Returning To Her Roots

Clarksburg native Antoinette "Toni Kay" Oliverio brings a long and impressive resume to her new position as Director of Basketball Operations for the WVU women's team.

Oliverio comes to WVU on the heels of her tenure as assistant athletic director/sports information director at WVU Institute of Technology in Fayette County.

Previously, she has worked in administrative capacities with the Mid-South Conference (NAIA), served as a graduate assistant at the University of Louisville, and even spent time at Salem College as head women's tennis coach and assistant women's basketball coach.

Oliverio played basketball at the collegiate level for West Liberty State College in the West Virginia Conference.

At each of these stops, she has learned something which will undoubtedly help her in her new role at WVU.

From her stint at Louisville, where she worked briefly with women's basketball and extensively in sports communications, she gained invaluable access to major-conference Division I athletics.

"It was great getting a feel of what goes on behind the program," she said. "Kind of getting my feet wet and getting to see things behind the scenes that you don't always see when you watch the game was great experience."

As an intern with the Mid-South Conference, Oliverio was given a boatload of responsbility. The Mid-South pays just one employee on a full-time basis -- its commissioner -- meaning that interns are expected to do a whole lot more than simply making photocopies and freshening up the coffee pot from time to time.

In her time at WVU Tech, she has had the unenviable task of administrating an athletic department which is admittedly playing with a less than full deck of cards, as the cash-strapped college has continually tried to find ways to stay afloat both on and off the field over recent years.

"One of the biggest things I've learned here is being creative with what you have," Oliverio explained. "We have limited resources, and you have to make do with what you got."

Sprinkle in her experience on the court as a player and on the bench as an assistant coach, and its hard to imagine any candidate being more prepared for a Director of Basketball Operations job.

"I've seen every angle possible," she said. "I've been a player, been a coach, and worked in administration. That gives me just about as much preparation from all angles as I can have."

At WVU, her diverse background should serve her quite well as she interacts with players, coaches and school administrators to coordinate the day-to-day activities of a Mountaineer women's basketball program that is looking to rebuild after losing no less than eight players from a team which made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008.

While Oliverio's first day on the job in Morgantown isn't until Monday, there is still plenty of work to be done between now and then.

First and foremost, there are responsibilities remaining in Montgomery which must be finished, such as putting the finishing touches on media guides for all Fall sports teams at Tech.

Additionally, she must prepare for and execute the move upstate, though her plans for the forseeable future will almost certainly include an indefinite stay in her family's Clarksburg home.

When she does arrive in Morgantown, though, Oliverio has a good idea of what she wants to accomplish between now and the start of preseason practice in October. One example of an initial goal is simply becoming more familiar with the program she is now a part of.

"I'm learning more every day," she said. "I followed them as much as I could the past few years, but being in charge of 14 sports here didn't allow me to do a lot of that. I know they have to rebuild, but Coach Carey didn't get where he is now for no reason. He will build them back up and have us ready to play.

"I just hope that I can help the program anyway that I can," she continued. "It may sound cheesy, but I just want to make Coach Carey proud."


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