Former women's basketball head coach Karen Welliver inducted into Hall of Fame

Karen Welliver (4th from left) is joined by family and friends after being inducted into the CCCWBCA Hall of Fame
Karen Welliver (4th from left) is joined by family and friends after being inducted into the CCCWBCA Hall of Fame

From 1983 to 2015, Cerritos College knew of only one women's basketball head coach - Karen Welliver. In her 33 seasons leading the Falcons, Welliver posted a 684-352 record with 11 South Coast Conference championships, seven state tournament appearances, 21 20-win seasons and close to 90 players that received scholarships. At one time, Welliver was the all-time leader in wins by a California Community College women's basketball coach. She finishes her career ranked second on the all-time list.

During the CCCAA Women's Basketball State Championship banquet, Welliver was inducted into the California Community College Women's Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

"You know, helping kids grow up and then watching their progress in life has always been the biggest thrill of my life," said Welliver. "It's more than wins and losses. It's about their maturation process and finding out they finished their degree and have started a career. That's what I feel most blessed about each day. It's made being a coach and teacher so rewarding for me."

Back on December 22, 2010, Welliver (pictured, left) became one of only two coaches in California Community College women's basketball history to win 600th career games. A 58-57 South Coast Conference win at Pasadena City College moved Welliver into the elite 600-win club with Ventura College head coach Ned Mircetic. Back in 2009, Welliver held the record for most career wins, but was passed by Mircetic the following season. Welliver became the state's leader in career wins back on January 21, 2009 with a 54-51 overtime win against El Camino College with her 564th win. At that time, she passed Tom Martinez, who won 563 games at San Mateo College.

"Making the decision to retire was something (husband) Bill and I discussed before it was finally decided," Welliver said at the time of her announcement after guiding the Falcons to an 18-13 record in her final season and advanced to the 2nd Round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs. "I've loved my time at Cerritos College and working with some great people and coaching some amazing kids. But Bill and I want to be able to spend more time together and travel. He's been such a great supporter of me and the team over the years. I don't know if I could have made it this long without him by my side."

Over the years, Welliver has had a long list of assistant coaches by her side. In total, there have been 21 people to serve as an assistant coach under Welliver, with the longest run of five years held by current head coach Trisha (Raniewicz) Kozlowski, who left after the 2012-13 season to take an assistant coaching position at Pepperdine University. Of the 21 assistant coaches, 10 of them played for Welliver, while all went on to be head coaches or continue coaching at another school.

Falcon Sports Academy
May 3, 2018 Falcon Sports Academy