O’Connor, Smith join WSC women’s hoops staff


Wayne State College women’s basketball coach Brent Pollari announced his 2020-21 coaching staff. New staff members include former Wildcat player Kacie O’Connor as assistant coach and Dalton Smith as graduate assistant coach for the upcoming season.

O’Connor returns to Wayne State after spending last season (2019-20) as a graduate assistant coach at Northwestern College in Iowa, helping the Red Raiders women’s basketball team to a 17-11 overall record, while coaching four players to All-GPAC honors.

O’Connor played four seasons (2014-18) of basketball and track and field at Wayne State College. During her time as a Wildcat, O’Connor scored 754 points, leading the Wildcats in three-point shooting as a junior and senior. O’Connor was also a two-time NSIC All-Academic honoree, while serving as team captain for two-years.

O’Connor also excelled in the ring on the Wildcat track and field team. She claimed the 2016 NSIC Outdoor Discus Championship with a throw of 158 feet, 7 inches, earning All-NSIC honors. Her efforts resulted in becoming a 2016 National Qualifier in the discus, where O’Connor finished 18th with a throw of 141-11. Her success in the ring earned herself USTFCCCA All-Region and All-Academic honors as a senior.

A native of Sundance, Wyo., O’Connor also spent a season as an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Sundance High School. O’Connor earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Wayne State College in 2018.

Smith joins the Wildcat coaching staff as a Graduate Assistant Coach after serving the last three seasons as a student assistant at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. While with the Lopers,

Smith assisted the UNK coaching staff with skill development during practice, reviewed game film to assess opponents strengths and weaknesses and handled team equipment on the road game among other duties.

A native of Plattsmouth, Smith also served as an assistant coach for the Western Iowa Express summer basketball team and spent two seasons as an assistant boys’ basketball coach at Kearney Catholic High School.

Smith earned his bachelor degree from UNK in Health and Physical Education K-12 and minored in coaching.