USAFA, Colo. – Air Force women’s basketball head coach Andrea Williams has announced the addition of Kelly Rotan to the Falcons’ staff as an assistant coach. Rotan, who will begin her duties on Aug. 1, comes to the Academy from Yale University, where she served two seasons as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs.
“This is a big opportunity for me coming up from the Ivy League, just being in a new department,” said Rotan. “I’m excited to get more experience, especially with the coaching staff we have here, and their knowledge in the game. I’m looking forward to learning a lot more from all of the them.”
“I’m also excited to [work with the cadets],” Rotan continued. “In some aspects, it reminds me a lot of the Ivy League and the Yale kids that I worked with, just because they’re so disciplined—getting their stuff done, wanting to be the best, hating failure. But the military side is a whole new spectrum for me. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited for it.”
In her two seasons at Yale, Rotan coached a pair of players who competed on the international level in Megan Vasquez, who was a part of Puerto Rico’s attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, and Janna Graf, who led Germany’s U-20 squad to a second-place finish in the European Championships. Rotan’s tenure also included Yale’s 17th 1,000-point scorer in Vasquez. Additionally, she coached two All-Ivy League First Team honorees (Vasquez, 2011-12; Sarah Halejian, 2012-13), an All-Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Halejian, 2011-12) and three All-Ivy League Honorable Mention players (Michelle Cashen, 2011-12; Vasquez and Graf, 2012-13).
In her first season with the Bulldogs, Rotan was instrumental in Yale’s continued resurgence as a contender for the Ivy League championship, helping to guide the Bulldogs to a 16-10 record in 2011-12, the most wins in a season since 1993-94. Yale finished the season with an 8-6 mark in Ivy League play and went into the final game of the season with a chance to lock up second place in the Ivy League standings for a return to the WNIT.
A 2010 graduate of Juniata College in Pennsylvania, Rotan spent the 2010-11 academic year working at Penn State University as a marketing coordinator in the athletic department, where she helped organize events, promotions and fundraising efforts for the basketball teams and other Olympic sports.
A standout player at Juniata, Rotan led the Eagles to an NCAA Division III appearance (2008) and two consecutive ECAC South Region Tournament appearances (2009, 2010), including the 2009 ECAC South Region Championship, which was the first postseason championship of any kind in the history of women’s basketball at Juniata. During that tournament, Rotan shot a stellar 13-for-16 from the field (81.3 percent) and averaged 9.3 points over the three games in the tournament.
A native of Atco, N.J., Rotan averaged 8.2 points and 7.1 rebounds during her senior season while serving as Juniata’s team captain. Primarily a forward for the Eagles, Rotan scored 590 points and grabbed 465 rebounds during her career and helped Juniata earn three Landmark Conference postseason berths during her four seasons. She also earned a place on the Landmark Conference’s All-Academic Team in 2010 and was a three-time Academic Honor Roll choice as a sports management major.
“We are happy to have Kelly on board,” said Williams. “She’s a young, promising coach coming from the Ivy League. She has a tremendous background and comes highly recommended. Kelly has a hunger to work and get better, and to serve our girls both on and off the court. It’s hard to replace former coaches, but I think we’ve come up with a good match for us and what we’re looking for. I think we have something special with Kelly on board, and we look forward to a great year.”