The 2018-19 season marks Kai Felton’s seventh season with California women’s basketball team.
Felton works extensively with Cal’s guards, helping develop a pair of All-Americans and First Round WNBA Draft Picks in Layshia Clarendon ’13 and Brittany Boyd ’15. Over the past two seasons, five Golden Bear guards have earned All-Conference recognition. Mikayla Cowling and Asha Thomas both earned Pac-12 Honorable Mention at the end of the 2017-18 season while freshman point guard Kianna Smith was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team. Guards Jaelyn Brown and Mi’Cole Cayton garnered Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention at the end of the 2016-17 season. Under her supervision, the Bears have also continued to excel in the classroom, being recognized for their overall improvements in GPA each of the last two seasons.
Felton came to Cal after spending the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the Oregon Ducks. During her time at Oregon, the Ducks were transformed into one of the most potent offenses in the nation, averaging 81.4 points per game in 2009-10. The Ducks earned a spot in the post season for just the second time in the last nine years in 2009-10, advancing to the third round of the WNIT.
Prior to her time in Eugene, Felton spent five years as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California. She had a hand in recruiting seven McDonald’s All-Americans in her five years with the Women of Troy, including the nation’s top recruiting class according to USA Today and the All-Star Girls Report in 2006. That class included the 2006 co-National Player of the Year, Jacki Gemelos.
During her five seasons at USC, the Women of Troy compiled a 90-64 record and finished in the top half of the conference in each of those seasons. USC advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament twice (2005 & 2006) and most recently played in the Pac-10 Tournament championship game for the first time in program history.
Before joining USC, Felton spent one season at Pepperdine University, helping the Waves earn an invitation to the WNIT with a 17-12 record.
Felton also served as a volunteer assistant coach at California Polytechnic University, Pomona (2002-03) and worked as an assistant coach (2000-02) at Springfield College (Springfield, Mass.) At Springfield, Felton was with the Pride as the program advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2002 NCAA Division III Women’s basketball Tournament. Springfield compiled a 49-9 record and claimed two NEWMAC conference championships during her time on the coaching staff, while helping develop conference players of the year in Kelly Thompson (2001) and Becky Kanupka (2002).
As a player, Felton was a standout guard at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va. During her four years, she set nine school records, including most career three-pointers (216), most three-pointers in a season (66) and most career assists (325). She finished her career ranked No. 3 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,147 points.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2000 from Randolph-Macon and later attained her master’s in physical education/athletic administration from Springfield in 2002.
Coach Gottlieb on Kai Felton