Kamela Gissendanner enters her seventh season at the helm of La Roche University Women's basketball in 2019-20.
After serving a season as the Assitant Coach at D-I La Salle University, Gissendanner returned to La Roche for the 2018-19 season. Of her return, Athletic Director Jim Tinkey had this to say: “We are thrilled to welcome Coach Kam back home. We were blessed to have had her for the time that we did prior to her leaving last season. It was an incredible opportunity this past spring when Coach and I started talking about her coming back to La Roche College. We’re all excited for her return at the end of the summer and already looking forward to next November”.
Prior to leaving LRU for the opportunity to coach at the highest collegiate level, Gissendanner was recognized as one of the country's top coaches. She led the Redhawks to five AMCC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in her first five seasons. She has been voted the AMCC Coach of the Year three times (2013, 2018, 2019). At La Roche, Coach Kam owns an overall record of of 132-31 (.810) and a conference record of 100-8 (.926), one of the highest winning percentages among all NCAA head coaches. Coach Gissendanner was also named the 2015-16 Advocates for Athletic Equity Div. III Coach of the Year.
Coach Gissendanner has coached three AMCC Players of the Year (Jessica Pitts, Sabrina McLin, Jenna Cole), five Defensive Players of the Year, and 18 AMCC All-Conference performers. Her teams also consistently ranked among the country’s best. She came to La Roche after serving as an assistant coach at St. Francis University (PA) from 2009-2011. In those two seasons, she helped lead the Red Flashes to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two NEC Championships.
Coach Gissendanner played part of the 2008 season with the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. She also spent a season in Norway’s Kvinnenligaen League where she was the league’s leading scorer and MVP, and played a season in Slovakia’s Cassovia League where she ranked fifth in scoring average.
Prior to turning pro, Coach Gissendanner played three seasons at Penn State University. She finished her collegiate career ranked 23rd on Penn State’s all-time scoring list with 1,236 points and was selected All-Big Ten Third Team in 2008 and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2006 and 2007. She was named team-MVP her senior season and was selected as a team-captain her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
A Clairton, Pennsylvania native, Coach Gissendanner is a 2003 graduate of Clairton High School. While at Clairton, she set the school’s all-time scoring mark, was selected as a USA Today High School All-American and named the 2003 AP Small School Player of the Year, all while helping Clairton win two WPIAL Championships.
Coach Gissendanner resides in Clairton with her husband Eric and son Kameron.