PAUL THOMAS | Head Coach
Head coach Paul Thomas enters his 10th season at Saint Mary’s in 2015-16. Thomas is the eighth head coach in the program’s 30-year history.
In his nine seasons, Thomas has accumulated a 173-116 record at SMC and a career record of 406-273 in 21 years of coaching.
Additionally the Gaels have been one of the winningest programs in the state of California. Since the 2009-10 season through 2014-15, the Gaels have a six-year win total of 131 wins, which ranks fourth in the state ahead of notable schools in San Diego (128), UCLA (125), San Diego State (112) and USC (109).
In 2014-15, Thomas earned the West Coast Conference Co-Coach of the Year Award as the Gaels improved to a third-place finish, despite losing a trio of 1,000 point scorers from the previous year. During the year the Gaels completed their third consecutive 23-win season and advanced to the WNIT Quarterfinals. The Gaels finished the year ranked 7th in the Nation in Rebounding Margin. SMC spent much of the year on the NCAA bubble, finishing with an RPI of 52.
Since his first season with the Gaels in 2006-07, the Gaels have had 20 WCC All-Conference award winners, including the 2009-10 Defensive Player of the Year in Louella Tomlinson. The Saint Mary’s women’s basketball record book has numerous of Thomas’ student-athletes in various categories. Jackie Nared (2013-14) ranks first in single-season scoring, while Lauren Nicholson (2014-15, 3rd), Danielle Mauldin (2013-14, 5th), Nared (2012-13, 7th) and Jasmine Smith (2010-11, 10th) all rank in the single-season top-10.
Continuing with the record book theme, Thomas has coached several of the best statistical student-athletes who have stepped foot in McKeon Pavilion. He has coached the career points leader at SMC in Louella Tomlinson and five of the top 10 in career scoring. Thomas has also coached the top two three-point shooters in school history (Jontelle Smith, Kate Gaze) and the top two career rebounders in Danielle Mauldin and Tomlinson.
Thomas joined Saint Mary’s after serving as head women’s coach at Cal Poly Pomona for 12 seasons. Thomas led Cal Poly Pomona to back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships in 2001 and 2002. While at Cal Poly Pomona, Thomas reached the Sweet Sixteen four out of the last seven seasons, won five California Collegiate Athletic Association champions and was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and NCAA District 8 Coach of the Year in 2002.
In 12 seasons at Cal Poly Pomona, Thomas' accumulated an overall record 235-108 (.685), and was 115-32 (.782) over his last five seasons, which included three conference championships and two national titles.
Thomas reached the Division II NCAA Tournament eight out of the 12 seasons with a 14-6 postseason record. He has recruited and coached two National Players of the Year, six First Team Kodak All-Americans, four CCAA Players of the Year and 15 First Team All-Conference players. Prior to becoming head coach at Cal Poly Pomona, Thomas served as an assistant coach at Cal Poly Pomona for four seasons.
Thomas joined Cal Poly Pomona out of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota where he served as head coach for a pair of seasons. Prior to joining Hamline, Thomas was the women's assistant coach at his alma mater of Wayne State College. He worked with the Wildcats for three seasons (1985-88) earning his bachelor's degree (1986) and his master's degree (1988) in physical education. Thomas also worked at Pender High School in Pender, Nebraska where he was a girls' basketball assistant coach.
Thomas played two years of college basketball at Midland Lutheran College (Fremont, Nebraska) before transferring to Wayne State to concentrate on coaching. He played his high school ball at Creighton High School in Creighton, Nebraska, where he was an all-state forward and the team's Most Valuable Player for the Bulldogs.
Paul resides in Orinda and has three children Jacob, Michaela and Annika.
TRACY SANDERS | Associate Head Coach
Sanders was promoted to associate head coach during the summer of 2013. She is entering her 10th year as assistant coach in 2015-16 at Saint Mary’s College under Paul Thomas. Sanders, formerly Morris, coached at Saint Mary’s previous to the Thomas era, from 2000-03. Sanders returned to the Gaels’ coaching staff after a three-year absence. Sanders' duties include coordinating all recruiting, scouting, game preparation, alumni relations, team camps and clinics.
Sanders also facilitates the planning of the end-of-season banquet, pre-game chalk talks, and post-game socials.
Sanders became an assistant coach after graduating from Saint Mary’s in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance. A four-year letterwinner for the Gaels, Sanders has a long list of accolades from her career at Saint Mary’s.
During her playing days, Sanders was named to the West Coast Conference Top 50 All-Time team. She was the WCC Player of the Year her junior year, a three-time All-WCC First Team member and the WCC Freshman of the Year (‘97).
Sanders led the conference in scoring for three straight years and is second all-time in the conference in scoring. She became the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,807 points, breaking a 15-year old record. In addition to her individual achievements, Sanders led the Gaels to the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 1999 and the WNIT in 2000. In 2007 Sanders was inducted into the Saint Mary’s Hall of Fame for her achievements.
Sanders prepped at Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA and currently resides in her hometown with her husband Jon, son Cason, and daughter Samantha.
ALLYSON FASNACHT | Assistant Coach
Allyson Fasnacht enters her fifth year as an assistant coach with the Gaels in 2015-16, being hired in June of 2011.
Fasnacht is responsible for Academics, Summer Camps, Player Development, Recruiting, and other External Affairs duties.
Fasnacht comes to SMC from Nevada where she was a Graduate Assistant Coach for two seasons. At Nevada, Fasnacht's primary duties included film exchange, maintenance and management of the women's' basketball blog, video breakdown and connection and communication with alumni.
Fasnacht spent the 2008-09 season as an assistant women's basketball coach at Furman in Greenville, S.C. While coaching the Lady Paladins, Fasnacht coordinated the summer camps, assisted with on-court player development, prepared opponent scouting reports, assisted with film exchange and wrote the monthly newsletters.
Fasnacht played collegiately at Liberty University from 2004-08. During her career, she helped the Lady Flames to three big South Tournament Championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005.
During the summers of 2004-08, Fasnacht worked as a camp counselor at both the Virginia Tech University and Liberty University basketball camps. She also spent time in 2005 as a practicum student with the Liberty University basketball office working directly with the director of basketball operations.
A native of Salem, Virginia, she graduated from Liberty University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. She earned a master's degree in educational leadership at Nevada.
LISA O'MEARA | Assistant Coach
Lisa O'Meara enters her third season as assistant coach in 2015-16.
O'Meara served four seasons as Saint Mary's Director of Women's Basketball Operations before being hired as an assistant. Her primary duties included organizing and distributing equipment, creating and posting social media on facebook, twitter etc., coordinating video equipment, filming, film exchange and all items related to team travel logistics and itineraries.
O'Meara also teaches activity courses for the Kinesiology department including Tennis, Body Conditioning and basketball for undergraduate students.
Collegiately, then Lisa Busch, she played at Saint Mary's during the 2006-07 season under head coach Paul Thomas (Thomas' first season at SMC). She then transferred to Lane Community College in her hometown in Eugene, Oregon. The team went undefeated in the Southern Region Conference and finished third in the NWACC.
She received a 1-year Fitness Technician Certificate at Lane in 2008. O'Meara played two years of basketball at Oregon Tech and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Management.
O'Meara came back to Saint Mary's for the 2010-11 year as the Director of Basketball Operations and started the Master's program in Kinesiology. She earned her Master's in May of 2012.
In August of 2012, Lisa married Saint Mary's alumni and former All-American rugby player Brendan O'Meara in Ireland.
SHANNON DONEGAN | Director of Operations
Bio. Coming Soon!