Gallagher Center

A 2,400-seat gymnasium, home court of the Niagara University men's and women's basketball teams. read more

Jada Pierce

Head Coach

Jada Pierce, who has 19 years of collegiate coaching experience at the Division I and II levels, begins her second season as head coach of the Niagara University womens basketball program.

Pierce earned her first win as coach of the Purple Eagles, as well as her first win in the Gallagher Center, on Nov. 27, 2015 in a thrilling 73-72 victory over Cleveland State. She picked up her first conference win against Fairfield; Niagara defeated the Stags, 56-55, on Jan. 4, 2016. Pierce also led the team in an upset against local rival Canisius in the first round of the MAAC Tournament; the ninth-seeded Purple Eagles defeated the eighth-seeded Golden Griffins, 65-64, to move onto the quarterfinals and take on top-seeded Quinnipiac. The Purple Eagles went 8-23 overall in 2015-16 and Pierce landed one of her players on the all-conference team; senior center Sam Lapszynski, who thrived under Pierce, was named to the All-MAAC Second Team, her first appearance on an all-conference team in her career at Niagara. Lapszynski was also one of 20 student-athlete recipients of the 14th Annual Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association Scholar Athlete Teams; in order to qualify, a student-athlete must have reached junior standing, have a minimum 3.20 GPA in undergraduate study and be an important starter or reserve on their team. In addition, all seven eligible members of the 2015-16 Purple Eagles squad were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.

Pierce has built a reputation as a dynamic player developer while creating effective defensive schemes throughout her coaching career with stops as an assistant at programs in the Atlantic 10, Patriot League, Northeast Conference, MAAC and America East as well as head coaching experience at the Division II level.

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Liberty Del Rosario

Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

Del Rosario arrives to Niagara after spending three seasons as an assistant coach for the Winthrop University Eagles. Del Rosario appeared in two post season tournaments while at Winthrop; the Eagles advanced to the Womens National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) Second Round in 2013 and played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament First Round where they fell to Duke.

Del Rosario came to Winthrop in 2012 from Eastern Michigan where she served for one season as an assistant coach and helped lead the Eagles to a Mid-American Conference West Division championship and a conference tournament championship. EMU ended its season with a 23-9 record and lost to South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Prior to Eastern Michigan, Del Rosario served as an assistant at Morgan State. In her first season at MSU, she helped the Bears earn the programs first-ever Division I postseason appearance with a trip to the WNIT. Del Rosario spent four seasons at Cleveland State as the teams director of basketball operations from 2006-2009 before being promoted to assistant coach for the 2009-2010 season. Del Rosario helped CSU return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons in 2009-2010.

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Erika Harris

Assistant Coach

Harris enters her third season as an assistant coach with the Purple Eagles.Prior to Niagara, Harris spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Danville Area Community College in Danville, Ill. She was responsible for recruiting, fundraising, academic performance, daily practice and game activities.

Harris played college basketball at Niagara. She played in 105 games during her four-year career wearing the Purple and White, including starting 41 times at guard during Kendra Faustins first two years as head coach. Harris averaged 6.6 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game in her four-year career. She averaged a career-best 9.4 ppg and shot 38 percent from the field as a junior and dished out a career-best 67 assists as a senior.

The Gahanna, Ohio native graduated with a bachelors degree in hospitality and tourism management with a concentration in sport management in 2009.

Julie Kaufman

Assistant Coach

Julie Kaufman begins her first season as an assistant coach at Niagara University. Shespent three seasons (2013-16) as an assistant coach at Seton Hill University, an NCAA Division II program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

At Seton Hill, Kaufman primarily worked to help develop the post players. She worked closely with former Purple Eagle Katie Gattuso, who was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II Womens Basketball All-Star team as a second team selection and finished her career with 1,435 points and a team-leading 964 rebounds, as well as being selected for the WBCA Academic Top 25 Academic Team. Kaufman helped Seton Hill in 2015-16 to national rankings in defensive rebounds per game (26th) with 29.0 per game and 3-point field goal defense (64th).

From 2011-2013, Kaufman served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Shepherd University, part of the NCAA Division IIs West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In her final season at Shepherd, the team was ranked 14th in the nation in scoring offense with 74 points per game and 17th in field goal percentage (43.6).

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