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College: Rowan names coaches for two womens' sports

09/14/2019, 6:00am EDT
By Sheila Stevenson, Rowan Sports Information

Poles chosen as interim head basketball coach; Blaschke tabbed to lead womens swim team

Demetrius Poles Named Interim Head Women's Basketball Coach

GLASSBORO, NJ - Demetrius Poles has been named the interim head women’s basketball coach at Rowan University, upon the retirement of long-time head coach Gabby Lisella. Poles has served as an assistant coach with the women’s program for the past three years. 

A Rowan alumnus, Poles returned to the University in 2013 following an extensive international playing and coaching career. He was an assistant coach with the Profs’ men’s basketball team for three years and then joined Lisella’s staff in 2016-17. 

“Demetrius has a wealth of coaching experience as a head coach internationally and as an assistant at Rowan. He has all the characteristics of an outstanding coach. Most importantly, he is a person of high integrity and will emphasize a culture of teamwork,” said interim director of athletics Dr. John Giannini. “I am certain that Demetrius will be an excellent recruiter, teacher and mentor, who will bring much success to our women’s basketball program.”     

“I am extremely grateful and honored to be named the interim head coach of the Rowan University women’s basketball team. For many reasons, I am very thankful to Dr. Giannini and the University for giving me and my family this opportunity,” said Poles. 

“Demetrius bleeds brown and gold. He is dedicated and hard working, and has proven himself to be an outstanding recruiter for our program. The talent he has brought to Rowan, combined with his extensive basketball experiences, will provide our student athletes with an amazing experience.  I couldn’t leave the program in better hands and I am excited to see where he takes it,” said Lisella, who led the Profs for 19 seasons.

Poles served as a head coach in Sweden and Italy for 10 seasons, and was named the 2012-13 Coach of the Year. That followed a successful overseas playing career which spanned seven years and took him to more than 10 countries.

In addition, Poles coached at the Reebok/Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy from 2004 to 2012. During that span, he instructed 55 players who participated in the 2012 London Summer Olympics and 32 players who went on to play in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. He also coached 81 international players who were drafted into the NBA from the Eurocamp.

He was the starting center and leading rebounder on Rowan’s 1996 national championship team. He played his freshman year at Saint Joseph’s University, where he was named to the 1992 Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team. 

Poles, originally from Glassboro, NJ, received his degree from Rowan in 2014. 

Elise Blaschke Named Head Women's Swimming Coach

GLASSBORO, NJ - Elise Blaschke has been named head women’s swimming and diving coach at Rowan University, after serving as assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs for the past six years, it was announced by interim director of athletics Dr. John Giannini. 

Brad Bowser, who has been the men’s and women’s head swimming and diving coach for the past five years, will continue to guide the men’s program.

With Bowser as head coach, and Blaschke as assistant, the Prof men have captured three consecutive NJAC titles. The 2018-19 season was highlighted by sophomore Kevin Gillooly earning All-America honors with his sixth-place finish in the 100 freestyle at the NCAA Championships. Rowan also placed 17th at the NCAA Division III Championships in 2017-18 and was ninth at NCAA’s in 2016-17. 

Last year the Rowan women’s team saw junior Carlee Timmins receive All-American Honorable Mention with her performance in the 1650 freestyle at the NCAA Championships. The Profs also captured their third consecutive NJAC and Metropolitan conference titles. 

“With today’s announcement, we are happy to dedicate excellent head coaches to both our men’s and women’s swimming programs. As head coach of both programs, Coach Bowser built each to a position of strength. With Coach Blaschke’s outstanding contributions as assistant coach, this is an ideal time for her to lead our women’s program,” said Giannini. “While Coach Bowser will lead the men and Coach Blashke will lead the women, they will also continue to assist each other as well. We are very proud of both programs and the teamwork which they succed with.”

“I am honored for the opportunity to be named head coach of Rowan’s women's swimming and diving program. As I take on the challenges accompanied in the transition, I stand confident that great things can continue to be expected from both the women’s and men’s programs,” said Blaschke. 

“I’m excited to see the continued growth and development of the women's program and am proud to forge an effective partnership with Brad. I am thankful for the shared success under his direction and grateful for the trust of the athletic administration that has led to this opportunity.”

Blaschke joined the Rowan staff after four years of coaching the Retriever Aquatic Club in Catonsville, MD, during her collegiate athletic career. 

A native of Washington Township, NJ, Blaschke swam collegiately at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where she earned consecutive America East All-Conference honors. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UMBC in 2013 and completed her master’s degree at Rowan in December 2018. 


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