basketball head coach for 21 years who passed away in 2007 after a long bout with cancer. After one year as the interim coach, in which she led the Tigers to records of 15-11 overall and 12-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), Jurewicz was named the permanent coach in March 2008. Jurewicz won one NCAC regular season title and one NCAC Tournament title, in addition to a pair of NCAC Tournament runner-up finishes, and she became the second coach in program history to surpass 100 career victories leading the Red & White during the 2013-14 season.
Jurewicz guided the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2015. Following a surprise run to the NCAC Tournament title, Wittenberg defeated nationally ranked Transylvania before losing in the second round to host and perennial powerhouse Washington University. The Tigers finished 24-7 on the 2015-16 season. Jurewicz has changed roles at the university to now serve as an instructor in the Health, Fitness, and Sport Department and in the Masters of Art in Coaching program.