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May 9, 2005

Columbus, Ohio – Jim Foster, Ohio State women’s basketball head coach, announced Monday Debbie Black will move from her video coordinator position she assumed during the 2004-05 season into a role as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2005-06 season. Pete Gaudet, who served as an Ohio State assistant coach for the last three seasons, will convert to video coordinator.

“This is a best of all worlds situation,” Foster said. “Debbie’s energy and various experiences combined with Pete’s passion for film work strengthens an already tremendous staff that includes Kelley Meury and Tamika Williams.”

Black, who retired from the Connecticut Sun of the Women’s National Basketball Association April 13, played for Foster at St. Joseph’s from 1985-88. Professionally, Black split her playing career overseas and in the United States. She ended her 18-year playing career in April, playing six seasons in the WNBA for Connecticut, Miami and Utah.

In the all-time WNBA records book, Black retired ranked No. 8 in career steals (315) and tied for 10th in assists (612). Black also is first all-time in career steal-to-turnover ratio and fourth in career steals per game (2.26). She was the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year with the Miami Sol in 2001.

At St. Joseph’s, She joined current assistant coach Kelley Meury to lead the Hawks to two Big 5 championships and an Atlantic 10 title. A native of Philadelphia, Black completed her collegiate career ranked as St. Joe’s all-time career leader in assists (718) and steals (572). A multi-sport athlete, Black earned 12 varsity letters in basketball, field hockey and softball. She reaped many awards on the hard court, including 1988 All-District and All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team honors after being named second-team all-league in 1986 and to the All-Rookie team in 1985. She was inducted into the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame in 1995, the St. Joseph’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994 and the St. Joseph’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

“I am excited to work with the great people at Ohio State,” Black said. “It is one of the top universities in the nation in addition to one of the best basketball programs in the country. I look forward to helping to continue and build upon the recent success we have had at Ohio State.”

Prior to the WNBA, Black was an All-Star performer with the Colorado Xplosion of the American Basketball League, where she recorded a rare feat with a quadruple-double against the Atlanta Glory Dec. 8, 1996 when she scored 10 points, handed out 12 assists, pulled down 14 rebounds and recorded 10 steals. She finished her ABL career as the all-time leader in steals (330) and ranked second in assists (608) and was named 1997 ABL Defensive Player of the Year.

Overseas, Black played eight seasons with the Tasmanian Islanders (1989-96) of the Women’s National Basketball League in Australia. She helped the team win national titles in 1991 and 1995.

Black has coached with Foster previously in 1999-00 at Vanderbilt, where she helped the Lady Commodores to a 21-13 overall record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Gaudet has helped Foster rebuild the Ohio State women’s basketball program to national prominence. In his three seasons on the Buckeye bench, Gaudet has served as an integral factor in Ohio State reaching three straight NCAA tournaments, culminating in a Big Ten co-championship and all-time best 30 wins in 2004-05. The Buckeyes reached the regional semifinals or “Sweet 16” for the first time since 1992-93 last season.

“The change gives me an opportunity to continue to contribute to the success of the OSU women’s basketball program in an area where I am already familiar,” Gaudet said. “At the same time, this change lessens the all-consuming work schedule that includes recruiting, practices, scouting, game preparation and summer camps.”

In his three seasons coaching with Foster at Vanderbilt, Gaudet helped the Commodores to a 75-30 overall record during the 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02 campaigns. Each year, Vanderbilt reached the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game, including the 2002 SEC Tournament crown. The Commodores reached the NCAA tournament each season as well, advancing to the “Elite Eight” in 2001 and 2002.