Kayla Ard | Associate Head Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Kayla Ard will serve as the University of Denver women’s basketball program’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the third straight season in 2019-20.
In her first season with the Pioneers, DU finished 16-14, the first winning season in program history since the 2011-2012 season. Denver completed Summit League play with a 7-7 record earning the No. 4 seed.
The Crimson and Gold also finished the year with multiple Summit League honors, with Claire Gritt earning Freshman of the Year, All-Summit Newcomer Team and Summit League Honorable Mention along with Jordyn Alt.
Ard, known for her strong recruiting skillset, came to Denver from the University of Dayton where she served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two seasons. While at Dayton, Ard coached a class that was ranked in the top 20 in the nation in 2015 and also worked with the 2015 A-10 Rookie of the Year.
Prior to her time at Dayton, Ard was an assistant coach at Clemson for two years. Clemson competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), one of the toughest women’s basketball conferences in the country.
Ard also coached at Troy under Chanda Rigby, whom she followed from Pensacola State before the 2012-13 season. Ard was instrumental in putting together Troy's eight-member 2013 signing class, which included three National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Americans.
Ard was a standout recruiter and assistant coach at Pensacola State College (Fla.) during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons before she coached at Troy. During her time at PSC, the Pirates earned a berth in two NJCAA National Semifinals.
As recruiting coordinator at PSC, Ard signed three WBCA All-Americans, and coached the players to 13 All-Conference honors. Her players moved on to earn scholarships in the BIG EAST, SEC, Pac-12, and Colonial Athletic Conference.
Ard has a great deal of coaching experience, including stops at AAU programs.
After attending Chipola Junior College for one year, Ard graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2010, and earned her master's degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2013.
Ard played for Rigby at Loranger (LA) high school, where she averaged 26.0 points per game, and led the team to a state title in 2000.
David Pennewell | Director of Operations
David Pennewell enters his first season with Denver in 2019-20 as Director of Basketball Operations.
He will be responsible for handling travel logistics, meals and transportation for the team along with various other tasks.
The West Chester, Pa. native joins the Pioneers from Purdue, where he spent the past six years in various roles with the Boilermakers women's basketball program. He recently was a graduate assistant the past two seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
While at Purdue, Pennewell organized and planned travel logistics, including hotels, all meals, bus charters and flight charters.
Pennewell also was a head student manager from 2013-17. He executed pre-practice and pre-game procedures and assisted coaches with the completion of various tasks and projects.
Crystal Reed | Assistant Coach
Reed enters her first season with the Pioneers in 2019-20.
Reed comes to the University of Denver women’s basketball program from Littleton High School in Littleton, Colo., where she served as the assistant and level C team girls basketball coach for the past four years. While she was there she helped lead her level C team to a 37-1 record, coached several Jefferson County (Jeffco) 4A All-League players, and received the 2019 Jefferson County 4A Assistant Coach of the Year award for girls’ sports.
Prior to coaching at Littleton High School, Reed was an assistant coach at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, KS., from 2011 to 2015 . While there, Reed was responsible for recruiting and player development. Reed coached several players who received KJCCC all-conference accolades, along with having a successful 2013-2014 season starting off 10-1 and knocking off #1 top seed Coffeyville in the Jayhawk Regional Tournament as a #7 seed. In her last season at Dodge City, seven of her players made the KJCCC All-Academic team and one of her former players was nominated to the NCCAA Division I All-American team.
Before Dodge City, Reed was the assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, in Springfield, IL. She helped guide them through the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II status.
Being a student athlete herself, Reed began her collegiate basketball career at Dodge City Community in Dodge City, KS., where Head Coach Jim Turgeon was her coach. Reed helped Dodge City knock off several national ranked opponents in a tough Kansas Jayhawk League, along with assisting with gaining national recognition; she is still in the record books to this day. After Dodge City, Reed went on to play Division I basketball at Birmingham-Southern College. She led the team in rebounds and steals in her 2004-2005 season.
Reed was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and graduated in 2002 from Sam Houston High School, which is located on the eastside of San Antonio. She lettered in varsity basketball all four years of her high school career, played volleyball, and also threw in Track. Reed received conference MVP and All City accolades her senior year. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Educational Services from Birmingham-Southern College in 2006 and is currently working on her master’s degree in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Denver; she will graduate in August of 2019.
Ellen Holton | Assistant Coach
Ellen Holton enters her first season with the Pioneers in 2019-20.
Holton arrives at the University of Denver after spending the last three seasons at the University of North Alabama, the past year as an assistant coach. She was promoted to assistant coach in 2018 after serving two years as a graduate assistant.
Prior to North Alabama, she was a graduate assistant at Wheeling Jesuit University with their women’s basketball program. She helped lead the Cardinals to a 27-6 mark, tying the program’s all-time win record. The team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in over a decade.
The Elgin, Illinois native, began her collegiate basketball career at Tusculum College before transferring to Northern Kentucky University for her final three years.
While at Tusculum, Holton helped the Pioneers win the 2010 Regional Championship and advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
At Northern Kentucky, she was part of Division II for her sophomore and junior season until NKU tranisitioned to Division I for her senior season. She helped lead the first team in NKU Division I history to post-season play as the team participated in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
Holton played her high school basketball at Elgin High Scool where she graduated in 2009.