Dowling Resigns from CMS Women’s Basketball Program to Become Head Coach at Division I Pepperdine

The 2017-18 team celebrates its SCIAC regular season title, one of six straight the program has won
The 2017-18 team celebrates its SCIAC regular season title, one of six straight the program has won

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Kristen Dowling, who has spent the last seven years as the head coach of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball program, will step down to become the head coach at Division I Pepperdine for the 2019-20 season.

Dowling previously had two stints on the Pepperdine women's basketball staff prior to taking over as the head coach at CMS in 2012. She was an assistant coach for the Waves for two seasons from 2010-12, after serving as a graduate assistant in the program from 2006-08 following her graduation from the University of Redlands. In between, she spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Division I CSU Bakersfield in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Over the past decade, CMS has established itself as one of the top NCAA Division III women's basketball programs on the West Coast. The Athenas have won at least 20 games in each of the last six seasons, including a school-record 24 victories three times, and has won or shared the last six SCIAC regular season championships. Over that six-year span, CMS has compiled an aggregate record of 138-30 (.821), an average of 23 wins and only five losses per season, including a SCIAC record of 88-8 (.917), which includes a perfect 16-0 season in 2014-15 and three 15-1 league campaigns.

The Athenas have also had four NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in the last six years, capturing opening round wins in both 2016 (over Trinity) and 2017 (over Texas-Dallas). Those two teams joined the 1994-95 and 1995-96 CMS squads with NCAA Tournament wins in the program's history.  

A search will begin immediately to find Dowling's replacement, who will become only the fifth head coach of CMS women's basketball since the program's inaugural season in 1976-77. The new coach will inherit a talented nucleus, as the 2018-19 squad matched the school record for wins with a 24-3 record and returns four of its top five scorers in pursuit of the program's seventh straight regular season SCIAC title. Included in the talented crop of returners are rising seniors Maya Love (12.9 ppg) and Lindsey Cleary (7.4 ppg), who were both first-team All-SCIAC selections a year ago, as well as junior Kate Parrish (9.2 ppg) and senior Gloria Bates (8.6 ppg).