May 29, 2009
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon landed a prize recruit Friday this one coming in the form of a coach as she announced the hiring of former Maryland Terrapins assistant coach Daron Park as the Lady Techsters new associate head coach.
His hiring is pending the approval of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Park, whose hiring completes the Lady Techster coaching staff as he joins assistant coaches Sara Carter and Ebony Felder, was an integral part of the Maryland program the last two years helping the Terrapins to a pair of Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament and an ACC regular season and tournament title.
During his first year at Maryalnd while head coach Brenda Frese was on leave for part of the season, Park served as Acting Head Coach and led the Terrapins to an 8-1 mark with the lone loss coming in double overtime to No. 3 North Carolina. Included in those eight victories was a road win against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, completing the first sweep of the Blue Devils for the Terps in more than 15 years.
"Daron brings great experience to our program," Weatherspoon said. "He is a great X's and O's coach who is masterful with defensive schemes. Coming from the highly competitive ACC, he knows what it takes to compete at that level.
"Some people might wonder why Maryland to Ruston, but he understands what this program is about and wants to be a part of helping us return to the national scene. He is a great family man who will fit in perfectly with our program."
Weatherspoon said that Park will serve as the recruiting coordinator for LA Tech while also working with the Lady Techsters post-play development.
"I am so excited to be joining Coach Weatherspoon and the tradition-rich program at Louisiana Tech," Park said. "Her passion for the university was evident from the first moment I spoke with her, and it is easy to see the positive impact she has had since her return to Ruston.
Park was instrumental in helping Maryland earn a pair of Top 5 national rankings, a preseason WNIT Championship, two #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, and 64 victories, including a 24-4 mark in ACC games.
Prior to his stint at Maryland, Park served as an assistant coach for legendary Utah coach Elaine Elliott from 2004 through 2007 as the Utes won two Mountain West Conference championships and earned two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2006. During his three years at Utah, the Utes won 72 games.
Park also has head coaching experience as he served as the head coach at NAIA Westminster College for four years (2000-04) during which time the program boasted 30 academic all-conference recipients and eight Academic All-Americans. Park began his college coaching career as an assistant at Westminster in 1999.
The Great Falls, Montana native started college at Idaho before transferring and earning his bachelor's degree in health enhancement from Montana State in 1994.
Park and his wife Laura have one daughter, Rylee (8), and one son, Dillon (4).