Gravina Adds Two to Women's Hoops Coaching Staff
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Tuesday 07/02/2013
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MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois head women's basketball coach JD Gravina announced the additions of Kierra McCleary and Bailey Beale as assistant coaches on Tuesday (July 2).

McCleary comes to Western Illinois after a one-year stint as an assistant coach at Lewis University in 2012-13, where she helped the Flyers to a 24-6 record and berth into the NCAA Tournament.

She assisted the Flyers to the best turnaround in Division II, after the Flyers went 8-20 in 2011-12 before McCleary's arrival.

A three-time team captain at North Alabama, McCleary capped off her four-year playing career with a 2010-11 Gulf South Conference Tournament Championship and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994, as the team finished 21-7 and a perfect 12-0 conference mark.

Off the court, McCleary was the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President at UNA, serves as a Spread Your Wings participant, and coordinated PinkZone efforts from 2007-11 to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.

She graduaded with a degree in Business Administration from North Alabama in 2011.

"Kierra has won conference championships as a player and a coach. Her team at Lewis was successful on the court and in the classroom," Gravina said. "Her personality will be an asset in recruiting, and her basketball knowledge will allow her to understand and implement our basketball systems."

After serving as a graduate manager in 2012-13, Beale will serve as an assistant coach in 2013-14.

Her responsibilities last year included organizing team travel, video coordination, film exchange, recruiting visits and facility usage.

"Bailey really proved herself last year. She stepped up and took on more responsibility than most graduate managers," Gravina added. "From our conversations, it became apparent that she really understands the game of basketball. I'm excited to bring her on board full time."

Beale joined the Leatherneck women's basketball staff as a graduate manager following a playing career at Illinois-Springfield. She captained the Prairie Stars as a junior and senior and holds the school record for three-pointers made in a season. The Independence, Mo. native also earned Second Team All-Conference honors.

In 2012, Beale was one of 50 women's college basketball student-athletes selected to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's "So You Want To Be A Coach" program, which provides professional development and career advancement through education, skills enhancement and networking.

Prior to attending Illinois-Springfield, Beale spent two years playing basketball at Cottey College where she was named First Team All-Region and was an Academic All-American.

Beale majored in Mathematics at Illinois-Springfield and graduated in August 2012. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Sport Management at Western Illinois.



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