Women's Basketball Announces Donovan and Thelander to Staff

Amy Donovan, Jonny Thelander
Amy Donovan, Jonny Thelander

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Sue Darling is proud to announce the additions of Amy Donovan and Jonny Thelander to her staff for the 2016-17 season. Donovan joins as a Graduate Assistant, while Thelander will serve as the Lumberjacks' Graduate Assistant for Basketball Operations.

"I couldn't be more excited because Amy and Jonny bring the Lumberjack spirit with them," Darling said. "Their determination, work ethic and desire to be the best they can be fit in with the foundation we build our program on."

Donovan joins NAU following a year as the head girls' varsity basketball coach at Holy Names Academy in Seattle, Wash. During her one season, she coached the team to a 15-9 record and a regional appearance following a seventh place finish in the tough Metro League. Previously she served as a graduate assistant for the University of Washington's women's basketball team during the 2012-13 season.

Donovan, out of Battle Ground, Wash., was a two-sport athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. At the Ivy League institution, Donovan was a four-year letterwinner on the Quakes' basketball team including serving as the team's co-captain as a senior. She also threw discus on the track & field team for three years and finished her career sixth all-time in the school record book.

"Amy has coached at different levels and she played at a high level in college at Penn," Darling said. "She can bring experience as a player and a coach and has an impeccable work ethic. She will help take our program to the next level."

Thelander was named to the staff this fall after spending the most recent spring semester with the NAU women's basketball team as a team manager. He also currently assists in NAU's equipment operations as a graduate assistant since 2014, providing support for the department's teams.

The Iowa City, Iowa native got started as an operations intern with the University of Iowa men's basketball team, where he worked from 2005-08. He then served as the head manager and assistant operations during for the University of New Mexico's men's basketball team. At UNM, he also was the head equipment manager for the football team and also has experience with the Albuquerque Isotopes (minor league baseball) and New Mexico Stars (professional football).

"Jonny is the ultimate team player," Darling said. "He worked with us a little last season and went above and beyond in everything he did. He was a selfless member of our team last year and we couldn't be more excited to make him a full-time member of our team this year."