Back to search

Jimenez named CCAA Coach of the Year

Three players named to all-conference team

Women's basketball coach Renee Jimenez took Coach of the Year honors in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Named to the all-conference first-team were seniors Julie Heurung and Michelle Santizo; senior LaShawn Johnson was a second-team pick.

"Individual awards are never something we talk about as a team," Jimenez said. "I am proud of these three and happy that they received the recognition they have deserved all season long.

"The thing that stands out the most to me about these awards for Tizo, Julie and Shawn is that none of them is averaging double figures in the CCAA. This is a huge testament to them and what the other coaches in the conference think of what an integral part they have been in helping us win the conference."

Jimenez went on to add, "These awards could not have happened without the solid play and hard work of their teammates."

During her third season as CSUMB’s head coach, Jimenez has guided the Otters to a school-record 25 wins, including a 20-2 conference mark, and the program’s first-ever title.

Santizo is the driving force behind the team's No. 1 national ranking in scoring defense. She is ranked No. 31 in the nation in assist-turnover ratio (1.9); is fourth in the CCAA in three-point field goal percentage (38.1); and eighth with 3.1 assists per game.

Heurung is the record-holder in career, season and single-game blocked shots at CSUMB. This season, she is ranked third in the CCAA in field-goal percentage, hitting 50.2 percent of her shots. She concluded the regular season with a career-high 25 points against Cal State Stanislaus.

As CSUMB's second leading scorer, Johnson led the Otters in scoring in five games. She finishes her career at CSUMB ranked No. 6 with 489 points.

Jimenez inherited a team that had won three games in the 2007-08 season. Under her guidance, the team improved to 11-15 overall and 6-16 in conference play in 2008-09. The next year saw even more improvement, to 18-9 overall and 14-8 in conference.

Before coming to CSUMB, Jimenez served as an assistant coach at San Diego State University. In three years at SDSU, Jimenez helped to turn around an Aztec program that had three wins in 2005-06 to an 18-win season in 2007-08 season.

Prior to her stint in San Diego, she spent a year at Stanford University, serving as an intern for head coach Tara VanDerveer and the nationally prominent Cardinal basketball program.

The Ventura native played for San Francisco State from 2001-04, finishing her career as the Gators’ all-time leader in three-point field goals while earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and kinesiology.

She started her playing career at Ventura College, helping the Pirates to the 2001 state junior college championship.