Staff
Head Coach
Rebecca Tillett

Coach Rebecca Tillett finished her first season as the head women’s basketball coach at Longwood University. Her first year laid the foundation for the future. Dayna Rouse was the first Longwood Women’s basketball player to be named to the Big-South 1st or 2nd team. The Lancers also posted the highest semester GPA in over a decade with a 3.26 this fall.

She joined the Lancer community after a decorated career at Navy, where she served as the associate head coach and the recruiting coordinator.

During her four years in Annapolis, Tillett helped the Midshipmen to an 81-47 record, including a program record wins (25) in the 2017-2018 season. Navy reached the Patriot League Championship game and earned a bid to Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) two consecutive years. Navy went 46-26 in league play and back-to-back top-three finishes during her four-year stint, winning at least 10 league games in three of those years.

A three-year letter-winner, senior captain and 1999 graduate of William & Mary, Tillett was involved with all aspects of the program at Navy and specialized as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Growing up in a family of coaches, Tillett knew early on this was not only a goal but a dream. She returned to her home state of Virginia with a varied background of success, including a championship decorated tenure at Forest Park, and 19 years of directing respected basketball camps in multiple states. Coach Tillett is eager for YOU to join the Lancer family!

Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Tiffany Sardin

Longwood women’s basketball head coach Rebecca Tillett announced the addition of former University of Virginia standout Tiffany Sardin to her staff as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

A former three-time captain of the women’s basketball team at Virginia, a member of the Chicago Public Schools Hall of Fame and City of Harvey Hall of Fame, and a former professional basketball player, Sardin comes to Longwood with three tenures at the Division I level on her resume after stints at Clemson, Boston and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Sardin joins assistant coaches Maeve Gallagher and Jessica Olmstead on Tillett’s first Longwood staff.

“Tiffany’s extensive experience and genuine passion for helping young people is exactly what our program needs,” Tillett said. “It’s important to me that our women and staff are surrounded by mentors who are passionate about teaching and learning. Tiffany’s time in the ACC, her professional playing career, and her international recruiting experience add significant value.

“In addition to her talent, Tiffany consistently articulates her belief in our shared vision for the program. She comes highly recommended by players and coaches. I look forward to watching Tiffany pursue her dreams in this leadership position.”

In her most recent assistant coaching role at Clemson, Sardin served as a position coach for guards, forwards and centers while also playing a vital role in the Tigers’ recruiting efforts. In her first season, the Tigers had a dramatic turnaround as they notched 11 more wins than the previous season, earned an 11-2 record in nonconference play and claimed the program’s first ACC tournament victory in three seasons.

Before her two seasons in Clemson, S.C., Sardin spent a season at Boston University as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator. During her time with the Terriers, Sardin served as a guards/forwards position coach and played a vital role in recruiting efforts while scouting opponents.

Sardin made her Division I debut as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois at Chicago where the program went 42-23 across her two seasons on staff. In her first season with the Flames, UIC enjoyed the best season in program history by winning the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) Championship after reaching the Horizon League championship game and amassing a 26-9 record.

“I am ecstatic that my coaching path has brought me back to Virginia and grateful for the welcome I've received in the Lancer community,” Sardin said. “The vision that Coach Tillett has for the program is special and I'm honored to be a part of it. I'm eager to impart the knowledge that I've gained from my coaching experience, as well as gain new mastery with this opportunity.

“I'm excited to build on the pride that the Lancer community has in basketball and will work to show and grow that pride in new recruits. I look forward to developing the student athletes into hard working members of a strong team that will reflect in the community.”

The Chicago native began her coaching career at William Byrd High School outside of Roanoke, Va., before making the jump the collegiate level two seasons later in 2012 as an assistant at Mount Olive College. She spent one season with the Trojans before making the jump to the Division I ranks at UIC.

Just the second three-year captain in Virginia women’s basketball history, Sardin was named the Cavaliers’ 2006 MVP following a season in which she averaged 11.0 points per game along with a team-leading 6.8 rebounds while shooting .464 from the floor.

After graduation from the University of Virginia in 2006, Sardin played professionally for Madeira Clube Uniao in Portugal, a European Basktball Federation team. During her time with the team, Sardin led the squad in scoring and rebounding while also helping the club reach its first Euro Cup appearance.

Sardin received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Virginia in 2006 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in human service, criminal justice and counseling at Liberty University.

Assistant Coach
Jessica Olmstead

Jessica Olmstead joined Longwood's bench as an assistant coach in May, 2018, reuniting with head coach Rebecca Tillett after the pair built Forest Park High School’s girls’ basketball program into a Virginia powerhouse.

Olmstead, a 2018 Ashtabula County Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, spent five seasons as Tillett’s top assistant at Forest Park from 2008-13, during which she helped Longwood’s first-year head coach amass three Northwest Region Championships and a pair of Virginia State Tournament appearances at the Woodbridge-based high school.

“The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Coach Olms is ‘reunited,’” said Tillett, who took over the Longwood program in April. “She was critical to our success and team-first culture at Forest Park High School. She is family to me, she knows how I operate, and she knows what we want to build here at Longwood. She will be a huge support to our staff and women as we begin this journey together.”

A 10-year coaching veteran, Olmstead spent six total seasons at Forest before moving on to C.D. Hylton High School, also in Woodbridge. She spent three more seasons on the Hylton bench from 2014-17 and was promoted to associate head coach in November, 2016. This past season, Olmstead was the co-head boys’ basketball coach at Graham Park Middle School, leading the team to an 8-1 record and a trip to the Eastern Regional Championship.

“I admire Coach Olms’ integrity, competitive spirit, and the way she cares about young people. She is a gifted teacher and will bring immediate value to the court. As a high school coach, she has been on the other side of the recruiting process and will connect well with players and families. I am grateful she is a Lancer.”

At both C.D. Hylton and Forest Park High School, Olmstead was involved in all aspects of the program, including facilitating practice plans, scouting opponents, implementing a conditioning schedule and serving as director of the summer camp programs.

Olmstead aided in the development of several student-athletes who went on to play collegiately, including Division I scholarship players at Virginia, George Washington, Dartmouth, Georgia Southern and Stony Brook.

“I’m honored to join Coach Tillett’s staff, and look forward to being a member of the Longwood family,” Olmstead said. “When I met with Troy Austin and the athletics department staff, the spirit of Longwood resonated with me. It reinforced my excitement to be a part of this great university.

“Building relationships is essential to helping our current young women and future Lancers achieve their goals on and off the court. I’m excited to begin the process of developing them into better players and confident young women. I’ve seen firsthand how Coach Tillett makes a difference in student-athletes’ lives, and it is truly inspiring. I look forward to learning and growing under her leadership once again. I fully support her vision for this program, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Inducted into the Ashtabula County Basketball Hall of Fame this past April, Olmstead totaled more than 1,600 points in her high school career to break Conneaut High School’s scoring record for both the boys’ and girls’ programs. She was twice named NEC Player of the Year and earned All-Ohio first team honors as a senior after leading Conneaut to a 21-3 record and the program’s first regional appearance in school history.

After her decorated prep career, Olmstead went on to play collegiately at Youngstown State from 2001-04 where she became a starter in her final two seasons, averaging 10.0 points per game as a sophomore and 8.0 as a junior. She amassed 176 assists and 103 steals and averaged 4.2 rebounds per game during her three seasons at Youngstown State and was honored with the team Hustle Award and Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2003.

After her run at Youngstown State, Olmstead capped her college career at Mercyhurst, where she captained the team and averaged 11.7 points per game as a senior in 2004-05. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education in 2006. In addition to her coaching experience, she has also held teaching posts in elementary and middle school.