Belle Koclanes | Head Coach
Hired by Athletics Director Harry Sheehy in April 2013, Belle Koclanes (koh-CLAH-ness) is now entering her fourth season in 2016-17 as the Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82 and Family Head Coach of Dartmouth Women’s Basketball.
In her third season (2015-16) Koclanes led her team to its best finish in conference play since 2009. The Big Green went 7-7 in the Ivy League good for fourth place. Under Koclanes, senior Lakin Roland earned All-Ivy First Team honors and sophomore Kate Letkewicz received honorable mention.
In her second season (2014-15), Koclanes’ squad made important progress finishing the season with a 14-14 record, the best season mark for a Dartmouth Women’s Basketball team since the 2008-09 season. The 9-5 non-conference finish was also the best non-league record since the 2005-06 season. These improvements led to a jump of 158 spots in the NCAA RPI ratings. Fanni Szabo ’17 earned All-Ivy Second Team Honors while Lakin Roland ’16 garnered Honorable Mention All-Ivy praise.
During her first season (2013-14), Koclanes focused on moving the program forward towards its 18th Ivy League championship. The biggest improvement of the season was an Ivy win over eventual Ivy League champion Penn in Leede Arena in late February. Coach Belle instilled the program’s core values of “RAP: Respect, Attitude, and Preparation” to unite this team towards a common goal.
With a BA in Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond in 2002 and a MA in Culture and Communication from New York University, Coach Belle embeds leadership development into her everyday coaching philosophy. She believes in servant leadership where leadership is about action, not position. The team participates in many leadership activities throughout the year ranging from the Winter Games to mentor/mentee meetings with the coaching staff to 1 vs. 1 conversation with Coach Belle teaching ways in which a player must first learn to lead herself before others.
“Always remember where you come from” is an important saying with Dartmouth Women’s Basketball. A 10-year veteran of collegiate coaching, Koclanes previously spent two years as an assistant coach at American University of the Patriot League in Washington, D.C.
“I am thrilled to welcome Belle into the Dartmouth athletics family and community,” said Sheehy. “During her visit to our campus, Belle impressed everyone with her knowledge of and passion for the game of basketball. She has learned the game from great coaches in great programs and is well suited to lead our team into the future. Our current team and future Dartmouth women’s basketball players will love playing for Belle.”
“I also want to thank the four dedicated alumnae who served on our Search Advisory Committee,” Sheehy added. “Allison Greene ’90, Ute Bowman Otley ’90, Sherryta Freeman ’01, and Ashley Taylor Meyer ’07 were very generous with their time and insights and played a critical role in the search process.”
Koclanes spent two seasons as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator at American, where she helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back winning records. During her first season, American posted the first undefeated Patriot League record (14-0) in conference history. One of her major contributions to the staff was the implementation of her 12-month leadership development program. In addition, Koclanes was responsible for the development of the guards as well as game strategy.
“I want to thank Harry Sheehy, [Senior Associate Athletics Director] Drew Galbraith and the entire Dartmouth family for the opportunity to bring my experiences and passion of coaching to the Big Green,” Koclanes said. “As soon as I arrived in Hanover, it was evident that the people make the place. I am excited to connect with the community and see many familiar faces in Leede Arena.”
Prior to her stint at American, Koclanes spent three seasons on the staff at Old Dominion University for legendary coach Wendy Larry. During her time in Norfolk, the Lady Monarchs recorded a 56-38 overall record, including a 39-15 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play and earned two berths in the WNIT. Koclanes was responsible for the development of the guards with additional responsibilities for recruiting and game scouting.
A native of Pelham, NY, Koclanes is no stranger to the Ivy League as she started her career as the Director of Basketball Operations at Columbia University during the 2003-04 season before spending four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania. During her tenure at Penn, Koclanes assisted in all aspects of recruiting, scouting, on-court coaching and game preparation.
Before entering the coaching ranks, Koclanes spent the 2002-03 season playing professionally for Panserraikos in the Greek Basketball League.
A three-year captain at the University of Richmond, Koclanes finished her collegiate career as the Spiders’ career assist leader (793) and was an All-America nominee and a Naismith Award candidate (National Player of the Year). Growing up in a big Italian family, all Coach Belle knows how to do is share, which is evident in her assist numbers as a point guard. She led the conference in assists all four years and averaged 7.37 assists per game during her senior campaign (4th best in the NCAA). She totaled 30 games of 10-or-more assists in her career and had an astounding 22 Career Double-Doubles. Always looking to improve, Koclanes broke Richmond’s program assists mark each year of her career (160, 204, 208, 221) in addition to finishing her career with 1,205 points.
A member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Koclanes has presented at the Assistant Coaches Roundtables in conjunction with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Convention held each year at the Final Four.
Koclanes was also invited to The Center for Coaching Excellence, which is a two-day elite leadership-training program that provides an unparalleled exclusive learning experience for coaches of women’s basketball.
“Dartmouth has a strong winning tradition that has been established by the outstanding coaches and players of the past,” said Koclanes. “I am eager for the challenge to continue this legacy. I believe that coaching is about building relationships with people and creating a culture for young adults to achieve excellence. Our team culture will be rooted in respect, attitude, and preparation. With these values at our core, we will wear the Green with pride as we strive for our 18th Ivy League title.”
Addie Micir | Assistant Coach
Addie Micir is entering her fourth year as an assistant coach at Dartmouth in 2016-17. Micir was hired in July 2013 after completing her professional basketball career overseas.
At Dartmouth, her responsibilities include recruiting, scouting, wing player development, alumni relations and the academic liaison among many others.
Micir transitioned from a player to coach in her first season on the bench after spending the previous two seasons playing overseas in Europe. Her most recent team was Challenge Sports Binnenland.Rotterdam in Rotterdam, The Netherlands where she was a starter on the top team in the league. On this team, Micir played with multiple members of the Dutch National Team. In her first season overseas, Micir was also an all-star with Residence Walferdange in Luxembourg, where she led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists. During her stint with both clubs, Micir also ran clinics and practices for the youth programs.
A native of Newtown, Pa., Micir is no stranger to the Ivy League as she completed a successful four-year career at Princeton in 2011.
At Princeton, Micir was part of building a championship program as a student-athlete. In her junior year, Princeton went undefeated in Ivy League play and won the conference title, making its first NCAA tournament appearance in program history.
In her senior year, as a captain, she led her team to another conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance. She capped her senior year with the 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year honor, the first winner in program history. Micir was also a three-time All-Ivy League selection, earning first-team honors in 2011 and second-team accolades in 2009 and 2010. She graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Micir is a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and was invited to The Center for Coaching Excellence for Assistant Coaches, which is a two-day elite leadership-training program that provides an unparalleled exclusive learning experience for coaches of women’s basketball.
She is currently working on her Master’s Degree at Dartmouth.
Taja Edwards | Assistant Coach
Taja Edwards joined the Dartmouth women's basketball coaching staff in May of 2017.
Edwards comes to Hanover from the University of Southern California where she served as an assistant coach for the past three seasons. With the Trojans, Edwards was responsible for player development, particularly with the point guards and also took on mentoring and recruiting roles with the team. Under Edwards in 2016, Minyon Moore earned National Freshman of the Week honors and was named to the All-PAC 12 Freshman Team.
Prior to coaching at USC, Edwards served as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton from 2013 to 2014. With the Titans she worked with post players and was responsible for recruiting in the west coast region. Edwards also served as the team's video coordinator, managing all film exchange.
Edwards got her start coaching Division 1 basketball when she was an assistant coach at Ole Miss from 2012 to 2013. There her duties included video coordinating, scouting opponents, as well as guard and post positioning and recruiting.
In addition to her work at the collegiate level, Edwards was also the founder, coach and director of operations for Cal Spark Xtreme, a non-profit organization for girls' basketball players in Central Valley, California.
A native of Long Beach, California, Edwards attended Long Beach Poly High School where she was a McDonald's All-American candidate and won back-to-back state championships. She earned her Bachelors degree from Cal State Fresno in 2011, where she was also a member of the women's basketball team. With the Bulldogs, Edwards helped her team to three Western Athletic Conference Championships as well as four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Edwards is also a member of Power 4 Youth and the WBCA. She is currently pursuing her masters in Science Psychology with an emphasis in Life Coaching.
Michael Motta | Director of Operations
Motta is entering his fourth season as the Dartmouth’s Director of Basketball Operations in 2016-17 after finishing a stint at Providence as a graduate assistant on the women’s basketball staff.
Motta is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the women’s basketball program at Dartmouth. His responsibilities include day-to-day scheduling, team travel, marketing, community outreach, social media, and also serving as the Pine Hoops Academy Director among many other duties.
Motta comes to Dartmouth after a two-year stint at Providence of the Big East Conference as a graduate assistant with the women’s basketball team. At Providence, Motta oversaw the team managers/scout team, coordinated film exchange and editing, scheduled visiting team practices as well as the Friars' practice schedule on the road. Motta graduated from Providence in 2013 with his Master’s Degree in Counseling.
A native of Wethersfield, Connecticut, Motta pursued his undergraduate education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. While at Old Dominion, Motta joined the women’s basketball program as a student manager with legendary head coach Wendy Larry at the helm. In his freshman year at ODU, the program won their 17th consecutive conference (Colonial Athletic Association) championship, earned a top 10 national ranking and advanced to the Sweet 16 where they ended their season with a loss to the University of Connecticut.
During his sophomore year, current Dartmouth head coach Belle Koclanes joined the ODU staff as an assistant coach and had the responsibility of mentoring the student managers.
Motta graduated from ODU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management and is a member of the the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).