Head Women's Basketball Coach
Kaleena Coleman

Named the seventh head coach in program history on March 9, 2015, Coleman has been a fixture in Laker women's basketball for the past 13 years, as both a player and a coach, and has been a part of the most successful period in the program's history.

In her second season at the helm, Coleman returned the Lakers to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the 11th time in 12 years with an overall record of 22-7 and an impressive 15-4 mark in the highly competitive Peach Belt Conference. It was also the 11th season with at least 20 wins for the program.

During the 2015-16 season, Clayton State was either ranked or received votes in the D2SIDA and USA Today Sports Coaches Poll a total of 18 times. That included high water marks of No. 12 in D2SIDA and No. 19 in USA Today as they won 13 straight games from November 28 through January 24. The Lakers also knocked off No. 15 Francis Marion (D2SIDA) by a score of 73-61 on December 19, 2015.

Additionally, the program earned a record-tying three All-Peach Belt Conference selections, including Second-Team choice DaQuenna Moore. Andrea Benford and Kenisha Jones-Barrett were both named to the Third-Team, with Benford becoming the first Laker to earn two All-Conference selections in non-consecutive years.

Taking over for the legendary Dennis Cox in late July of 2014, Coleman inherited a roster with only eight returning players. She led that team to a 17-12 overall record, nearly knocked off some of the nation's best programs and earned the No. 3 seed out of the Peach Belt Conference's highly competitive West Division.

She accomplished that while battling through a number of injuries to key players all season long, sometimes to the point she had only eight available on gameday, and developing a rapport with a largely new roster, as well as her coaching staff, in an extremely short amount of time. Her vast experience within the program helped her to overcome that adversity and achieve great things.

“We are proud to have Kaleena become the seventh head coach in the history of Laker women's basketball,” said Director of Athletics Tim Duncan at the time of her fulltime appointment. “Under her leadership, we fully expect to be back at the top of the Peach Belt Conference standings and in the national spotlight in the near future.”

Coleman is currently the only former women’s basketball player to lead her alma mater as head coach of the program.

After two years at Darton College, where she was named the team’s Most Improved Player, she came to Clayton State and was a two-year member of the women's basketball team from 2003-05.

During that time, she played in 56 games, and was part of the 2004-05 team that went a program record 25-7. That squad also earned the Lakers their first ever NCAA Division II Tournament berth, the first Peach Belt Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships and delivered the second biggest turnaround in DII, improving from just 10-18 the year before.

Following her playing career, Coleman joined the staff of head coach Dennis Cox in 2005-06, becoming a full-time member in the 2007-08 season. She served in that role through the 2013-14 campaign before being named the interim head coach on July 29, 2014.

During her 13 total years in Morrow, Georgia, she has helped guide the Lakers to 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2004-14) and 11 overall, four South Atlantic/Southeast Region titles with matching trips to the Elite 8 (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) and the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship. That stretch has also included 17 NCAA Tournament victories, seven PBC regular season titles (2005, 2007, 2008, 2011-14) and three tournament championships (2005, 2007, 2010).

A graduate of Clayton State University, Coleman holds a Bachelors in Education earned in 2006.

Head Men's Basketball Coach
Jimmy Link

An 11-year college basketball veteran who has coached at all three levels of the NCAA as well as in the NAIA, Link joined the Lakers in May of 2015 following a very successful run as head coach at Division II Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.

In his first year at the helm of the Lakers, Link produced a 14-12 overall record that included a 72-67 victory over NCAA Tournament team Montevallo, as well a four-game winning streak in the heart of the Peach Belt Conference season.

Joining him from Paine College were four of his former players, including redshirt-junior forward Alfonso Davis. In his first season as a Laker, Davis averaged 17.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.2 assists and nearly a steal per game while becoming just the second Clayton State player to be named Peach Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to the All-PBC Second-Team.

During his four-plus years as head coach at Paine, he compiled an 81-60 overall record (.574) and 59-41 (.590) mark in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He also recruited and coached five All-SIAC selections, two Freshman of the Year, a Player of the Year and earned Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, he coached a pair of BoxtoRow All-Americans, a National Player of the Year and was named National Coach of the Year.

His teams have also achieved national recognition in several statistical categories, ranking second in the country in blocks per game (7.0 bpg) and 25th in field goal percentage defense in 2011-12 and

He joined the Lions as an assistant coach in July of 2010 before taking over as interim head coach in late December of that year. Taking over a team that was 1-4 and predicted to finish last in the SIAC, he led Paine to a 10-13 record the rest of the way, a berth in the SIAC Tournament and a surprise 68-65 victory over LeMoyne-Owen in the first round.

Following that campaign, Link was named as the permanent head coach of the program and brought about continued success for the Lions. In his first full season at the helm, 2011-12, he won six of his first seven games and produced a 16-13 overall record and a pair of SIAC Tournament wins as part of a trip to the semifinals.

That season also produced a SIAC Freshman of the Year award winner in Kedric Taylor, who averaged 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He was also one of just seven Division II players to record a triple-double on the year.

The 2012-13 campaign would see PC go 14-15 with a 10-8 league mark but make a second consecutive trip to the SIAC semifinals. Mario Jordan, an eventual 1,000-point scorer for the Lions, would go on to earn All-SIAC honors following the season.

A very impressive two-year span would begin with the 2013-14 season as Paine surged to an 18-13 overall record and went 11-7 in league. All-Conference honorees in Taylor and transfer Kenny Fluellen resulted in another trip to the SIAC semifinals.

What had been built over the previous three-plus years would come to fruition in the 2014-15 campaign. This past season, after opening 1-3, the Lions exploded to win 22 of their next 25 games to close the season with a stellar 23-6 record, including a 14-1 home record. Not included in that stretch was a near upset of Division I Kennesaw, 80-75, in a regular season exhibition.

As impressive as that mark was, a 17-2 performance in league play helped the Lions earn the SIAC East Division Championship before making another semifinal appearance. As is to be expected with a season of that magnitude, the postseason recognitions rolled in for Paine.

Link would be named the SIAC Coach of the Year while Denzel Dillingham and Arnis Libazs were All-Conference selections. Dillingham would add Player of the Year as well as Freshman of the Year. Dillingham and Link would add BoxtoRow National Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors, respectively.

Dillingham and Libazs each were named All-Americans by that organization while the latter was a two-time SIAC All-Academic Team selection, earning that honor in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

FLAGLER COLLEGE (2004-05, 2006-08) and WASHINGTON COLLEGE (2005-06)
Prior to joining Paine, Link began his coaching career in 2004-05 at his alma mater, then NAIA Flagler College. That season he helped the Saints to a 23-8 record, an NAIA Sweet 16 berth and Top-10 national ranking before moving on to an assistant position at Division III Washington College (Md.) in 2005-06. While there he recruited 13 players, a group that helped deliver a 13-14 overall record, a number of wins that was the most by the program since the 2000-01 campaign.

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