Ryan McCarthy, Head Coach
Record at UAA: 103-24 (.811), 4 seasons
Career Record: 117-37 (.760), 5 seasons
One of the brightest coaching talents in the NCAA ranks, Ryan McCarthy begins his fifth year at the helm of the Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball program in 2016-17, having already taken the Seawolves to unprecedented heights.
An Anchorage native, McCarthy has led his hometown program to a 67-5 record over the past two campaigns, capturing two Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and postseason tournament titles, ascending to No. 1 in the national poll for eight total weeks, and reaching the 2016 NCAA National Title Game.
Following a 29-2 campaign in 2014-15, UAA recorded a 38-3 mark in 2015-16 to set a new NCAA Div. II standard for victories in a season – among five NCAA records broken by last year’s club. McCarthy repeated as the NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year and was the 2014-15 GNAC Coach of the Year, piloting squads that have broken over 50 school records in a two-year span.
Playing his program’s signature up-tempo ‘Mayhem’ style, the Seawolves led NCAA Div. II in steals per game for the third straight season in 2015-16, while coming just shy of pacing the nation in margin of victory for the second year in a row. The past two UAA teams have also earned top-10 national ranks in scoring offense, turnover margin and rebound margin, while producing two GNAC Newcomers of the Year (Megan Mullings & Keiahnna Engel), the 2014-15 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year and back-to-back GNAC Tournament MVP (Kiki Robertson), and the 2015-16 GNAC Player of the Year (Mullings, who was also tabbed as an All-American).
Since taking the reins in 2012, McCarthy’s teams have improved both their overall (17, 19, 29, 38) and GNAC (11, 12, 17, 18) victory totals each year -- a figure that doesn’t even include a 67-61 exhibition road win over Pacific-12 Conference foe Utah in Nov. 2014.
In 2013-14, McCarthy’s Seawolves finished 19-9 overall and made the NCAA playoffs for the first time under his leadership. UAA led the nation with 14.3 steals per game and was the highest-scoring team in the GNAC at nearly 80 points per contest.
Despite a shortened roster, McCarthy’s first Seawolf squad rallied for a seven-game win streak to close the 2012-13 regular season and a third-place tie in the final GNAC standings at 11-7.
In four seasons under McCarthy, the Seawolves have produced nine 1st- or 2nd-team All-GNAC honorees, 13 Academic All-GNAC performers, and seen four players ascend to the professional ranks. Team-wise, UAA has posted victories over four NCAA Div. I teams, six NCAA Div. II nationally ranked teams, and perfect 8-0 marks against league rivals Seattle Pacific, Alaska Fairbanks and Western Oregon.
Prior to UAA, McCarthy spent five seasons at GNAC rival Northwest Nazarene from 2007-12. At NNU, he served as an assistant, interim head coach and associate head coach, helping the Crusaders to two NCAA Tournament berths and a .633 winning percentage during that stretch.
After helping NNU to a 56-27 record as assistant coach from 2007-10, McCarthy stepped up as acting head coach in 2010-11 and led the Crusaders to a 14-13 record and a bid to the inaugural GNAC Tournament. In 2011-12, McCarthy was named associate head coach and helped pilot NNU to an 18-10 season.
McCarthy played professionally for Tus Bramsche in Bramsche, Germany, in 2006-07, where he led the league in three-pointers and free throw percentage. He spent 2006 with the Central Oregon Hotshots of the International Basketball League, averaging 16 points, four assists and four rebounds per game.
A 4-year starter and 3-year captain for the Crusaders from 2002-06, McCarthy was NNU's Orrin Hills Male Athlete of the Year for 2005-06. He ranks third in program history with 256 treys over his career, setting the then-GNAC single-season record with 102 three pointers in 2005-06. Overall he posted 1,161 career points for the Crusaders.
McCarthy graduated from NNU in 2006 with a B.S. in social science education. He and his wife Jenny have two young children, Donovan and Aurora.
Shaina Afoa, Associate Head Coach
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Anchorage native Shaina Afoa returns to the Seawolf coaching staff for her fifth season overall in 2016-17 and her second as the program's top assistant.
Since joining Ryan McCarthy’s staff, Afoa has helped the Seawolves to a 103-24 overall record, three NCAA Tournamanet berths, and back-to-back GNAC regular-season and tournament titles. In her first year as the lead assistant coach, UAA also captured the NCAA West Region title and earned its first-ever berth in the National Title Game.
In addition to administrative and recruiting duties, Afoa has been a key to the development and success of UAA's post players, working with such recent all-league standouts as Alysa Horn, KeKe Wright and All-American Megan Mullings.
Afoa was a three-sport athlete at GNAC rival Central Washington from 2006-11, lettering four times in both basketball and track & field, plus once in volleyball.
A three-year starter at center, she finished No. 2 on the Wildcats’ career list for blocks with 126, plus fourth in rebounds (599), sixth in games started (79) and 10th in field-goal percentage (.461).
A graduate of Anchorage’s Dimond High School, Afoa earned her bachelor’s degree in Art/Graphic Design from CWU in 2011 and her graduate certificate in Human Services from UAA in 2014.
Alysa Horn, Assistant Coach
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Former Alaska Anchorage all-conference standout Alysa Horn rejoins the Seawolf program in 2016-17 for her second season as an assistant coach on Ryan McCarthy’s staff.
In her first coaching go-round with the Seawolves, Horn was an integral part of the team that posted an NCAA Div. II-record 38 victories, swept the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the program's first National Title Game. During the campaign, she was recognized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association on the organization's inaugural '30 Under 30' list of up-and-coming assistants.
The native of Kodiak, Alaska, returned to the collegiate game in 2015 after two professional seasons as a player. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, she suited up for the TSV Viernheim and Osnabrück in the German Damen Bundesliga, and in 2015 for the Logan Thunder of the Australia’s Queensland Basketball League.
A four-year letterwinner at UAA from 2009-13, Horn was a Second Team All-GNAC honoree as a sophomore and senior, and honorable mention all-league as a junior. The 6-foot forward played on three straight NCAA Tournament teams and finished in the top 10 on UAA’s career lists for points (9th, 1,134), rebounds (8th, 639), blocks (9th, 59), three-pointers made (t-6th, 113), games played (t-7th, 109), total minutes (9th, 2,739) and victories (4th, 87), along with 13th in double-doubles (13).
As a physical education major and nutrition/athletic training double-minor, Horn was a three-time Academic All-GNAC selection with an overall grade-point average of 3.67.
At Kodiak High, she was a three-time All-Northern Lights Conference selection was the Bears’ team MVP as a senior in 2007-08.