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HANOVER, N.H. – Dartmouth women's basketball head coach Belle Koclanes announced the hiring of Taja Edwards as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

“Taja is an exceptional person who brings knowledge, experience and passion to our Dartmouth women's basketball family,” Koclanes said. “She cares deeply about the development of young adults and the growth of women's basketball. Taja pours every ounce of energy into leading others and inspiring positive change. She has coached at the highest level of collegiate women's basketball (Pac-12) and is eager to share her ideas and perspective here in Hanover. We are truly grateful to have Taja on board as we continue to move our program forward in pursuit of our 18th Ivy League championship.”

Edwards comes to Hanover from the University of Southern California where she served as an assistant coach for the past three seasons. With the Trojans, Edwards was responsible for player development, particularly with the point guards and also took on mentoring and recruiting roles with the team. Under Edwards in 2016, Minyon Moore earned National Freshman of the Week honors and was named to the All-PAC 12 Freshman Team.

Prior to coaching at USC, Edwards served as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton from 2013 to 2014. With the Titans she worked with post players and was responsible for recruiting in the west coast region. Edwards also served as the team's video coordinator, managing all film exchange.

Edwards got her start coaching Division 1 basketball when she was an assistant coach at Ole Miss from 2012 to 2013. There her duties included video coordinating, scouting opponents, as well as guard and post positioning and recruiting.

In addition to her work at the collegiate level, Edwards was also the founder, coach and director of operations for Cal Spark Xtreme, a non-profit organization for girls' basketball players in Central Valley, California.

A native of Long Beach, California, Edwards attended Long Beach Poly High School where she was a McDonald's All-American candidate and won back-to-back state championships. She earned her Bachelors degree from Cal State Fresno in 2011, where she was also a member of the women's basketball team. With the Bulldogs, Edwards helped her team to three Western Athletic Conference Championships as well as four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Edwards is also a member of Power 4 Youth and the WBCA. She is currently pursuing her masters in Science Psychology with an emphasis in Life Coaching. *