June 3, 2014
Known as a young coach with a great deal of knowledge in a variety of coaching realms, Santos has risen through the coaching ranks since starting her career as an assistant coach at Hofstra from 2006 to 2010. She has enjoyed successful stops with the Pride, Illinois State (2010-2012) and most recently Kentucky (2012-14).
“I look at Danielle as one of the young stars in our coaching profession,” Semrau said. “She is someone who has made a great impact in each of her stops at Hofstra, Illinois State and Kentucky. Danielle brings both the knowledge and passion to excel in this profession and is a perfect complement to our staff. We are very excited to have her.”
While at Kentucky in her two seasons, Santos played a large role in helping the Wildcats to an NCAA Elite Eight run in the 2012-13 season and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2013-14. Responsible for coaching guard play, Santos was heavily involved in the progression of backcourt mates Jennifer O’Neill (All-SEC guard) and Linnae Harper (All-SEC freshman guard) in the 2013-14 year.
In Santos’ first season in Lexington, former Kentucky guard A’dia Mathies was named the 2013 SEC Co-Player of the Year as well as a Wooden Award finalist under her watch.
Santos has developed a reputation as a tremendous recruiter, making strong connections in the North, South and Midwest. A large part of her successful coaching career has been her ability to develop tremendous relationships with student-athletes and their families through her engaging approach. She helped the Wildcats land the 17th-ranked 2014 recruiting class according to ESPNW.
Santos also presents a strong in-game mindset, assisting heavily with scouting reports and helping with game adjustments and substitutions. She also served in other capacities with Kentucky, running summer basketball camps and skill sessions as well as helping her teams reach their goals in the classroom as the academic coordinator.
She developed many of her current skill sets while at Illinois State, helping the Redbirds to two postseason trips which included a 2011-12 team that was chosen sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll and finished second with a 13-5 league record.
Santos got her start with Hofstra and spent four seasons in Hempstead, N.Y., including her final two years as the recruiting coordinator in addition to her assistant coach duties.
At Hofstra, she was responsible for implementing the team’s offensive strategies which helped the Pride record two 20-win seasons in her tenure, including a school-record 26 games in her first season. Santos’ influential coaching style helped nine of her former players at Hofstra earn All-Colonial Athletic Association honors, while four went on to play professionally overseas.
Santos is a Marietta, Ga., native who earned several academic honors while being a four-year letterwinner for the University of Florida from 2002-06. She was a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, an Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholar Athlete Second Team member and a District 3 CoSIDA Academic All-America Team member.
While in Gainesville, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a concentration in Sport Management. Santos also minored in education and business administration.
Santos emerged as a cerebral guard who left her career at Florida with some worthy achievements – She finished her career seventh all-time at UF with 80 3-pointers, ranked 11th with 162 steals, 11th with 265 assists and fifth with a 78.2 free throw percentage.
Santos comes to Tallahassee with an opportunity to work with some quality talent for the 2014-15 season. Florida State returns nine of its 13 players on the active roster from last season, including three starters in rising sophomore guard Brittany Brown, rising sophomore forward Ivey Slaughter and rising redshirt junior Morgan Jones.
Rising sophomore center Kai James also returns for FSU and looks to expand her game even more as a low-post scoring option. A deep backcourt includes veterans Shakena Richardson and Maegan Conwright, with both coming off redshirt seasons due to transfer rules, as well as rising junior Emiah Bingley.
Rising redshirt senior Lauren Coleman is part of the team’s returnees as an inside-outside threat, while forward Gabby Bevillard comes back from a season-ending injury to provide even more height inside. The Seminoles boast a strong 2014 recruiting class that includes guard/forward Shakayla Thomas, guard Chania Ray and forward/center Ama Degbeon. FSU also just added center Adut Bulgak to the class.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball throughout the offseason, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).