A Weirton, W.Va., native, Bernabei is in her second stint as an assistant coach with the Mountaineers, having served in the same capacity from 2001-03.
"I'm extremely excited to return to Morgantown and continue to help mold and build the Mountaineers into a national contender," Bernabei says. "I have a lot of pride in the state's flagship university and am eager to get back to working with the coaching staff and the players. I had a lot of great memories from my first time around with the program and am very grateful to be back."
She returns to WVU after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Maryland from 2003-07. She helped the Terrapins win the 2005-06 national championship and make four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Maryland's recruiting classes during her last three seasons were each ranked in the top 10 nationally.
"Joanna did a great job when she was with us in my first two years here," Carey says. "She got great experience at Maryland and won a national championship. She's a West Virginia girl coming back home and we're very excited to have her back as part of our program. She will bring a lot of experience and knowledge to our staff."
In addition to recruiting at Maryland, Bernabei was also responsible for on-the-floor coaching, opponent scouting and offensive and defensive game strategy.
"Joanna is a tremendous hire for West Virginia," Terrapin coach Brenda Frese says. "She is an extremely hard worker, who is passionate about everything she does and especially basketball. She will be a valuable member to WVU's program."
Prior to her first stint with WVU, Bernabei spent two seasons as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky from 1999-2001. In 1998, she served as head coach at West Virginia Wesleyan compiling an 18-9 record and a third-place finish in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC). While at Wesleyan, she served as the school's senior women's administrator.
Bernabei attended West Liberty State where she was an All-American and a four-time, first-team All-WVIAC as a point guard. Named the 1997 WVIAC Player of the Year, she currently holds the NCAA Division II career assists record of 1,107 and the record for most assists in a single game at 24 against West Virginia State (Feb. 8, 1997). She is one of just a handful of players to record more than 1,000 points and 1,000 assists in a career. She finished her career with 1,317 total points. She also holds the NCAA record for assists average per game (9.5) and the school and conference records for assists in a game, season (293) and career. She led her team to an 80-36 record during her four years and is listed on West Liberty's top 20 all-time best athlete list. She is the first woman to be named first-team all-WVIAC for four years and was West Virginia's 1993 high school player of the year. She was inducted into the West Liberty Hall of Fame in 2002.
Bernabei earned her bachelor's degree in exercise physiology from West Liberty in 1997 and her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky in physical education in 1999. She is married to former Mountaineer baseball standout (1996-98) and Bridgeport, W.Va., native Joe McNamee. The couple has two children, Luke (20 months) and Caden (nine months). They reside in Morgantown.
Also, West Virginia University baseball coach Greg Van Zant today announced the team MVPs for the 2008 season. Senior shortstop Tyler Kuhn was named the position player MVP, while right-handed pitcher Billy Gross earned pitching staff MVP honors and freshman second baseman Jedd Gyorko was named the team's Rookie of the Year.
Kuhn, a third team Pro-Line Athletic/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) 2008 All-American, finished the year leading the team with a .424 batting average and became the first Mountaineer ever to record at least 100 hits in a season. The Louisville, Ky., native was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month.
Gross pitched 74.2 innings and posted a team-best 3.01 ERA in 13 appearances in 2008. The Frederick, Md., native finished with a 5-2 record in nine starts. Gyorko, a Morgantown, W.Va., native, hit .409, eight home runs and drove in 63 RBIs in his rookie season. The 2008 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, he also was selected to the Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA 2008 Freshman All-America team.