Connecticut Sun's Eric Thibault Named Assistant Women's Basketball Coach

*A member of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun's coaching staff from 2008-2012

*Son of Connecticut Head Coach Mike Thibault

*Worked with WNBA All-Star guards Kara Lawson, Lindsay Whalen and Renee Montgomery

*Helped the Sun return to the WNBA playoffs in 2011

*Received at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament during his two seasons at St. John's

*Reached the NCAA Sweet 16 with the Red Storm in 2011-12

*Helped St. John's to its highest-ever end-of-season ranking at No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll

*Part of a Red Storm staff that snapped Connecticut's record 99-game home winning streak

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Commonwealth University Head Women's Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings has announced the addition of Eric Thibault as an assistant coach.  Thibault joins VCU after a five-year stint with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun.

The son of Connecticut Head Coach Mike Thibault, Eric brings both collegiate and professional coaching experience to the Rams, having spent the previous five seasons as an assistant for player development and scouting with the Sun, while also serving a two-year stint as a graduate assistant coach at St. John's University.

"Coach Eric Thibault is one of the rising young stars in women's basketball," said Stollings.  "His experience at the highest levels including the WNBA and Big East will play a vital role in the advancement of our program.  Coach Thibault brings extensive WNBA, International and East coast connections to our recruiting landscape.  His on court knowledge is advanced beyond his years.  We are ecstatic to have someone of his caliber joining Ram Nation."

As a member of the Sun's coaching staff, Thibault was responsible for preparing reports on opponent personnel, conducting individual workouts with players, managing season statistics, constructing opponent film edits, and scouting opponents.  He has also worked on the floor with WNBA All-Star point guards Kara Lawson, Lindsay Whalen, and Renee Montgomery.

Thibault's tenure with the Sun has seen the team overhaul its roster and take its place among the WNBA's elite, returning to the playoffs in 2011. As the WNBA takes its month-long break for the Olympic Games, the Sun sits atop the standings with a 15-4 record, tied for best in the league.

"I'm ecstatic to be joining the VCU family and to be a part of Coach Stollings' staff," added Thibault.  "Coach Stollings, our student-athletes, and the university are going to do everything possible to make this a program that not only competes to win A-10 championships, but makes real noise nationally.  I jumped at the chance to join this incredible staff.  They are full of infectious energy and are proven winners.  The sky is the limit for VCU Women's Basketball."

From 2010-12, Thibault served as a graduate assistant coach with the St. John's women's basketball program. During that time, the Red Storm compiled a 46-21 record and received a pair of at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.  In 2011-12, St. John's reached its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 after knocking off Oklahoma on its home floor, and earned its highest-ever end-of-season ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 15.  The Red Storm also made national news for snapping Connecticut's 99-game home winning streak in a dramatic 57-56 victory.

Thibault gained valuable experience under St. John's Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico, who was named 2012 Big East Coach of the Year after guiding the Red Storm to a second-place finish in the conference standings.  As a graduate assistant, Thibault's responsibilities included assisting the coaching staff with scouting and game preparation, organizing the team's managers and practice players, coordinating film exchange, and tracking game and season statistics.

Thibault graduated Cum Laude in English from the University of Missouri in December of 2009. He obtained his Master's degree in Sports Management from St. John's University in 2012. 

A 2006 graduate of East Lyme High School, Thibault was a co-captain of both the basketball and golf teams. He helped East Lyme reach the semi-finals of the CIAC Class M state basketball tournament as a senior, and was also the individual medalist for the ECC Large School Golf Tournament.