Eagles women's basketball announces Bench & Arquette to coaching - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagles women's basketball announces Bench & Arquette to coaching staff

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By Eastern Washington Athletics
CHENEY, Wash. – Eastern Washington University women's basketball coach Wendy Schuller has announced the addition of assistant coaches Cody Bench and Nakia Arquette to her staff. Bench comes to Cheney after previously serving as the head coach at University of Alaska Fairbanks for seven seasons. Arquette transitions into the role after serving as the program's Director of Operations during the 2017-18 season.
 
"I am pleased to announce the hiring of these two new assistant coaches. Cody brings great experience to our staff having been a head coach and she is really excited about using those experiences to serve our program," said Schuller who is prepping to begin her 18th season at the helm. "As a Leavenworth native, she also brings a wealth of knowledge in regards to recruiting in the northwest."
 
Most recently Bench served as the assistant women's basketball coach at Wenatchee Valley College during the 2017-18 season. Prior to that, she was the head coach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 2010 to 2017. Bench led the Nanooks to 53 wins during her seven seasons, including the first-ever .500 season (14-14) in 2014-15. Bench helped the Nanooks improve from a one-win season in 2010-11 to averaging 13 wins per season during her final three years in Alaska.
 
Under Bench's tutelage, the Nanooks recorded three-straight double-digit winning seasons from 2014-16 for the first time in program history, including setting the program's single-season record for most Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) wins in a single-season with nine in 2016-17.
 
"This is a very special opportunity for me to join Coach Schuller and Eastern Washington women's basketball," said Bench. "I'm thankful to coach and Lynn Hickey for believing in me. I look forward to getting started right away and helping the Eagles continue their success on and off the court."
 
During her time, Bench coached two Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, four All-GNAC selections and six All-GNAC Academic Team selections. She also recruited four-time All-GNAC selection Jordan Wilson, who finished her career third on the program's all-time scoring list with over 1,700 points.
 
Bench is no stranger to Alaska as she competed for the Nanooks from 2002 to 2005. She led the GNAC in scoring from 2003 to 2005 and still holds the GNAC and the UAF scoring record.
 
She has also spent time as an assistant coach at William Woods University, where she helped lead the team to the NAIA National Tournament with an overall record of 21-10, and Moberly Area Community College. Bench graduated with her Bachelor's of Science in Natural Resources Management from Alaska in 2005 and her Master's of Education in Athletic and Activities Administration from William Woods in 2009.
 
Arquette begins her first season as an assistant coach after serving as the EWU women's basketball director of operations during the 2017-18 season. She assisted in the day-to-day operations for the team and helped coach the Eagles to a first-round bye and No. 3 seed at the Big Sky Conference Tournament after being predicted to finish sixth. Eastern Washington capped off the regular season on a four-game win streak and it marked the seventh year in a row that EWU has wrapped up conference play with at least 12 wins, and the eighth with at least 10.
 
"Nakia was part of our staff last year and is moving into an expanded role. She has a tremendous understanding of the game and does a great job conveying that to our team. She has also recently been in the shoes of a student-athlete and gives our staff some nice perspective on that world," added Schuller. "The fact that we have an assistant coaching staff of Washington natives, assistant coach Bryce Currie is from Spokane, is fun and I just can't speak highly enough of the character of all of them."
 
Arquette, a Spokane native, is still pursuing her Master's degree in education literacy at Eastern Washington. She earned her Bachelor's degree in elementary education, along with a minor in human development and an endorsement in ESL from the University of Utah, where she was a member of the women's basketball team for four years.
 
"I'm excited to continue being a part of the Eastern staff and work with our team. I'm looking forward to help develop our players on and off the court," said Arquette. "Basketball has always been a huge part of my life and I'm extremely excited to be able to continue in the basketball world as an assistant coach. I'm grateful for coach Schuller for giving me a chance to be part of her staff."
 
At Utah, Arquette appeared in 60 games. Unfortunately, multiple knee injuries hindered her collegiate career. She made all PAC-12 Academic Honorable mention two years in a row.

Arquette graduated from Lewis and Clark High School where she averaged 15 pts, 9 rebounds, and shot 50-percent from the field. She helped lead Lewis and Clark to the 2011 state title with a 20-6 record. She also won the 2011 4A sportsmanship award and was a member of the Jack Blair Memorial Girls All-Star Classic in 2011 and 2012.

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