Hofstra has named Danielle Santos Atkinson its new women's basketball coach, athletic director Rick Cole Jr. announced Saturday.
Santos, who started her coaching career at Hofstra as an assistant from 2006-10, replaces Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, who resigned in late March after 13 seasons as the head coach. Hofstra went 11-22 last season.
“It’s definitely full circle for me,” said Santos, who will be formally introduced Monday at Hofstra's David S. Mack Complex at 11 a.m. “This is where I got my college start. It’s where I was able to grow and develop and really get the foundation of what it took to be successful.”
Santos was the associate head coach at Pittsburgh last season after serving four years as an assistant coach at Florida State. Santos played four seasons at the University of Florida, graduating in 2006.
She is Hofstra's 12th head coach in program history and it’s Santos’ first time as a head coach.
“She’s a 13-year veteran of college coaching and she’s committed to building at Hofstra,” Cole said. “When you have someone that couples the integrity and moral compass that she appears to have with the work ethic and experience, she was the perfect fit.”
Santos preaches the importance of building relationships as a coach. It’s one of the areas she stressed importance in as an assistant coach, and that will continue now she has a program of her own.
“The girls don’t care how much you know, it’s much you care,” Santos said. “And I’ve definitely been able to learn that and embody that in every place I’ve been.”
She will look to prove herself, not only to the fans and the school, but her players as to why Santos is worthy of her new position.
“I think my passion and my energy is near and dear to my heart every single day, and also my ability to develop and teach,” Santos said. “I think definitely at whatever level it is, players are hungry. They have a desire to get better and when you have people that want to pour into them and achieve at their best, that allows them to reach their goals that much faster.”
And Cole believes Hofstra has found one of the next emerging talents in the women’s college basketball coaching world.
“I am 100 percent confident she is going to be a star in this business and she’s going to make the difference in the lives of our student-athletes,” he said. “So I think it’s a win-win as she embarks on her head coaching career and we’re really proud she gets to start it at Hofstra.”