A familiar face completed the Oregon women’s basketball coaching staff when it was announced that Dan Muscatell would return to the University of Oregon in April 2009.
A former assistant with the women’s basketball program (1999-03), Muscatell spent the following six years (2004-09) as the head women’s basketball coach at Sacramento State.
Now entering his fourth season back at UO, Muscatell works closely with Oregon’s student-athletes to improve individual skill work and also helped organize Oregon's defense. Off the court, he is responsible for Oregon’s scheduling as well as recruiting in the Northwest.
In Muscatell’s return to the program for the 2009-10 season, Oregon doubled its win total from the previous year and was invited to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament – advancing to the postseason for the first time since 2007. Oregon’s 18-16 record was its best since 2005.
During the last two years at Oregon, the Ducks have finished in the country’s top-15 in scoring in back-to-back seasons, averaging 81.4 points (2010, 2nd) and 73.3 points per game (2011, 15th). In fact, during the last two seasons, the Ducks have averaged 79.0 points per game overall, out done only by Oral Roberts (84.7 ppg) and Gonzaga (82.7 ppg).
In addition, the Ducks have had three student-athletes (Micaela Cocks, 2010; Nia Jackson, 2011; Taylor Lilley, 2010) named to the Pac-10 All-Conference in the past two years, while Amanda Johnson received Pac-10 honorable mention accolades in 2010 and 2011.
Oregon’s 2011 five-member freshman class received a top-50 rating from ESPN Hoopgurlz as the coaching staff brought in its first ranked recruiting class.
He completed a 2008-09 season in which his Sacramento State team finished 9-21 overall and 7-9 in the Big Sky Conference. The 7-9 conference record was the best mark since the program joined the Big Sky in 1996-97. The team finished fifth in the league standings and fell in overtime in the Big Sky Tournament quarterfinals.
During his tenure with the Hornets, Muscatell coached seven student-athletes to Big Sky all-conference honors on the court, including 2004-05 Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year Kim Sheehy.
Off the court, 24 players received Big Sky All-Academic accolades under Muscatell's watch. The academic success of his program culminated in April of 2009 when the Hornets were recognized with a NCAA Academic Performance Program Public Recognition Award for the second consecutive year. Of his 21 student-athletes that reached senior eligibility, 20 graduated from the University.
Muscatell took over a program that had won just six games in the three seasons prior to his arrival, and had made only one trip to the Big Sky Conference Tournament in eight years.
In his six seasons, the program totaled 36 wins overall and 21 in the Big Sky Conference. His league win total in the Big Sky is the most for any head coach in Sacramento State program history. The Hornets also made two trips to the BSC Tournament during his tenure.
Before making the move to Northern California, Muscatell spent four years as an assistant coach at Oregon. During that time the Ducks compiled a 74-49 (.602) record and a 42-30 (.583) Pac-10 Conference record, while also winning one Pac-10 championship (2000).
The Ducks made three postseason appearances during his time at Oregon including two trips to the NCAA Tournament (2000 & 2001) and winning the 2002 WNIT Tournament championship. The Ducks were also ranked in the top 25 during three of those years, including two top-10 finishes in 2000 and 2001.
While at Oregon, Muscatell was involved in all aspects of the program, including the coordination of recruiting efforts and the coaching of offense and defense. He also worked with both the perimeter and post players.
The Everett, Wash., native was responsible for bringing in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2001, a six-member class that was ranked No. 17 in the nation by All-Star Girls Report. Muscatell also coached or recruited former WNBA players Andrea Bills, Edneisha Curry, Brandi Davis, Jenny Mowe, Angelina Wolvert and Shaquala Williams, along with current New York Liberty forward Cathrine Kraayeveld.
Prior to his stint at Oregon, Muscatell spent 13 years as a boy’s basketball coach and teacher in the state of Washington. He served as the head coach while also teaching physical education, math and health at Rochester High School (1994-99). During that time, he led the Warriors to the postseason every season. For his efforts, he was named Evergreen League Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1998, and SW Washington Coach of the Year in 1999.
In 1999, Muscatell’s squad led the state in scoring defense (45.5 points per game) while also earning a program-best fourth-place finish in the state. RHS also placed second in the state in scoring defense in 1997 and 1998. In the class room, his team was awarded the 1998 State Academic Championship after earning the highest gpa of all schools in its classification.
Before taking over at Rochester, Muscatell spent eight years (1982-90) as the head boy’s basketball coach at Meridian High School in Bellingham, Wash. At the age of 22, he led the program to the postseason in all but one season. The Trojans had only won three games in two years before his arrival.
In his third season, he directed the squad to a school-record second-place finish in the district and consecutive victories over the top ranked schools in the state (Lynden, King’s). For his efforts, he was named both Whatcom County and NW Washington coach of the year in 1985.
Muscatell served as the assistant principal (1986-1990) and taught physical education, math, psychology and leadership during his tenure (1985-1990).
During his playing career, Muscatell was a two-year starter and team captain for Western Washington (1980-82) and a two-time winner of the Most Inspirational Award. He also played two years (1978-80) at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash., where he was a two-year starter and team captain.
Muscatell earned both a bachelor’s degree in physical education/psychology (1983) and a master’s degree in administration (1990) from Western Washington.
Along with coaching, Muscatell spent 17 years as a baseball umpire (high school, college, semi-pro), 14 years as a collegiate football official (NAIA, Div. II & III), and eight years as a basketball official (Div. II & JC).
He and his wife, Terri, have three children: Keely, Jessica and Drew.