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Montana women's basketball coach Brian Holsinger fills out coaching staff

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 15:28:32-04

MISSOULA — University of Montana women’s basketball coach Brian Holsinger has finalized his coaching staff for the 2022-23 season.

On Wednesday, the Lady Griz announced the hiring of assistant coach Lisa O’Meara and the addition of new director of operations Haley Simental. O’Meara fills the spot vacated by Jordan Sullivan, who joined the staff at the University of Utah. The operations position was left unfilled last year.

O’Meara was most recently an assistant at Saint Mary’s in California. A native of Eugene, Ore., O’Meara played one year of basketball at Saint Mary’s, one at Lane Community College in Oregon and two at Oregon Tech, from where she graduated with a degree in management in 2010.

She returned to Saint Mary’s to pursue a graduate degree in kinesiology, which she earned in 2012, and was hired on coach Paul Thomas’s staff as the director of operations, a position she held for three seasons before moving up to an assistant coach position for the next six.

In her nine years at Saint Mary’s (from 2010-19) the Gaels averaged more than 21 wins per season, never winning fewer than 19, and nine times advanced to the WNIT.

Simental joins the Lady Griz after completing a seven-year playing career. She spent four years at Denver but was injured for two of them. That, plus the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed her to play three additional years at Nebraska-Kearney.

She was twice a third-team All-MIAA selection on UNK teams that won 72 games over three seasons and advanced to the NCAA Division II national tournament in 2021 and 2022.

O’Meara and Simental join a staff that still includes assistants Nate Harris and Joslyn Tinkle.