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Andrew College names new women’s basketball coach

New Andrew College women's basketball coach Samanatha Paradise takes over a program that went 10-20 last season, including 0-18 in Region XVII play.

New Andrew College women's basketball coach Samanatha Paradise takes over a program that went 10-20 last season, including 0-18 in Region XVII play.

CUTHBERT — Andrew College Athletic Director Edith Smith announced the hiring Monday of Samantha Paradise as the Lady Tigers’ new women’s head basketball coach.

Paradise comes to Andrew College from Auburn University at Montgomery, where she served as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team. She worked specifically with the guards, assisted in scouting and recruiting and was responsible for the team’s strength and conditioning program.

Paradise takes over the team after longtime coach Mike Riffe — who was the catalyst for restarting of the women’s program six years ago — was fired earlier this year as both head coach and A.D. following a 10-20 season, including an 0-18 conference record and 15-game losing streak to close out the year.

Prior to her time at AUM, Paradise spent a year as an assistant coach at Barry University in Miami, Fla. During her year with the Lady Buccaneers, Paradise was responsible for a variety of elements within the program.

She helped with monitoring the academic progress of student-athletes, monitoring the program’s compliance within the NCAA guidelines, assisting with the organization and direction of daily practices and the scouting of opponents. She also assisted with the recruitment of student-athletes and taught activity courses. Paradise also has served as a head coach of Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Fla., and led an AAU U-15 team for two years.

Paradise played collegiate ball at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla. While at UWF, she won numerous team awards as defensive and offensive player of the game. In 2007, she was awarded the “Outstanding Student Leader” scholarship. At the prep level, Paradise played at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kan., where she helped her team advance to the 6-A state title game three consecutive years, winning a state championship in 2001. She was named to the All-Eastern Kansas League team as both a junior and senior.

Paradise earned her bachelor’s degree in sport management from the University of West Florida in 2007 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with her master’s in exercise science from UWF in 2009.