Kristin Drabyn has been selected by the University of Indianapolis as the ninth head coach in UIndy women’s basketball history. The nationwide search for a new head coach was conducted after the termination of employment of the previous women’s basketball head coach Constantin Popa.
Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey said that although Popa’s first few years were successful, he had failed to reach the NCAA Division II Tournament the past two years.
“Initially [Popa] was successful,” Willey said. “Looking at the first couple to three years, you can say, ‘Well, whose players were those? Were those recruited really by the previous coach?’ And what you look for after the initial couple [of] years, [is] how does the coach maintain that level of performance? And it dropped off significantly.”
Popa was terminated after five years as head coach and four years as the team’s top assistant, according to the UIndy Athletics website. During the search for a new coach, Willey said, one candidate stood out to everyone in the interview process.
“We are so impressed by Coach [Kristin] Drabyn…. She just came in and blew our socks off in the interview. We had over 120 applicants for the position, and we brought three people to campus,” Willey said. “When we have people interview on campus, we have other coaches, all the administrators and our student-athletes all interview the candidates. When the last candidates come [to campus], we ask them [the interviewers] to rank them, first, second or third. And this was probably one of the few interviews where every group had the same person at the top. We were all on the same page. We all thought that Kristin Drabyn would come in here and get the job done and build a strong staff. We’ll get our program back to where we want it.”
Drabyn started out her basketball career as a student-athlete from 2004 to 2008 at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. She then moved on to work as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech University from 2008 to 2010. Her assistant coaching jobs were from 2010 to 2011 at Holy Cross College, 2011 to 2013 at UMBC and 2013 to 2016 at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
During her time at IUPUI, Drabyn helped the Jaguars get a 59-37 record. In the 2013 to 2014 school year, she helped the team set a single-season program mark with 23 wins. In the 2014 to 2015 season, the Jaguars finished 15-16, and in 2015 to 2016, they had a 21-11 season. According to the UIndy Athletics website, Drabyn’s last year at IUPUI led to a trip to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, giving IUPUI its second-ever tournament win.
Drabyn was officially announced as the new women’s basketball head coach in a press conference in the Hines Room in Nicoson Hall on April 6 at 3 p.m. She said she would like to thank all of her mentors and family who helped her get to be where she is today.
“I’ve had wonderful mentors. I didn’t get here by myself. And I’m not going to get through this by myself,” Drabyn said. “So I do have a lot of confidence that people around me are definitely going to help me. And to be able to do it here, at the University of Indianapolis, it means a lot to me.… I wanted to be around people who were going to support me and help take care of me and essentially believe in my vision and in my passion. And I think I found the right place for me.”