Tracy Sanders Announces SUU Women’s Basketball Assistants

Tracy Sanders Announces SUU Women’s Basketball Assistants

CEDAR CITY, Utah-While she will inherit former Juab High star Hannah Robins from a previous recruiting class, Southern Utah University women’s basketball coach Tracy Sanders is getting her ducks in a row by assembling her coaching staff which was finalized Wednesday.

Sanders, a former assistant coach at Saint Mary’s, announced her decision in this regard, saying “these coaches will be terrific representatives of Southern Utah University and our women’s basketball program.”

The staff consists of Tony Giannotti, Hailey Mandelko and Jay Johnson.

Giannotti is a 2000 SUU graduate and played for the Thunderbirds’ men’s basketball team for two seasons. He has previously served as an assistant for both the Thunderbirds’ men’s (2000-01 season) and women’s (2003-2006) basketball teams in the past.

In the interim, Giannotti has served as an assistant coach on women’s basketball staffs at Saint Mary’s, New Mexico State, Idaho State and San Jose State.

While with the Bengals at Pocatello, Idaho, he won a Big Sky Conference championship in the 2013 season. While at New Mexico State, he helped the Aggies to a postseason appearance in 2010, the first time this had happened in Las Cruces, N.M. since 1994.

Giannotti comes to Cedar City on his second tour of duty after serving as the girls’ basketball coach at Wasatch Academy. This past season, he led the Tigers to a 23-3 record and a Region 17 championship.

Mandelko, a former SUU women’s basketball standout, returns to the program after a stint as the head coach of the Lexington High Minutewomen of Kearney, Neb.

Mandelko was a key player on the Thunderbirds’ 2013-14 Big Sky champion roster and earned all-conference honors her junior season while also entering the Top 5 in program history for points in a season (467) and was in the top 8 in program annals for free throw percentage in a season (84.5 percent).

The 2015 SUU graduate is 5th all-time in career points scored in program history (1,225 points), fourth all-time in free throw percentage (81.3 percent), and eighth all-time in 3-point field goal percentage (35.1 percent).

Johnson has come to Cedar City with Sanders and attended Saint Mary’s from 2013-2017, graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.