Altoona grad hired at D-I Detroit Mercy

From Mirror reports

DETROIT — The University of Detroit Mercy women’s basketball program welcomes a familiar face back to the staff with Altoona native Kayla DeCriscio returning as the new assistant coach for the Titans under head coach Bernard Scott, it was announced Monday.

DeCriscio spent two years with Detroit Mercy during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons as a graduate assistant/director of basketball operations.

“I’m excited about bringing Kayla back to Detroit Mercy as our assistant coach,” Scott said. “I was looking for someone that was loyal, hard working, dependable and knowledgeable and she definitely is those things. She knows our standards and what we are all about here from being our graduate assistant for two years before leaving to become the director of operations at Niagara University. Adding a person like Kayla to our coaching staff makes our program better. I’m looking forward to her starting and working with our staff and players.”

Altoona Area High School recent graduate Bridgid Fox will be a freshman in the program beginning in the fall.

DeCriscio spent the 2018-19 school year as the Director of Basketball Operations for the women’s basketball team at Niagara University in New York. She was responsible for all of the team travel arrangements, served as the director of the summer basketball camps and video coordinator, maintained the overall budget for the program, organized the team schedule, handled the team’s social media and oversaw team managers and practice players, among many other duties.

“To have the opportunity to be back working at Detroit Mercy and under head coach Bernard Scott is truly a blessing,” DeCriscio said. “I believe in coach Scott’s vision for the program and what he has been doing here. I would like to thank all of those involved in the hiring process for allowing me to take the next step in my career and believing in me. I am excited and eager to work alongside the staff and our great group of ladies we have on the team.”

She was part of a Niagara staff that produced a First Team All-MAAC player and put six student-athletes of the MAAC All-Academic Team. The Purple Eagles also participated in the preseason WNIT tournament for the first time in school history.

DeCriscio first joined the Detroit Mercy women’s basketball staff as a graduate assistant in August 2016. She coordinated all travel plans and made itineraries for each road trip and helped compile and maintain the travel budget. Other duties in her first stint with the Titans included serving as the assistant director for the summer basketball camps, helping prepare scouting reports and assisting with individual workouts and practices. During her first year on staff, the Titans reached the title game of the 2017 Horizon League Championship.

DeCriscio graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in April 2018. The Altoona Area High School graduate played four years of collegiate basketball at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where she made the Dean’s List in every semester and was the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).

She sank 170 3-pointers during her career for the Mountain Cats, leading the team in triples made and 3-point shooting percentage two times each, while also sinking eight 3-pointers in a game and finished her career as a 39-percent shooter from beyond the arc. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education: Mathematics and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Pitt-Johnstown in 2016.