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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Women’s basketball head coach completes coaching staff ahead of new season

McCombs+will+inherit+a+program+that+led+the+Atlantic+10+in+limiting+opponent+scoring.
Photo Illustration by Sabrina Godin | Assistant Photo Editor
McCombs will inherit a program that led the Atlantic 10 in limiting opponent scoring.

Women’s basketball head coach Caroline McCombs announced the members of her full coaching staff Wednesday.

Four assistant coaches — Adam Call, Bri Hutchen, Gabe Lazo — and director of basketball operations Caitlyn Isler will join McCombs’ staff, an athletic department release states. All four members of the newly formed staff previously served under McCombs at Stony Brook, as she looks to repeat her coaching success with the Colonials.

“I’m thankful to bring such a dynamic staff and welcome each one of them to our George Washington family,” McCombs said in the release. “Adam, Bri, Gabe and Caitlyn are incredible people and exemplify qualities in which we will instill in our program. They have a passion for building relationships and are committed to being a part of something bigger than themselves. I feel fortunate to have this group alongside me.”

Call reunites with McCombs after working the last year as a volunteer assistant at Stony Brook. Prior to that, he spent four seasons at Eastern Michigan, including two as the associate head coach.

“I am honored and excited to be joining Coach McCombs and the George Washington University community,” Call said in the release. “I’m ready to get to work in restoring the program to its proud history of the legendary Joe McKeown era. The student-athlete experience will be the number one priority as we begin this process.”

At Eastern Michigan, Call helped develop guards Danielle Minott and Courtnie Lewis to All-MAC honors in the 2017 season, the release states. Minott made the All-MAC Third Team, while Lewis scored the second-most points by an Eagle freshman to earn All-MAC Honorable Mention and MAC All-Freshmen honors, to finish among the top 10 freshmen nationally in scoring, according to the release.

Hutchen also follows McCombs from Stony Brook after serving as an assistant coach for the last three years with the Seawolves, according to the release. She helped McCombs lead Stony Brook to the 2021 America East Tournament Championship and the team’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, the release states.

“It is an honor to join Coach McCombs at the George Washington University,” Hutchen said in the release. “Our past three seasons together give me confidence that we will build a culture here based on the values we work hard to demonstrate in our daily lives. Being a Baltimore native, I am proud to now be a part of a program with such a rich history of success not only in the DMV but on a national level. I would like to thank Tanya Vogel, John Square and the rest of the GW staff for providing me with the opportunity to join Coach McCombs in Foggy Bottom.”

In Hutchen’s first season, she helped the Seawolves collect the program’s first win over a Power Five opponent, knocking off Penn State in an 81–70 victory Nov. 25, according to the release.

Hutchen aided with the development of five all-conference selections, including graduate student India Pagan — a 2020 first-team honoree and member of the Puerto Rican national team — according to the release. Prior to joining the Seawolves’ staff, Hutchen spent three seasons at Iona College, serving two seasons as the director operations before becoming the assistant coach in 2017, the release states.

Lazo spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Stony Brook, guiding the Seawolves, alongside McCombs and Hutchen, to an America East regular season title in 2020 and a conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021, the release states.

“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Coach McCombs and the GW family,” Lazo said in the release. “George Washington is a special place with a strong basketball tradition. I can’t wait to get on campus and pound the stone.”

Before his stint at Stony Brook, Lazo served as an assistant with the women’s basketball program at Florida International for two seasons, the release states. In his first year, Lazo assisted the Panthers to their best record in four seasons and most Conference USA wins in program history, accoridng to the release.

He played at the college level with the Panthers for two seasons beginning in 2004, followed by two seasons at Barry. Lazo then went on to compete professionally for two years with Cariduros de Fajardo BSN in Puerto Rico, the release states.

Isler formerly worked as McCombs’ director of operations for the last three seasons at Stony Brook, joining the Seawolves after working as a graduate assistant in operations for the Ohio State women’s basketball program, according to the release.

“I am very excited to be joining the family here at George Washington and to have the opportunity to work with Coach McCombs and the rest of the staff,” Isler said in the release. “I want to thank the administration, including Tanya Vogel and John Square, as well as the entire athletic department for being so welcoming and supportive. I can’t wait to build something special here at GW!”

As McCombs rounds out her staff, she will look to do the same with a depleted six-man roster heading into the 2021 fall season.

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