Original article (Women’s Basketball Announces Staff Updates) on Appalachian State University’s athletic website appstatesports.com

App State women’s basketball head coach Angel Elderkin is excited to complete her coaching staff for the 2021-22 season. Sam Pierce has been promoted to associate head coach, Jeanne Kenney has been hired as assistant coach, and Kate Dempsey is moving to the role as assistant athletics director for women’s basketball.

Earlier this month, Elderkin brought in Mark Cascio as one of two new assistant coaches.

“Anytime your staff goes through changes, you have an opportunity for growth,” coach Elderkin stated. “I am so grateful to have our coaching staff assembled and for the people who have chosen to be by my side at App State. Sam Pierce and Kate Dempsey have poured so much into this program, and I am excited about their continued commitment to our players and program. Mark Cascio, who was added earlier this month, has already hit the ground running with our program and we feel his immediate impact. Today we announce the final piece in Jeanne Kenney. Jeanne, is the perfect piece to complete my staff puzzle. I have no doubt our players and recruits are going to flock to Jeanne. Her energy and passion for the game and helping others attain their goals are unparalleled.”


Both Pierce and Dempsey have been a part of a WBI title in 2018-19 and a pair of winning seasons in the last three years, including a 15-12 mark this past campaign and a trip to the Sun Belt Tournament Semifinals.

Pierce has been with the Mountaineers since the 2017-18 season, where he’s developed three, 1000-point scorers in Madi Story, Pre Stanley, and Lainey Gosnell, who are all in the top 15 in the program’s history in scoring.

The trio of Story, Stanley, and Gosnell was named All-Sun Belt in their respective careers, while Stanley and Gosnell were the third-highest scoring duo in the league in 2020-21. Stanley appeared in two games with the Washington Mystics during the preseason, becoming the first student-athlete in program history to receive a WNBA Training Camp invite.

“I am extremely grateful to Coach Angel and the App State administration,” Pierce said. “From day one of working with her, she allowed me to have a voice within our program, and to make a difference daily. I love what I do, working with coach Elderkin and our student-athletes. The App family has been a blessing. We have an environment that promotes family, competition, growth, and most importantly, impact in the classroom, community, and on the court. I look forward to the continued success and growth of our program. Go App!”