April 4, 2024

CHATTANOOGA---The Deandra Schirmer Era of Chattanooga women's basketball begins now.

Schirmer becomes the eighth head coach of the Mocs, Vice Chancellor for Athletics Mark Wharton announced Thursday morning.

"We're very happy to welcome Deandra to Chattanooga," he shared. "It was a quick yet thorough process. I was once again humbled and thrilled that such a high level of applicants were interested in leading one of our programs. Once we got through the zoom sessions and face-to-face interviews, it was apparent to our team that Deandra is the right person to lead us forward among an incredibly competitive and gifted field.

"Deandra fits the values of who we are as a department and University. We're excited to announce she is a part of the Mocs family."

She comes to Chattanooga from Valdosta State University where she was head coach for five seasons. Schirmer amassed an impressive 114-31 record (.786) and 86-19 mark (.819) in the Gulf South Conference. She built a DII juggernaut going 78-16 (.830) overall, 60-7 (.896) in league play, over the last three years.

Her Lady Blazers earned NCAA Tournament berths the last four campaigns with a trip to the Elite Eight in 2022. They won the GSC in 2021 and 2024 and boasted three DII All-America selections in a record run.

The 2023-24 season was one for the record books with a 30-3 overall mark and 23-1 in GSC play. The Lady Blazers reeled off a school record 27-game win streak which earned league Coach of the Year honors to go with the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Wednesday release of Schirmer being the 2024 Whack Hyder Georgia Women's Coach of the Year. Her squad ranked as high as second and finished 11th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Poll.

Her initial Lady Blazers squad lost 10 games in GSC play going 10-10 in 2019-20. They lost just nine in the next four years combined.

"I am humbled and honored to be the head women's basketball coach at UTC," Schirmer said. "There is a tremendous tradition of success along with a fan base that is supportive of its women's basketball program.

"I'm grateful to Dr. (Steven) Angle, Mark Wharton and his staff for providing me this opportunity to not only be a part of that tradition, but to take it to new heights. I'm excited to get to Chattanooga and get to work!"

Schirmer has certainly worked hard to earn this opportunity. She was an all-conference and all-region performer at Cloud County (Kan.) Community College before finishing her playing career at USC-Aiken. She helped lead her squad to an eighth-place finish nationally as a senior earning CSC (former CoSIDA) Academic All-District first team honors.

A year as a graduate assistant in marketing and promotions at Georgia State led Schirmer back to the court. She completed her GA assignment on the Panthers bench in 2013-14 before her first full-time opportunity opened in St. Pete, Fla.

Schirmer completed five seasons as an assistant coach at Eckerd College. She helped lead the Tritons to 20-win ledgers every year as Paul Honsinger's ladies went 106-45 over that span. They went to the NCAA Tournament in four of those five seasons and were the No. 1 seed in the South Region in 2017 earning the program's first postseason victory.

Originally from Holton, Kan., Schirmer was an all-state star in basketball and volleyball during her prep career at Holton High School. She captained both sports while also lettering in cross country and softball. Her efforts earned the coveted Naismith Award. She's a 2012 Business Marketing graduate of USCA and got her Master's in Sports Administration from GSU in 2014.

"It is very evident that the supportive administration and community have been instrumental in developing the tradition of success here at UTC," Schirmer added. "I am eager to get started and to meet all the fans and alumni that make this place so special.

"Go Mocs!"

The Chattanooga Mocs have a public introduction planned for Friday including a press conference at 2:30 p.m., in Lupton Hall on the main floor. Parking for the event is in the Lupton Garage. Click here for a campus map. 

Year-by-Year with Schirmer

2019-20: 18-11 | 10-10 GSC (T7th)

2020-21: 18-4 | 16-2 GSC (1st) | NCAA Tournament 2nd Round

2021-22: 26-6 | 17-2 GSC (2nd) | NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

2022-23: 22-7 | 20-4 GSC (T3rd) | NCAA Tournament

2023-24: 30-3 Overall | 23-1 GSC (1st) | NCAA Tournament 2nd Round

Total114-31 | 86-19 GSC | 4 NCAA Tournaments