Buchanan Finalizes Coaching Staff by Adding Justice and Laverentz
June 18, 2010
HOUSTON - When the University of Houston women's basketball hits the court for the first time in November, fans will notice some familiar faces on the Cougar bench as well as a pair of new ones as head coach Todd Buchnan finalized his coaching staff this week. Completing the UH coaching staff will be assistant coach Ravon Justice and director of operations Rusty Laverentz.
"I feel very blessed to be able to assemble this staff and to get a chance to work with them on a daily basis," said Buchanan. "Without question, it is a staff of all-star coaches who all possess the qualities and reputations of being great recruiters. All of them are familiar with and understand my coaching philosophy, which brings an incredible sense of continuity and comfort to all of us."
Justice joins UH after spending the previous five seasons working on Buchanan's staff at HBU where she helped lead the Huskies to a Red River Athletic Conference regular season title and a pair of RRAC tournament championships along with two appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.
"I'm elated to have Ravon joining our staff. Obviously, she gives me a huge comfort level after spending the last five years together at HBU. She comes in knowing my coaching philosophy and system as well as my personality. My biggest job will be to hang on to her for a few years because she is a rising star in the coaching world and will be an extremely successful head coach down the road."
Prior to HBU, Justice spent a season as an assistant coach at Grayson County College in Denison, Texas.
During her college playing career, Justice played as Nicholls State for a year before transferring to Clarendon College. While at Clarendon she was coached by Wade Scott, whom she joins on the UH bench, and developed into an All-American as well as the Western Junior College Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Following her time at Clarendon, Justice played one season at Washington State before finishing her college career at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. As a senior at USAO, she averaged 19.3 points per game and captured All-Sooner Athletic Conference honors.
Justice earned her bachelor's degree in sociology from USAO in 2004 and received her master's degree in liberal arts from HBU.
Along with Justice, another newcomer on the Cougar women's basketball staff will be Laverentz who also makes the jump from HBU where he was an assistant coach. He will serve as the team's director of operations and assist in scouting and preparing for opponents as well as overseeing the team's video exchange and summer camps.
"I am very excited to have Rusty come to UH with me. He understands my coaching message and will help us in relaying that message to our team and getting us prepared for games. The change of role will be good for Rusty as it will help him transition into a different career path. He wants to work more on the athletics administration side of things."
Joining the HBU staff prior to the 2007-08 season, Laverentz assisted in transitioning the Huskies' program to NCAA Division I. While at HBU, he was involved in all aspects of the program with an emphasis on recruiting, team travel, equipment and scouting. He also coordinated the program's summer camps.
Prior to making the move to the Bayou City, Laverentz spent two years as the head women's basketball coach and a professor of physical education at New Mexico Junior College. On the court, his teams' compiled a 28-30 record. Before being named head coach, he worked for five seasons as an assistant with the Thunderbirds. He also served as the program's camp director in addition to assisting in numerous basketball camps at different colleges and university across the country.
Previously, Laverentz spent three years as a graduate assistant with the women's basketball team at Arkansas State.
During his college days, Laverentz was a four-year letterwinner in baseball at Missouri Western State in addition to serving as a student assistant with the school's women's basketball program.
He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Missouri Western State before receiving his master's degree in physical education from Arkansas State.
The addition of Justice and Laverentz finalizes the UH women's basketball coach which also consists of associate head coach Wade Scott, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Tari Cummings and operations/administrative assistant Tiffanie Gupton.