October 26, 2020
Gonzaga adds two to women’s basketball staff, including alumna Kudron
Kiara Kudron joins as video coordinator, while fellow WCC grad Alexandria Young is director of basketball operations
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Photo: Gonzaga Women’s Basketball on Twitter
Though there’s no word yet on what Gonzaga’s non-conference schedule will look like, the Bulldogs have bolstered their staff in the meantime, adding former Zag Kiara Kudron as video coordinator and Alexandria Young as their director of basketball operations.
“From my first visit to Gonzaga during the recruiting process, I always felt this was my family and home away from home,” Kudron said in a release. “I’m so excited to be back.”
Kudron spent five seasons with the Zags from 2012 to 2017, redshirting the middle season. As a redshirt senior, she led the team in rebounds and was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team. In the four seasons she played, Gonzaga made three NCAA Tournaments and the WNIT.
For the last three years, Kudron has played professionally overseas, most recently with Pacisa Alcobendas in Spain’s second division. During the 2019-20 season, she averaged 12.5 points per game on 48.3% shooting, along with a team-high 8.2 rebounds and 31.5 minutes.
In her new role, Kudron steps away from the court — but, necessarily, not too far.
“She was a great player and leader in her five years here, and she understands what our expectations as a program are,” said Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier. “…She is ready to make the transition from playing basketball to the other side of the profession, and we are excited to have her here.”
Earlier this month, Gonzaga brought on Young as the team’s director of basketball operations. A former WCC rival of Kudron and the Zags, Young was part of San Diego’s women’s basketball team from 2013 to 2018. In her three seasons of play, the Toreros made one WNIT.
“She has been able to gain a ton of experience the past few years, and she is going to bring great experiences to Gonzaga,” Fortier said. “She has been involved in successful programs everywhere she has been, and she has a winner’s mentality, which we love!”
After graduation, Young became a graduate assistant at Fresno State, where she was also an athletic department marketing intern. During the 2019-20 season, those Bulldogs won their first-ever Mountain West regular-season title.
Young earned her master’s degree in sports administration in May.
“I am truly excited to join a historically successful basketball program and coaching staff,” she said. “…I am looking forward to this season, along with many more, and offering my skills and talents in whichever way possible to further benefit this program.”
Despite the disappointment of losing in the WCC Tournament semifinal last season, Gonzaga’s future remains bright. Seniors Jill Townsend (the 2020 WCC Player of the Year) and Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth return to the starting lineup, while Vanderbilt transfer Cierra Walker adds experience to a team that already boasts a lot of it.
It’ll still be a tall order to immediately compensate for the losses of point guard Jessie Loera and 3-point ace Katie Campbell, who both graduated in the spring. Loera signed with Iceland’s Breiðablik Kópavogur in August, where after three games she’s averaging 16.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, and team-highs in assists (6.0), steals (3.0), made 3-pointers (11) and minutes (35.3).
The 2020-21 WCC season is set to begin Monday, Dec. 28, where the Zags will try to defend their 2019-20 regular-season title and chase the perennial goal of becoming the first WCC team to finish 18-0. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m. PT, Gonzaga will host its annual FanFest, a first look at the 2020-21 team broadcast locally on SWX and streamed on GoZags.com.