Head coach Mark Trakh (pronounced TRACK) enters his fifth season at the helm of the NM State program after not only one of his best personal seasons, but one of the greatest seasons in Aggie program history.
After three years at NM State, Trakh had only accumulated a 32-60 overall record without a winning season, but after a 22-8 fourth season that landed the Aggies in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 27 years, the NM State head man moved from eighth to fifth place on the Aggie women’s basketball all-time wins list. He heads into the 2015-16 season with a 54-68 overall record at NM State.
Trakh led the Aggies to the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles in 2014-15 en route to facing top-seed Maryland in the NCAA Tournament. It was the Aggies’ first conference regular-season championship in 20 years and the program’s first-ever tournament title. For his efforts, Trakh was named the WAC Coach of the Year and the Region 7 Coach of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association (WBCA).
Included in the 22-8 record last season was a 13-1 record in WAC play, NM State’s first winning record in conference play in seven years and the second-best conference record in program history next to a 10-0 undefeated record in 1987-88.
Prior to NM State, Trakh coached for five seasons at Southern California (2004-2009) and 11 seasons at Pepperdine (1993-2004). The 22 wins last season tied the 22 wins he had at Pepperdine in 2002-03 and is only superseded by 23 wins with Pepperdine in 2001-02. Trakh’s 22-8 2014-15 record brings his career collegiate coaching record to 343-255.
Last season was the sixth time Trakh has led his squad into the NCAA Tournament. He became only the 10th coach in women’s basketball history to lead three different programs into the big dance. Trakh also led Pepperdine to three WNIT appearances. Among his player highlights was sophomore Brianna Freeman, who was named the WAC Player of the Year and the WAC Tournament MVP. Juniors Sasha Weber and Shanice Davis joined Freeman on the All-WAC first team while Davis was also on the WAC All-Newcomer team and sophomore Moriah Mack was placed on the All-WAC Defensive team.
In the 2013-14 season, Trakh lead the Aggies to an 11-20 overall record, going 7-9 in conference play.
Sophomore guard Abby Scott was named WAC Player of the Week during her performance in the week of Jan. 13-19. Trakh guided Scott as she hit a career-high 36 points versus Chicago State, including 11 three pointers, which broke the WAC and NM State record for three pointers in a game and putting her to tie for second in the NCAA. Scott followed the game with another 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two assists in a win against Kansas City.
During the season, junior guard Danesia Williamson was named to the 2014 All-WAC second team and all-tournament team after her performance during conference play. At the WAC Tournament, Williamson scored a career-high 37 points in the quarterfinals win over Texas-Pan American and went 17-for-19 at the line to set a new WAC and NM State record. Her 37 points tied Anita Maxwell for second-most points scored in a single game for NM State. She finished the year for NM State with five 30-point games and put up double-figure scoring in 21 of her 22 games.
In his second year with the Aggies, Trakh led the 2012-13 Aggies to collect more than double the wins from the previous season and finish with a 15-16 overall record and 7-11 in the WAC. He guided NM State to a win over defending Conference USA champion UTEP as part of the Battle of I-10 Rivalry Series. Trakh notched his 300th career victory as a Division I head coach while leading the Aggies in 2012-13. The milestone came off a 70-68 win over Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah.
Under the direction of Trakh and staff, the Aggies worked to the program’s highest scoring game in 21 years, when NM State topped then-WAC leading Utah State 106-94. The Aggies also notched another milestone in the record books with the 600th program victory in the 87-81 win over Cal State Bakersfield.
NM State garnered three WAC Player of the Week Awards during the latter part of the 2012-13 season and senior Stefanie Gilbreath was named Newcomer of the Year and All-WAC second team. He led the Aggies to the quarterfinals of the 2013 WAC Championships before falling to No.1 seed Seattle.
In 2011-12, Trakh became the 10th head coach in NM State women’s basketball history. He coached the Aggies to a 6-24 record overall and coached senior Tabitha Wampler to the 1,000 Point Club (1,254).
Trakh has over 30 years of head coaching experience, including 20 at the NCAA Division I level at both Southern California and Pepperdine.
Trakh served as the head coach at USC from 2004-09, where he compiled a 90-64 overall record. In his first two seasons, he guided the Women of Troy to their first NCAA appearances in seven years, as the team advanced to the second round in both 2005 and 2006. The Trojans finished in the top half of the Pac-10 all five years and were the conference tournament runner-up in 2009 and regular season runner-up in 2005.
Trakh coached four All-Pac-10 performers at USC, including two-time first-team honoree Eshaya Murphy, who was later tabbed in the second round of the WNBA Draft in 2007. In all, his players made various all-Pac-10 teams 20 times and also excelled in the classroom, garnering a spot on the conference all-academic squad on 14 occasions.
On the recruiting trail, Trakh helped the Trojans sign four classes ranked in the top 12 nationally, including the No. 1 class in 2006, according to USA Today and All Star Girls Report. Trakh successfully recruited 10 Street & Smith All-Americans, seven McDonald’s All-Americans, three Parade All-Americans and the 2006 National Player of the Year.
Before accepting the position at USC, Trakh had a highly successful 11-year tenure as head coach at Pepperdine from 1993-2004. Under his direction, the Waves posted six consecutive 20-win seasons from 1997-2003, made six straight postseason appearances and claimed four West Coast Conference titles. Trakh was twice named the league’s coach of the year in both 1999 and 2002, and ended his tenure with a 199-123 overall record and a 99-55 mark in the WCC.
The Waves had two WCC Players of the Year in Rasheeda Clark (2000) and Tamara McDonald (2002), with Clark going on to become the school’s first ever WNBA Draft pick. Trakh coached 10 first-team all-conference players at Pepperdine and his student-athletes posted an impressive 100 percent graduation rate during his stay in Malibu.
Before entering the collegiate ranks, Trakh had a Hall of Fame career as the head girls’ coach at Brea Olinda High School in Brea, Calif., from 1981-93. He helped lead the Ladycats to national prominence with a 354-45 overall record, highlighted by four state titles (1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993), six CIF Southern Section championships and 12 Orange League Crowns. In his final five campaigns, Brea Olinda posted an amazing 161-8 record and did not lose more than two games in any single season.
Among his standouts at Brea Olinda were current Long Beach State head coach Jody (Anton) Wynn and current Hawai’i associate coach Da Houl. Trakh, a California State High School Coach of the Year, is a member of both the City of Brea Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Southern California High School Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame.
A 1981 graduate of Long Beach State, the Wanque, N.J., native earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and also has his teaching credential.
|Alma Mater:||Long Beach State|