Oct. 12, 2011
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb announced the addition of two members to her staff for the 2011-12 campaign. Chanell Thomas has been named Director of Basketball Operations, while Rebecca Silinski has been named Graduate Assistant.
Thomas will serve as the primary liaison between the women's basketball staff and other support areas, while also coordinating team travel and over seeing the student manager program.
She is no stranger to the women's basketball program, as she was a student manager during her undergraduate career, including a stint as head manager. After graduating from Vanderbilt in 2005, Thomas went on to graduate school at Vanderbilt while serving as a graduate administrative assistant during the 2005-06 campaign.
Thomas has worked at Vanderbilt since 2008, serving as a financial aid officer. Originally from Tuscaloosa, Ala., she was raised in Columbia, Tenn. Thomas has one daughter, Yvonne (4).
"We couldn't be more excited to have Chanell back on the staff," Balcomb said. "Her hard work and dedication were evident during her time as a manager and as a graduate assistant. I've always had her in the back of my mind as someone to bring back."
Silinski remains with the women's basketball program following a four-year career with the Commodores that concluded last season. She appeared in 63 games over her career, while starting six contests as a senior.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Silinski earned a degree in Political Science and Communications Studies from Vanderbilt's College of Arts & Sciences in 2011. She is currently working towards a master's in Leadership and Organizational Performance.
"Rebecca's leadership ability was on display as a player and it will help her serve as a role model for the current team," Balcomb said on her former player. "She will be a valuable asset for both our players and coaches."
Balcomb begins her 10th season at the helm of the Commodore program on Saturday, November 5, when Vanderbilt hosts Clayton State in an exhibition contest at 5:00 p.m. Fans can get their first look at the team during Memorial Madness on Friday, October 14. The event gets underway at 8:00 p.m. in Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym.