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Salvato Selected to Lead JBU Women's Basketball Program

SILOAM SPRINGS -- John Brown University's Director of Athletics Robyn Daugherty announced the hiring of Sydni Salvato as the 12th head coach in the history of the Golden Eagle women's basketball program on Monday morning (May 6).

The Lubbock, Texas native takes the reins of the women's hoops program after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Southern Nazarene (Okla.), helping lead the Crimson Storm to consecutive Great American Conference titles and the best season (30-3) in the program's NCAA II era history in 2024.

"I am very excited about the hiring of Coach Salvato as the next leader of our women's basketball program," said Daugherty. "Sydni is a young, mature coach who I believe fits our program and our university and we are excited she is now part of the Golden Eagle family.

"It's evident she has surrounded herself with great mentors over the last several years, and I look forward to watching her lead our women. Her desire to grow and develop women on the court and in the classroom is evident as you talk with her, with her top priority helping them grow in their walk with the Lord."

During her time at SNU, Salvato and the Crimson Storm compiled an impressive 57-8 (.877) over two seasons and made the program's first Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA II tournament last year. The Crimson Storm fell to eventual national champion, Minnesota State University at Mankato in 2024 while dropping out of the tournament the season before at the hands of eventual national runner-up, University of Minnesota Duluth.

During Southern Nazarene's incredible two-year run, Salvato was responsible for scouting reports, recruiting, practice and game plans, film sessions and on-court walkthroughs, and managed game situations. She also served as head junior varsity coach for three consecutive seasons, dating back a year earlier during her time at Mid-America Christian (Okla.).

"I am so blessed to have the opportunity to lead such a tremendous program," admitted Salvato. "From the moment I set foot on campus, I knew that JBU was a special place full of people who are committed to the mission of the gospel. It is my prayer that God will continue the awesome work He has already begun as we strive for excellence on and off the court.

"I would like to thank Robyn (Daugherty) and the committee for affording me this opportunity, as well as the greater JBU community for being so welcoming; I am humbled and honored to step into this role. It's such a joy to officially be a Golden Eagle."

Before her one-year stint at MACU as a graduate assistant where she helped the Evangels make the program's first-ever appearance in the NAIA National Championships during its most successful season in program history, Salvato was mentored for four seasons as a student assistant by the venerable Steve Gomez at Lubbock Christian University. At LCU, Salvato was part of a program that captured the 2019 and 2021 NCAA II national championships, secured three consecutive regional titles and additionally won four straight Lone Star Conference crowns.

During her time as a Chaparral in West Texas, Salvato was charged with creating scouting reports, organizing recruiting visits, planning individual skill workouts, organizing and planning for road trips and administrating summer camps.

Salvato succeeds the program's all-time winningest coach in Jeff Soderquist, who retired after guiding the Golden Eagles to a single-season program record 29-4 mark in his final season, which included the program's first-ever Sooner Athletic regular season and tournament titles and a seventh NAIA National Championships appearance. Soderquist led the program for 27 seasons, compiling a 424-402 (.513) career record during his nearly three-decade tenure.

"I am so excited to have Coach Salvato lead the Golden Eagles women's basketball program," former head coach Jeff Soderquist noted. "She is one of the up-and-coming young coaches we have in our profession. She will do a great job of leading this team on and off the court. I can't wait to see a new era begin at the place I have loved for years."

Salvato graduated from Lubbock Christian with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science before completing her Master of Arts in Leadership at Mid-America Christian.

Salvato will make her debut at the helm of the program when the Golden Eagles launch the 2024-25 season on Oct. 31 against Tabor (Kan.). The season-opening tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Bill George Arena.


Sydni is very deserving of the opportunity to lead the the women's basketball program at John Brown University. She has been instrumental within successful basketball programs and leading young women.

I am excited for the Golden Eagle community and her student-athletes to get to know such an incredible person.

Trent May

Head Women's Basketball Coach, Southern Nazarene University

Sydni has gained a wealth of experience and has been integral to tremendous success already in her career. I am confident that she will be a blessing to the John Brown University community and a great asset to the athletic department.

Sydni will continue the standard of excellence on and off the court that became the hallmark of Golden Eagle women's basketball under Coach Soderquist.

Steve Gomez

Head Women's Basketball Coach, Lubbock Christian University


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