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Trio of Former Catamount Student-Athletes Join Collegiate Coaching Ranks

July 11, 2008

Cullowhee, N.C. - Three former Western Carolina student-athletes and recent graduates have joined the ranks of collegiate coaches. Men's basketball 2007 graduate, Josh Dees, was hired at the College of Southern Idaho in May; former women's soccer standout, Heather Dittmer, joined the staff at Charlotte in mid-June; and most recently, women's basketball standout Monique Dawson was hired at Presbyterian earlier this month.

Former Catamount men's basketball player, Josh Dees, joined a coaching staff full-time back in May. The son of former WCU men's hoops skipper, Benny Dees (1993-95), was hired at the College of Southern Idaho by head coach Steve Gosar, coincidentally played for the elder Dees at Wyoming.

The younger Dees spent the previous season as a graduate assistant at Colorado State after his graduation from Western. Prior to that, he played basketball at the University of Wyoming before transferring to Western Carolina as a point guard. He was named to the All-Southern Conference academic team and was named Western Carolina's Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2006-07. In the spring of 2007, he graduated Suma Cum Laude from WCU with a bachelor's degree in political science/pre-law. In 2008, he received the WCU Political Science Distinguished Graduate Award.

Dittmer finished her playing career at Western Carolina with 15 goals, tied for the fourth highest in the program's nine-year history. She also finished fifth in the record books with 39 career points. As a junior, the Marietta, Ga., native earned first-team All-Southern Conference and North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association All-State honors, while becoming the first player in WCU history to earn Soccer Buzz "National Elite Team of the Week" honors as a sophomore. That same season (2005), she netted the game-winning goal on a header that delivered Western it's first-ever SoCon women's soccer title.

Dittmer graduated in May with a degree in Business Administration and Spanish. She was a member of the TIAA-CREF academic team as well as the Southern Conference honor roll while a Catamount.

Dawson helped lead the Lady Catamount women's basketball team to back-to-back 20 win seasons and consecutive trips to the WNIT during her final two years. The Charlotte, N.C., native was a member of the 2007 team that won the school's first-ever Southern Conference regular season championship, as well as the team made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after winning it's first-ever SoCon Tournament Championship during her freshman campaign.

An All-Southern Conference selection during her senior season after leading the team with a 10.7 ppg average, Dawson became the 19th Lady Catamount to go over 1,000 points for her career during her senior campaign. Her 1,216 career points rank her 12th all-time in the WCU record books.

Dawson concluded her career ranked in the top 15 in five different categories including second in school history in free throws (423), fifth in three-pointers made (108), seventh in steals (196) and eighth in WCU history in assists (268).

Below is a list of all of the known former Western Carolina student-athletes currently among the collegiate coaching ranks. Also included are former WCU undergraduate students who did not participate in athletics, but are currently coaching:

Updated July 14, 2008

Other former WCU Student-Athletes Currently Coaching College:
David Abernathy - Strength & Conditioning, Clemson
Jayne Arledge - Head Women's Basketball, North Greenville
Alan Beck - Assistant Baseball, Tennessee
Jason Beverlin - Assistant Baseball, Georgia Southern
Johnny Bomar - Head Track & Field, King College
Gorham Bradley - Head Men's Golf, Western Carolina
Dan Brooks - Assistant Football, Tennessee
Marco Butler - Assistant Football, Norfolk State
Kim Cherry - Head Cheerleading, Western Carolina
Geoff Collins - Assistant Football, Central Florida
Monique Dawson - Assistant Women's Basketball, Presbyterian
Josh Dees - Assistant Men's Basketball, Southern Idaho
Heather Dittmer - Assistant Women's Soccer, Charlotte
Lonnie Galloway - Assistant Football, West Virginia
KiKi Glass - Assistant Women's Basketball, USC Upstate
Judy Green - Head Volleyball, Alabama
Rodney Hennon - Head Baseball, Georgia Southern
Les Herrin - Assistant Head Football, Middle Tennessee
Josh Langley - Assistant Track & Field, Clemson
Anquell McCollum - Assistant Basketball, Western Carolina
Chris Moore - Head Baseball, Lander Univ.
Ernest Moss - Assistant Track & Field, Davidson
Jesse Norman - Head Track & Field, UNC Asheville
David Price - Assistant Track & Field, East Carolina
Todd Raleigh - Head Baseball, Tennessee
Phil Roberts - Head Cross Country, Tusculum
Alesha Row - Assistant Soccer, Jacksonville State
Brian Rucker - Assistant Football, Lenior-Rhyne
John Scott - Assistant Football, Western Carolina
Lamont Seward - Assistant Football, West Georgia
Keith Shumate - Head Baseball, NC A&T
Tim Sinicki - Head Baseball, Binghamton (NY) University
Tommy Smith - Volunteer Baseball Assistant, UNC Asheville
Austin Smithwick - Assistant Baseball, Lander Univ.
Jeff Sziksai - Head Baseball Coach, Lincoln Memorial
Mike Tidick - Assistant Baseball Coach, Georgia Southern
Tina Weaver - Head Soccer, Limestone
Eddie Wells - Assistant Cheerleading, Western Carolina
Danny Williamson - Head Track & Field and Cross Country, Western Carolina

Professional level:
Joe D'Alessandris - Assistant Football, Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Raleigh - Head Baseball, Carolina Mudcats

Other WCU Graduates Coaching:
Dan Gibson - Assistant Football, Western Carolina
Paul Johnson - Head Football, Georgia Tech
Ralph Lundy - Head Men's Soccer, College of Charleston

If any former student-athletes that are now coaching at the collegiate level have been left off this list, please forward that information to the WCU Media Relations office. Thanks!