CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Fighting Illini women’s basketball head coach Shauna Green finalized her inaugural Illinois coaching staff on Tuesday (April 12) with the announcement of the addition of assistant coach DeAntoine “Cat” Beasley, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
“I am thrilled to have Cat and his family join our Illini program,” Green said. “He is an exceptional developer of players both on and off the court. He understands what it takes to be great because he’s gone through it as a player. Cat has the ability to relate to everyone and that aids in his relationship building. Our players will love working with him and will no doubt become better from their time together.”
A collegiate standout player who went on to a stellar professional career before coaching, Beasley joins fellow assistant Ryan Gensler and associate head coach Calamity McEntire, in reuniting with Green at Illinois after a highly successful tenure on her staff at Dayton. He brings more than 15 years of experience as an assistant coach at the college level, working with both men’s and women’s programs.
“I’m really thankful and excited for this opportunity to join the Fighting Illini women’s basketball family,” Beasley said. “Joining Coach Green is a pleasure because I know she’s going to push for excellence, and do it the right way. She has done an outstanding job in the development of her players on the court and most importantly off the court. This staff has great chemistry and I look forward to contributing to the growth and success of the program.”
Beasley spent four seasons (2018-22) working with Green at Dayton. During his tenure on the Flyers’ sideline, Beasley helped guide UD to a combined 82-33 (51-9 A-10) record with three Atlantic 10 regular-season titles, one tournament championship and four-consecutive postseason appearances with a pair of WNIT runs (2019 and 2021) and two NCAA Tournament berths (2020 and 2022).
Before Dayton, Beasley spent four seasons (2014-18) as an assistant for the Gardner-Webb men’s basketball program. There he helped guide the Bulldogs to three consecutive winning seasons, including a 20-win campaign in 2014-15. GWU also had three All-Big South selections and the highest team GPA in nine seasons during Beasley’s tenure on staff.
Prior to his time at Gardner-Webb, Beasley spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach at Pensacola State College in Florida, helping the Pirates finish 21-11 en route to their 15th Panhandle Conference title. He also served as an assistant coach for two seasons (2011-13) at Chattanooga and one year at his alma mater Tennessee Tech (2010-11) after working as a graduate assistant at Auburn in 2009-10.
Beasley played seven seasons (2002-09) for the Plymouth Raiders in Plymouth, England, in addition to two stints in China in 2002 and 2004. During his time with the Raiders, Beasley was a two-time BBL All-Star (2006 and 2009), earned MVP in the National Trophy race in 2004, received the 2004 BBC Sports Personality Award for the Southwest Region, and helped lead the team to the 2007 BBL Trophy. While continuing his playing, Beasley also began coaching locally at the University of St. Mark and St. John, where he guided the team to national titles in 2002-03 and 2003-04 and a runner-up finish in 2005.
Collegiately, Beasley played 120 career games for Tennessee Tech despite missing his sophomore season due to his battle with Hodgkin’s Disease. He returned as a team captain and stater in his junior and senior seasons, leading the Golden Eagles to OVC titles in 2001 and 2002, including a 27-7 campaign as a senior in which he helped TTU to a deep NIT run with wins over Georgia Tech, Dayton, and Yale.
A native of Atlanta, Ga., Beasley received the Sam Harley Lynn Award for contributions to the Tennessee Tech program, the Golden Eagle Award for sacrifice, dedication, and hard work, and was twice the recipient of the John P. Hendrix Leadership Award in his time at Tennessee Tech. He is the only student-athlete in program history to win all three awards. Beasley graduated from TTU in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education.
Beasley and his wife, the former Katie Hespe of Sheffield, England, were married on Aug. 11, 2011. They have a daughter, Charlotte, and a son, Sullivan.