After becoming Nevada's first new coach in a decade, Kim Gervasoni returns for her third season to lead the Wolf Pack. Beside a new face, Gervasoni brought new life to the Nevada women's basketball program and will continue that growth in 2005-06.
The Pack went 8-22, 3-15 in the WAC last year but won the opening game in the WAC Tournament before losing in the quarter-finals, giving hope for the future.
Buoyed by a very talented recruiting class for 2005-06, the Pack will look to make some noise in the WAC this year under the third-year coach.
Going 3-26, her first season was a tough one. Having lost three school record-holding starters from the year before, bad luck struck throughout the year losing another seven players by the final road trip of the season. Numbers aside, the team's presence had changed dramtically. With a much more up-tempo style the team was clearly more disciplined and conditioned than ever before.
The season did have hints of the possible excellence that is to come. She collected the only the program's fourth win against Hawai'i and just the seventh against Fresno State. Nevada also had eight games that it pushed to within eight points or less and twice went to overtime.
The last regular season game at San Jose State went to double-overtime with the Silver and Blue having only four players left on the court during the second overtime period. Nevada lost that game by three, but had an apparent coaching advantage throughout that double-overtime period, even holding a lead at one point.
Last year, she brought in six recruits for her first signing class that share four high school state championships between them and a junior college player whose team played in the California Final Four last year.
The 39-year-old Gervasoni was the top assistant at Arziona State from 2000-03 and was the highly-successful head coach at Solano (Calif.) Community Collge for eight years prior to her stay in Tempe, Ariz. She has also been an assistant coach at De Anza (Calif.) College and at Logan High School in Union City, Calif.
In her three years at Arizona State, she helped take the Sun Devils from the bottom half of the league to back-to-back PAC-10 titles and three straight post-season appearances, including two straight NCAA bids.
As a recruiter, she has helped bring in two top-25 classes at Arizona State, including a top-10 group in 2003. Additionally, the team grade point average was above 3.0 each of her three years in Tempe and she was active in promoting the program in the community with the creation and development of the Hoop Devils Kids' Club.
In 1995-96, Gervasoni had one of the best seasons of her coaching career at Solano when she led her team to a 32-4 record, the Bay Valley Conference title and an appearance in the semifinals of the state championships. She garnered a number of regional and national awards, including California Coaches Association, California Community College, Conference, District 8 Junior College and Budget Rent A Car Coach of the Year accolades. What she is most proud of is that in her eight years as head coach over 50 players went on to receive their four year degrees and over 30 players earned basketball scholarships.
Including the handful of Coach of the Year Awards from 1995-96, Gervasoni has been honored with five different such awards.
Gervasoni has been part of nine conference championships. As she said when she was hired, "I know what it takes to win and be successful. Nevada is a sleeping giant and I'm ready to wake it up. I know there is lots to do but I'm ready to dive in and get started. I've never been afraid of hard work."
Gervasoni started her playing career at Westmont High School in San Jose, Calif. Her coach, Mike Riley, had played baseball for her father. She had a very successful high school career, earning MVP league honors her senior year. She then went on to De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif. and played for coach Debi Schafer. At De Anza the team won the conference title two seasons in a row. Her sophomore year Gervasoni was awarded MVP of the Golden Gate Conference and first team All-State. She finished up her career at California State University, Fresno playing for legendary coach, Bob Spencer.
After Gervasoni finished her playing career and earned her bachelor's degree in exercise physiology from Fresno State in 1989, she taught at Milpitas High School. While at Milipitas, she pursued her master's degree in physical education at CSU Hayward, which she earned in 1991. She spent one season coaching high school basketball before taking her first collegiate coaching job at her alma mater De Anza College in 1992.
Gervasoni spent two seasons at De Anza College as an assistant coach where she helped guide the team to a 49-16 record and met her husband Mike, who had coached at De Anza since 1987. In 1992, she was inducted into the De Anza College Hall of Fame for her playing accomplishments.