Caleb Theodore, new women’s basketball coach at Las Positas College, describes being hired as the college’s first-time head coach as “a blessing, 100 percent.”
The enthusiastic Theodore comes to the Hawks after enjoying a very successful season as the first assistant coach of the Cal State East Bay women’s team, which advanced to the finals of the Division II West Region of the NCAA, went 24-3 overall and won the CCAA tournament title. . The Pioneers were 15-1 in conference.
“In our mind, he was a perfect rookie,” said Las Positas sporting director James Giacomazzi of Theodore, a Modesto native who has played professionally in Montenegro and Australia.
Theodore made a good first impression on Livermore by showing up early and staying late.
“He has a lot of work to do and he is doing it,” Giacomazzi said. “He’s in the office every day; he’s in the community recruiting like crazy. He is very active on social networks. He’s already done a good job of getting early commitments while working on the roster.
The Hawks’ women’s basketball program needs a quick boost after being sidelined the previous two seasons. The 2020-21 season was lost due to the Covid pandemic, and the 2021-22 campaign was canceled for the Hawks following the retirement of former head coach Clarence Morgan.
Theodore says her main goal is to “empower young women through basketball.”
“It’s very important to me to know that I can still be in the East Bay area in Alameda County (in Las Positas) and still be able to make an impact in the community and in the lives of these young athletes. I have amazing women I get to work with,” he says.
Prior to his work at Cal State East Bay, Theodore was a graduate assistant with the University of the Pacific women’s team in 2020-21, leading the Tigers scouting team and assisting in guard and player position development. He worked with Valerie Higgins, a third-round pick (25th overall) with the WNBA New York Liberty.
Theodore is completing his second master’s degree from Concordia University in Irvine, in Exercise Science (Fall 2022); and will begin his doctoral candidacy program at the United States Sports Academy (USSA) for a doctorate in sports management with a specialization in exercise science, coaching and title IX.
He also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from William Jessup University, where he played as a striker. He also has 16 years of coaching experience at Modesto Basketball Academy and served as an assistant on the men’s team at Gregori High in Modesto, among other coaching jobs in the Central Valley.
Although he wasn’t signed professionally right after college basketball, that didn’t stop Theodore. From 2017 to 2019, he traveled to international showcases in Germany and Ukraine to gain exposure and land with a team. He performed well, networked and hung in Montenegro, where he was named Basketball Association of Montenegro Newcomer of the Month in October 2019, also making history as the first graduate of Big Valley Christian College Prep. (Modesto) to play professional basketball.
It created more opportunities. His agent marketed him in many countries and he received six offers before moving to Australia. But as fate would have it, the international Covid shutdown of 2020 abruptly ended his season, so he went back to school and got his masters.
How did he land with UOP as a relative unknown? With much uncertainty in programs across the country during the pandemic, Theodore has taken a proactive approach. He emailed teams at all 32 Division I conferences across the country and focused on more familiar ground, the wide range of Division I, II, III, NAIA and junior college programs. from California.
“I ended up getting up to 752 emails and Bradley (UOP head coach Davis) gave me a shot.”
He received another opportunity at Cal State East Bay under then-head coach Shanele Stires, who was hired at Cal Poly in April 2022. Among his many duties with the Pioneers were recruiting, screening, film and strength and conditioning. A dream season ensued for the Pioneers.
“She (Stires) gave me a chance and we made history last year, and the rest is history,” Theodore said.
He wants to show players of his new Hawks that they are capable of reaching the top of the mountain themselves.
Giacomazzi appreciates that Theodore has “a lot of energy…He always does something to try to push the program forward…He does a great job.”
* Theodore took a step forward by hiring former Hawks player Ashley Hart as an assistant coach.
“She’s awesome,” Giacomazzi said of Hart. “She knows the layout of the pitch having played for Clarence and is part of Las Positas, and now returning to the coaching side. It’s really exciting for her too.
* In other news, Las Positas is set to hire a new women’s volleyball coach to fill this vacancy. Expect an announcement soon.