|Title:||Head Basketball Coach|
Maria Chen is entering her 4th season as the head basketball coach at Columbia College. Coach Chen was previously a top assistant for nearby Ben Lippen High School, where she has been coaching since 2007. She also has coaching and playing experience with Bob Jones University (02-06’) and Bob Jones Academy (05’). Coach Audas has also been involved with many teams and camps over the years as a player and a coach, including summer camps at Little Rock Athletic Club.
Coach Maria Chen had a successful 2010-2011 season in which she coached her squad to the most wins in the programs history. The season also brought an SSAC East honor to senior, LaPorsha Williams, as she earned a spot on All East Division team. Chen continued to lead as the team progress in the 2011-12, topping their season wins from the previous year and garnering the program’s first-ever playoff berth and post-season win. The team also saw a freshman named to the AAC’s All-Freshman Team, another first for the program.
"Every season has been an improvement on the previous in terms of wins and team development. Each year is another building block, another step forward. As a coach, I could not be more pleased with ladies who have contributed to this program and with the ladies who will carry this program forward yet again in 2012-13,” said Chen.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Bob Jones University in organizational communication and her Master’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in mass communication. She and her husband reside Columbia, S.C.
|Title:||Assistant Basketball Coach|
George Simmons is entering his third season as assistant basketball coach at Columbia College. Coach Simmons joined the team last year, helping lead the team to record wins and a first-time post-season appearance. Simmons’ coaching experience covers teams on the middle and high school level as well as the collegiate level. As a long-time South Carolina resident, Coach Simmons knowledge of the area has been instrumental in the program’s recruiting and increased exposure.
"I am truly blessed to be in the position that I am in at Columbia College and with the women's basketball team. Last year was an incredible experience and I look forward to this season and what it will bring,” Simmons commented.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from Lander University and a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Phoenix. Coach Simmons and his wife Libra live in Columbia with their sons, Arron and Amari.
|Title:||Assistant Basketball Coach|
Demarcus Heller is entering his second season with the Fighting Koalas basketball program. Coach Heller comes with a developed background in strength training and conditioning. As a track athlete at the University of South Carolina, Coach Heller gained valuable motivational skills, work ethic, and poise, all of which he now incorporates into his training and coaching responsibilities.
Coach Heller has been training amateur and professional athletes for six years, including NFL players and fighters. He currently serves as co-owner and instructor of Fight Club University. Coach Heller graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the USC Exercise Science Club. He also holds a BLS for Healthcare Providers certification from the American Heart Association.
Coach Heller brings both his knowledge of collegiate sports, specifically basketball, as well as his strength training and conditioning skills to the Fighting Koalas basketball team. “I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the basketball program here at Columbia College. They have seen success the last couple of years, and I am looking forward to building on that and pushing them to reach new heights,” said Coach Heller.