Sonya Beeler enters her second season as head coach of the Cincinnati State women's basketball team.
A native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Beeler comes to Cincinnati State with experience as a player, coach and in sports broadcasting.
Beeler played basketball for four years at Bradley University, where she majored in Early Childhood Education. In 1998, she earned a Master’s in Sport Administration from Ohio University.
Tom Hathaway, who also enters his second year as Cincinnati State’s athletic director, has enjoyed working with Beeler.
“Coach Beeler’s background and experience speaks for itself. Under her leadership, our student-athletes have already experienced great success on the floor and in the classroom,” Hathaway said.
Beeler began her coaching career as an assistant at South Carolina Upstate, where she spent one year before accepting the head coaching position at Spartanburg Methodist College. From 2002 until 2011, Beeler performed work for ESPN, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports South as a color analyst. She returned to coaching in 2011 as the head coach at Monroe High School.
"I was happy with what we accomplished in my first season," said Beeler. "We are building towards our goal of a national title. I think we will take another stride towards that goal this season."
Coach Beeler took over a women's program coming off back to back National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament appearances and a 32-3 overall record in 2012. Despite only having one returning sophomore, Beeler led the team to a 25-7 overall record and narrowly missed another trip to the national tournament after a 4 points loss to rival Owens in the regional final.
Derek Williams - Assistant Coach
Derek Williams joined the Cincinnati State women’s basketball coaching staff in 2013 to serve under head coach Sonya Beeler.
Williams works with the Surge guards, and he has helped the team and players succeed at Cincinnati State and beyond. The Surge won conference and district titles on their way to nationals in Williams’ first season on the staff. Also, Cincinnati State guard Phylicia Johnson earned All-America and all-conference honors in 2013 before going on to play for NCAA Division I Eastern Illinois.
A Cincinnati native, Williams was the girls’ varsity basketball head coach at Western Hills High School for seven years, a boys’ varsity assistant coach at Shroder High School for two seasons and the freshmen boys head coach at Withrow High School for three years. Additionally, Williams has 12 years of AAU coaching experience.
Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in sports science from United States Sports Academy and currently is working on a master’s degree in athletic administration.
Gil Thompson - Assistant Coach
Gil Thompson joined the Cincinnati State women's basketball coaching staff prior to the 2014-15 season and works on post player development with the Surge.
Thompson, an Air Force veteran and former sergeant for the Cincinnati Police Department, previously coached the United States Air Force Security Forces women's basketball team and the Miami Valley Christian Academy girls' team. He also served as an Ohio High School Athletic Association basketball official.
A native of Highland Park, Mich., Thompson earned a bachelor's degree from Xavier University.