Delaney continues basketball career on the sidelines

Former Jacket now assistant coach at same school her mother played for

Alli Delaney is a girl that grew up in a small town of Belmont, Ohio, that has a population of just under 500 people. She went to a small school called Union Local.

This is where she excelled as a basketball and softball player. She was a very decorated player, both on the court and in the classroom. She was named First Team OVAC, First Team Eastern District, and Special Mention D2 All-Ohio for basketball. She also earned First Team OVAC and First Team Eastern District honors for softball. In the classroom, she earned All-Academic All-OVAC and All-Ohio honors.

After high school, Delaney moved on and committed to Division Two Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. She started her career there in 2016 and was there until the 2019 season. Over her time there she was primarily a role player for the Falcons.

“My time at Notre Dame was fun, it was a big part of my life,” said Delaney. “I made a lot of friends there that I will never forget.”

After her junior year, she decided to enter the transfer portal, choosing where she wanted to go to school in her last year of eligibility for basketball. Her friend and high school basketball teammate, Haley Porter, had just finished up her Freshman year at Waynesburg University. Porter reached out to Delaney and asked if she would be interested in coming to play at Waynesburg. She considered this to be a college where she would be getting a lot more playing time than she would at Notre Dame. 

“I played basketball with Haley in high school, she reached out to me and asked me to come on a visit and I gave it some thought, and I decided to go on a visit,” Delaney said. “I then reached out to Coach Sam Jones and we started talking about me possibly coming to Waynesburg.”

After a few weeks of communication back and forth, Delaney came to Waynesburg on a visit and she fell in love with the campus. 

Chace Johnston - The Yellow Jacket
Alli’s Journey from high school to coaching

“I loved Waynesburg, it had everything that I needed for my major,” said Delaney. “I also felt like I had a better chance at getting playing time here that I would at Notre Dame and after my visit I decided to transfer to Waynesburg University to continue my academic and athletic career.” 

Delaney’s impact was automatically felt on the Yellow Jacket women’s basketball team. In her one season at Waynesburg, she became a starter and a leader, averaging just over 11 points per game, had a field goal percentage of 38%, and shot 33% from beyond the three-point line. She also played a huge part in the late-season push to make the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Tournament, where she averaged over 10 points in the last two conference games of the season against Thiel and Bethany. Both of these games were wins which got Waynesburg in a great spot in the PAC Tournament. The team went on and played Bethany once again, where Delaney also was a key part in a PAC tournament win over the Bison.  

“When Alli came to use, I was very excited to have her,” said Waynesburg Women’s Basketball Coach Sam Jones. “She was a great piece to add to our team and she excelled tremendously, she became a great player, leader, and she gelled with the girls on the team right off the back, she fit in so good that it felt like she’s been here for the past four years instead of just one.”

Joseph Smeltzer - The Yellow Jacket
Alli Delaney shoots a three as Sam Jones looks on

 After the season, Alli decided that she was going to play golf at Waynesburg, but that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she knew once that happened that her college athletic career would be over. Despite it coming to an end, her impact on basketball wouldn’t be. 

After a few months, and finishing up her senior year at Waynesburg, Delaney thought about the possibility of becoming a women’s basketball coach. No one pushed her more to follow her dream of being a basketball coach more than her mother. 

“My mom has been such a big impact on my life, not just life itself but also the field and the court,” said Delaney. “She has been my biggest role model, she has coached me ever since I was little, she has been my biggest influence and my biggest supporter, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I would be today.” 

Delaney then got a phone call from Wheeling University Head Coach Mike Llanas and he asked Alli if she wanted to be a Graduate Assistant at Wheeling University, but Delaney would not be able to be one due to her degree not being complete at Waynesburg University. He instead decided to just bring her on as an assistant coach in general, and is very excited to have Alli on staff this upcoming season. 

Wheeling University Sports Information
Wheeling Head Coach Mike Llanas

“I’m excited to have Alli on our staff this year, she has a great basketball mind and she’s always willing to put in the long hours that it takes to be a coach,” said Wheeling University women’s basketball Head Coach Mike Llanas. 

Fun Fact, Alli has a personal connection with Wheeling Jesuit (Wheeling University) Her mom played here from 1991 – 1995, so her mom was a member of the program and has been around the basketball program for years now, knowing her daughter is going to be a coach here now just adds to it.

Courtesy of Alli Delaney
Alli’s mother at Wheeling

As Delaney starts her career as a college basketball coach, each coach that she has had in her life has harped on multiple things that will make her into a great coach. 

“Her being a young coach and her transferring from a bigger college to a smaller college I think that will help her relate to kids because she’s been in these situations” said Sam Jones. 

“Her basketball IQ is so high and I’m glad that she’s here to help us this year, she has a great career ahead of her and I’m glad that she gets to start her coaching career here at Wheeling University,” Said Mike Llanas.

Delaney is energized and ready to step on the floor and begin her coaching tenure.

“Overall, I’m glad that I am getting to have this opportunity to coach at such a great program and a place that I’ve been around for most of my life, it’s an honor and a privilege, and I’m excited to get to work.” Said Alli Delaney.