Upcoming Basketball Season Introduces Two New Head Coaches

Antonio Valle, Reporter

The California Lutheran University basketball program underwent a makeover this offseason. Two new head coaches have been hired for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Russell White was announced as the new head coach of the men’s basketball program at Cal Lutheran. White, a Cal Lutheran alum, played under Cal Lutheran Head Coach Mike Dunlap. Dunlap was one of his greatest influences in becoming a coach.

“Coach Dunlap truly showed the value of what a good coach should be,” White said.

White loved his experience at Cal Lutheran, and was on the basketball team and golf team. “I have a deep affinity for this school,” White said.

Being an alum from Cal Lutheran and now coaching at Cal Lutheran has brought him “full circle.”

“This is where I truly found who I am, and who I want to be,” White said. White called this school amazing and said he is so glad to be “home.”

Prior to Cal Lutheran, White coached at Chaminade High School from 1994-1999 and then was at Calabasas High School from 1999-2006. After Calabasas, he coached at Crespi Carmelite High School from 2006-2019.

Kelli DiMuro was  announced as the new Cal Lutheran head women’s basketball coach. Similar to White, DiMuro is an alum from Cal Lutheran, from the class of 1996.

Prior to accepting the job at Cal Lutheran, she was the head women’s basketball coach at Chaminade College Preparatory for 22 years, during which time her team won six championships.

“I wanted to up my level of coaching and I thought my alma mater was a really good choice for me,” DiMuro said.

DiMuro started her basketball career in the 10th grade and immediately “fell in love with it.” DiMuro is part of a “basketball family,” which consists of her two daughters, Aaliyah and Alexis, and her husband Rob, who coaches her kids.

DiMuro is excited to start the season. She has watched tape from last season and noticed the Regals have “great chemistry and really wants to win.”

“I love the campus, the small environment and the surrounding community,” DiMuro said.

Influenced by one of the greatest women’s head coaches of all time, Pat Summitt, DiMuro uses her coaching style when coaching the teams she has been a part of.

Idolizing such a huge pioneer in the women’s basketball world, DiMuro “fell in love” with Pat Summitt’s passion and way of teaching others the necessary skills to be successful in basketball.

Hearing that a job opened at Cal Lutheran was definitely “a dream come true,” DiMuro said.

Daniel Kuntz, director of athletics at Cal Lutheran, said these two coaches bring the “spirit” that Cal Lutheran needs.

“They love the school. They love the program. And they are 100 percent invested to try to have the students they are going to be working with also have the experiences that they had which were very positive, which is why they have come back to coach,” Kuntz said.

Kuntz described White and DiMuro as “coaches who understand the community.” When these two alum left “they invested in their careers and that went from teaching experience to coaching experience,” Kuntz said.

One of the main reasons they stood out from the rest of the candidates was because “these coaches have an understanding that athletics and academics both come together as part of an educational process,” Kuntz said.

The season is fast approaching for the Kingsmen and Regals basketball teams, and the new coaches are ready for what’s ahead.