Longwood’s Ryenn Micaletti selected for TopConnect Leadership Institute
Longwood women’s basketball assistant coach and recruiting director Ryenn Micaletti has been selected to participate in the TopConnect Leadership Institute beginning on Tuesday, May 18.
Formerly Villa 7, TopConnect identifies the top basketball assistant coaches and senior level athletics administrators in the country to provide them the necessary skills and relationships to assist them on their career path.
The TopConnect Leadership Institute is the most exclusive program offered by TopConnect, with candidates identified and recommended by athletic directors across the nation. Only 26 individuals, 13 coaches and 13 administrations, comprise the inaugural cohort. The program provides attendees an extra edge or advantage to both acquire a leadership opportunity and be successful in their leadership role. Over a four-month span, the program will use an in-depth curriculum built off symposiums that combines leadership discussions, activities and networking opportunities.
“I am humbled and excited to be a part of Dr. Sander’s TopConnect Leadership Institute inaugural program,” said Micaletti. “It is an honor to be selected as part of such an elite group of professionals.”
“Coach Tillett is always finding ways to empower women and this is yet another example through my nomination. This amazing opportunity will allow me to continue to grow in my leadership. I can’t wait to get started and learn from some of the best administrators and coaches in athletics.”
For Micaletti, her selection to the program comes after she helped guide the Lancers to unprecedented heights in her debut season at Longwood—five Lancers received Big South postseason awards, including two All-Big South First Team selections in Kyla McMakin and Akila Smith, while the team set program records in both Big South wins (12) and Big South winning-percentage (.667).
Nobody benefited more from the addition of Micaletti than Smith, who under her tutelage raised her scoring average from 6.9 points per game in 2019-20 to 15.7 in 2020-21, all while being named Big South Defensive Player of the Year as she broke Longwood’s career blocks record in just three seasons.
As a team, Longwood maintained their top-two offense from 2019-20 in 2020-21 as they averaged 71.1 points per-game while leaping from sixth to first in rebounding with 40.2 per-contest this past season.
This success translated to a run to the Big South tournament semifinals for the Lancers, as they ran away from UNC Asheville 83-69 in the quarterfinals, the program’s first Big South tournament win since 2013.
“I am thrilled for Ryenn and our program,” said Longwood head coach Rebecca Tillett. “Being selected in the inaugural class of the TopConnect Leadership Institute is an acknowledgement of her continual pursuit of excellence. She will gain knowledge that will immediately and positively influence our women, our staff, and me.”
“Ryenn is a talented connector of people. She cares deeply about the women of our program, and she is setting an example by passionately pursuing her own professional development. She will also have the distinct pleasure of working with our former Athletic Director, Troy Austin.”
Micaletti’s success with Longwood is the latest step in a decorated coaching career. Preceding her arrival in Farmville, Micaletti spent four seasons at Navy where the program tied and broke the records for wins in a season and made multiple appearances in the finals of their conference tournament, as well as a victory in the WNIT. She also was an integral part in program turnarounds at Slippery Rock and Point Park, and helped lead Indiana University of Pennsylvania to an 18 win season.
The Lancers are set to return eight players from the 2020-21 roster, including the team’s top five scorers, as they look to build upon a historic campaign.