The most-successful coach during the 40-year history of Cal Poly
women’s basketball, Faith Mimnaugh enters her 17th season at
the helm of the Mustang program after winning back-to-back regular
season championships and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
She guided the team to Big West Conference Regular Season Championships during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. It was capped in the 2012-13 season when she led the team to the Big West Conference Tournament Championship and the NCAA Tournament. The Mustangs advanced to the WNIT in 2011-12.
The regular season championship was capped with a trip to the NIT tournament, Mimnaugh’s second coach of the year award and the programs second Big West Conference Player of the Year.
Mimnaugh has coached the last four Big West Conference Player of the Year with Kristina Santiago wining two (2009-10, 2011-12), Rachel Clancy (2010-11) and Molly Schlemer (2012-13) each winning one.
During the historic 2012-13 season the Mustangs concluded the year with a 21-11 overall record and a 13-5 mark in conference games. Cal Poly entered the Big West Conference Tournament as the No.2 seed and defeated Pacific in the championship game to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. In advancing to Baton Rouge for the first round, the Mustangs drew No. 2 seeded Penn State. Schlemer garnered POY and first-team honors when she averaged 13.3 points and 7.1 rebounds. Ariana Elegado, Jonae Ervin and Kayla Griffin were all named honorable mention.
The 2011-12 saw the Mustangs win their second conference regular season title with an 18-14 overall record and a 12-4 conference mark. The season concluded with a trip to Washington and the school’s first appearance in a postseason tournament (WNIT). Santiago won her second POY when she averaged 23.4 points and 9.9 rebounds in becoming Cal Poly’s all-team leading scorer and rebounder during the season. In addition to Santiago winning POW, Griffin was named to the second team while Ervin and Ashley Burns were named honorable mention.
During the 2010-11 season the team posted an 18-13 overall record and a 12-4 conference record in capturing the Big West Conference Regular Season Championship with Mimnaugh earning her second coach of the year award. On top of Clancy winning POY she also earned first-team honors. Abby Bloetcher was named second team while Ervin was named honorable mention as well as the all-freshmen team. Clancy was also singled out for her academic accolades when she was named Big West Scholar-Athlete.
The 2009-10 season was highlighted with the selection of Santiago as Big West Conference Player of the Year and her second first-team selection. Overall, Mimnaugh had three players named to all-conference teams. Santiago became the fifth Mustang named to the first team and the first to be named conference player of the year. The team finished 18-11 overall and 11-5 in the Big West Conference, good for second.
During the 2008-09 campaign the Mustangs advanced to the Big West Conference Tournament championship game and established a new program record with a .656 winning percentage while the 21 victories accumulated matched the 1981-82 Mustang squad for the highest single-season win total in program history. Cal Poly’s 11 losses ranked as the second-fewest amount in program history while the Mustangs finished the year 10 games above a .500 winning percentage for the first time.
The Mustangs, who finished third in the conference standings for just the second time in program history, also set new Big West program records for victories (11), fewest losses (5) and overall winning percentage (.688). Additionally, Cal Poly compiled its ninth-straight season of double-digit victories and, for the fifth time in six seasons, posted at least a .500 winning percentage in Big West play. Individually, forward Santiago became Cal Poly’s fourth All-Big West first team selection while senior forward Megan Harrison finished her career as the second-leading scorer in program history and as just the second Mustang to earn three nods to the all-conference team.
Helping to set the stage, Cal Poly’s 2007-08 squad produced numerous noteworthy feats. The Mustangs began the conference campaign with four-straight victories en route to a 6-3 start that was not only the program’s top beginning to a Big West season, but the best overall league launch in 26 years.
Despite entering the Big West Tournament as the field’s fifth seed, Cal Poly routed UC Irvine during the opening round before overcoming a 17-point halftime deficit to eliminate Pacific during the quarterfinal phase. Despite falling at the semifinal hurdle against eventual NCAA Tournament qualifier UC Santa Barbara, forward Becky Tratter became only Cal Poly’s second selection to the Big West All-Tournament Team. In Harrison – who became the first Mustang in 21 years to record 400 points and 200 rebounds during a single campaign – Cal Poly placed a player on the All-Big West first team for a third-straight season while Santiago earned conference all-freshman team consideration.
During Mimnaugh’s tenure, Cal Poly players have merited all-conference consideration 22 times while seven Mustangs have been named to the Big West All-Freshman Team.
Forward Jessica Eggleston (2003-07), one of Cal Poly’s two Big West Scholar-Athlete selections for 2007, finished her career as Cal Poly’s fourth-leading scorer while guard Sparkle Anderson (2003-08) departed with a program-best 118 appearances (a record eventually matched by Harrison in 2009).
In August 2008, Mimnaugh became one of only two Cal Poly coaches to have managed an Olympic gold medalist after former center and Mustang track and field letterwinner Stephanie Brown Trafton (1998-00) won the discus competition at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Via the strength of an eight-game winning streak – the program’s lengthiest spurt in 24 years – the 2006-07 Mustangs posted a 14-14 overall mark and a 9-5 Big West record. Cal Poly’s 78-72 defeat of Cal State Northridge on Jan. 27, 2007 was the 101st victory of Mimnaugh’s tenure at Cal Poly, sending her past Jill Orrock (1986-95) atop the Mustang career wins chart (Mimnaugh enters the 2009-10 campaign with 142 victories at Cal Poly). Forward Jessica Eggleston capped her Cal Poly career by becoming the first Mustang to earn consecutive All-Big West first team honors while the backcourt tandem of Ashlee Stewart and Tamara Wells comprised 40 percent of the Big West All-Freshman Team.
The 2005-06 Mustangs (13-14, 7-7) posted the third-highest single-season win total during Mimnaugh’s tenure. Highlighting the campaign was an 82-71 victory at UC Santa Barbara that was the program’s first win at The Thunderdome in 23 years. The Mustangs also finished the year ranked fifth among Division I squads with 12.4 steals per game.
Under Mimnaugh, Cal Poly has consistently posted steady finishes and notable results. Six seasons ago, Cal Poly finished 14-14, reaching the .500 plateau for the first time in 13 years and establishing, at the time, a program record for victories during the Division I era. One of Cal Poly’s 12 victories during the 2000-01 campaign was a 76-70 edging of UC Santa Barbara, a win that snapped the Gauchos’ 49-game conference winning streak.
Mimnaugh’s peers recognized her as the 1999-00 Big West Co-Coach of the Year after directing Cal Poly to the first of five-consecutive Big West Tournament berths.
A four-year All-Mid-Suburban League and three-time all-area selection at Elk Grove HS in Elk Grove Village, Ill., Mimnaugh (1977-81) assisted the Grenadiers to the 1981 Class AA state championship. Mimnaugh, selected to the 1981 All-Illinois team, helped Elk Grove compile an 84-22 mark during her four-year career.
Mimnaugh played collegiately at Loyola-Chicago (1981-85) and remains the Ramblers’ career assist leader (1,000). The 316 assists Mimnaugh handed out during her 1984-85 senior campaign not only led the nation, but still ranks as the sixth-highest single-season total in NCAA Division I history.
Additionally, the 11.7 per-game figure she posted as a senior remains the third-best mark in Division I history.
The Ramblers compiled a 79-32 slate during Mimnaugh’s tenure. For her collegiate accomplishments, Mimnaugh was inducted into the Loyola Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2007, Mimnaugh was also inducted into a the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Mimnaugh began her post-collegiate playing career with the Newcastle (Australia) Scorpions, serving as a guard and player-coach from 1987-89.
Mimnaugh began building her coaching reputation as an assistant at North Carolina State (1989-93). During four years with the Wolfpack, she oversaw the operation of a program that reached as high as No. 2 in the national polls. While working under legendary head coach Kay Yow – the 1988 United States Olympic Team coach – Mimnaugh helped propel North Carolina State to the 1990 Atlantic Coast Conference title and 1991 ACC Tournament championship.
Mimnaugh earned her master’s degree in sports administration from North Carolina State in 1994.
The University of Evansville named Mimnaugh its head coach in 1993. Mimnaugh directed the last Purple Aces squad that played in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference and the first team that participated as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Following her time at Evansville, Mimnaugh relocated to San Luis Obispo and served as Karen Booker’s top assistant for the 1996-97 season. Aside from her coaching duties, she spearheaded the Mustangs’ weight training program and assisted with recruiting.
Mimnaugh is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, credentialed through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a member of the United States Weightlifting Federation.
Mimnaugh, who competed with Athletes In Action in 1985, is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
5th Year - California '05
Kristin Iwanaga, the Pac-10 Conference’s career leader
with an .890 (235-for-264) free throw percentage, begins her fifth
season as an assistant coach under Faith Mimnaugh.
Iwanaga, who paced all NCAA Division I players during her 2004-05 senior season at California with a .934 (85-for-91) free throw percentage, is expected to help develop Cal Poly’s perimeter game in addition to assisting with the program’s recruiting, film exchange, strength and conditioning, community service and camp efforts.
Iwanaga, who also established Pac-10 and California single-year records during her senior campaign with a .524 (43-for-82) three-point percentage, was a four-year starter and captain, a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree and an all-conference honorable mention pick during the 2004-05 season for California. Iwanaga departed the Golden Bear program ranked fourth all-time with 122 three-pointers, seventh with 115 appearances and ninth with 317 assists.
Iwanaga arrived on the central coast from St. Francis HS (Watsonville, Calif.) where she served as the varsity basketball coach for the previous two seasons and both the assistant athletics director and chair of the social sciences department. During two seasons under Iwanaga, the Sharks compiled a 45-16 aggregate record, posted a pair of runner-up showings in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, won the 2009 SCCAL Tournament title and reached the semifinal stage of the 2008 CIF Division V Northern California Championships.
Prior to her tenure at St. Francis HS, Iwanaga also served as the head coach of the San Jose Cagers AAU White squad and as the assistant junior varsity coach at her alma mater, Mitty HS (San Jose).
A native of Santa Clara, Calif., Iwanaga earned a B.A. in sociology from California in 2005 and is currently studying for a master’s degree in sports management.
2nd Year - Cal Poly '03
Former Cal Poly standout Kari Duperron joined the staff for the
2011-12 season. Duperron was a Mustang and played for Mimnaugh from
Duperron came to Cal Poly from the University of Washington where she helped secure the No. 37 recruiting class in the nation in 2011. Her duties with the Huskies included recruiting, practice instruction, scouting and coaching the guards. Duperron coached Washington guards, Kristi Kingma, an All Pac-10 first team performer and Charmaine Barlow, All-Pac 10 Defensive Team Honorable Mention.
While at Washington she also supervised the program’s academic progress and served as the liaison to the Compliance Department.
Prior to her joining the staff at Washington, Duperron spent two years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas under coach Kathy Olivier. Duperron served as the Recruiting Coordinator and the 2009 Lady Rebel recruiting class was ranked No. 56 in the nation. On the basketball court, Duperron helped develop UNLV’s guards, scouting and offensive game plan.
While at UNLV, she was heavily involved in the teams community service involvement and marketing. She conducted several free youth clinics in Las Vegas, including a free pre-game clinic with over 300 participants. She was hands on in developing and enhancing the department’s web site. She also served as the Camp Director of the Lady Rebel Team and Day Camp.
Duperron began her coaching career at UCLA (2003-2007),where she began as an intern, and also served as the director of basketball operations and an interim assistant coach under head coach Kathy Olivier.
During the 2007-08 season, Duperron returned to her high school alma mater, North Torrance, to serve as the assistant boys varsity coach. Alongside her father and head coach, Gary Duperron the team won its first league championship since 1972.
Prior to entering the coaching ranks, the Torrance, Calif., native was a standout player at Cal Poly, starting as a walk-on and ending her career as team captain. Her senior year, Duperron was named the Big West's "Hustle Player of the Year."
Duperron graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in business in 2003. She added her masters in sports management from Long Beach State in 2006.
At Cal Poly, Duperron's duties will include, but are not limited to, recruiting, academics, scouting and player development of the post position players.
1st - Year - Washington '12
Mackenzie Argens, a four-year standout with the University of
Washington, has joined the Cal Poly women’s basketball
program as an assistant coach.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Mustang head women’s basketball coach Faith Mimnaugh and director of athletics Don Oberhelman.
“We're happy to add Coach Argens to our coaching staff,” said Mimnaugh. “She was a hard working post player at Washington and I believe she will be a hard-working post coach at Cal Poly. She has impressed me with her ability to connect with student-athletes and really, anyone who crosses her path.”
Argens left Washington as one of the school’s top shot blockers and rebounders and led the team three times in both categories during her career. She shot 42.5 percent from the floor, scoring 724 points. She grabbed 570 career rebounds and totaled 84 blocks. As a senior in 2012 she served as team captain.
During her career at Washington, Argens was voted as the team’s Peer Advocate to facilitate conflict management and encourage team-building techniques and was the team’s representative for Washington’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (WSAAC).
This past season she was a varsity coach at Roosevelt High School in Seattle and was chosen to attend the WBCA “So You Want to be a Coach” program during the Final Four in New Orleans.
Argens graduated in 2012 from Washington with a bachelor of degree in interdisciplinary visual arts.
Director of Basketball
1st - Year - UC Santa Barbara '09
Kat Suderman joined head coach Faith Mimnaugh’s staff this past season and will serve as the Director of Basketball Operations.
She works closely with the coaching staff throughout the year and is responsible for the planning and organization of team travel including preparing and distributing itineraries, coordinating meals, and booking our accommodations and transportation.
She will also assist with scheduling and making arrangements for practices and shootarounds.
In addition, She heads the program’s community outreach. She will build upon the past programs that the team and coach Dupperron have organized.
She will be supervising all of the game day activities and will be promoting on various local basketball clinics throughout the year.
She will also serve as the point for the women’s basketball Booster Club that will include pre-game activities prior to all Saturday home games in the tent.
The 2009 UC Santa Barbara graduate earned All-Big West Conference First Team honors her junior season after she averaged a career-high in points, field goal percentage and blocked shots. She scored in double figures in 17 of her 28 games last season
Her career continued overseas in Thessaloniki, Greece for Apollon Kalamaria Division I Professional Women's basketball team in 2009-2010 and the next season in Mourenx, France for Elan Bearnais League II Professional Women's Basketball team.
She graduated high school from Mission College Prep in San Luis Obispo and is a long time resident.
She earned a degree in literature from UC Santa Barbara.