By Fred J. Robledo
When longtime Bishop Amat girls basketball coach Richard Wiard announced his sudden resignation on Sept. 5., while several administrators were in Texas tending to Bishop Amat’s road football game against Aledo, it left a huge void for the winningest girls basketball program in San Gabriel Valley history with the season just a few months away.
Replacing Wiard, who won 466 games in his 19-year career, including five CIF championships, five Southern California Regional championships and two state championships, is not an envious position for anyone.
But Bishop Amat found what appears to be a worthy successor in Treana Allen, whom the school hired on Wednesday, also making Allen the first African-American head coach in the school’s history.
Allen, who also will become a part-time faculty member, has an impressive resume on and off the court.
After graduating from Long Beach Poly in 1999 and a short stop at Cypress College, Allen transferred to Gonzaga and made an immediate impact from 2001-03, finishing seventh all-time in the school’s history in 3-pointers made (79) and tenth all-time in assists (212) and steals (115). She was named the Bulldog Club senior female athlete of the year in 2003 after guiding Gonzaga to a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference and was a WCC all-conference selection.
Allen, who received her bachelors degree in criminal justice at Gonzaga and recently earned her law degree from Western State College of Law in Fullerton, returned to Gonzaga to become an assistant women’s basketball coach in 2004.
Upon joining the coaching staff, the Zags insider magazine described Allen as the passion and fire that inspired Gonzaga women’s basketball’s rise in the WCC. Allen remained an assistant at Gonzaga until 2007.
Most recently Allen was an assistant coach at Santa Margarita Catholic in Santa Margarita from 2010-13 while working on her law degree. She was part of an Eagles team annually among the best in the Southern California.
At Bishop Amat, Allen inherits a team that graduated six seniors from last year’s 22-8 squad that advanced to the divisional quarterfinals.
Gone are big contributors Paulina Santana, Dagmar Ramirez and Janae Chamois, but Amat does return sophomore Jurhandi Molina, junior Abigail Esparza and three seniors, including Elisa Bicera.