Daynia La-Force is the eighth women’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island in the program history. La-Force came to Rhode Island after spending eight seasons at Northeastern, where she took over a struggling program and made it competitive in the CAA.
The first minority woman head coach in Rhode Island history in any sport, La-Force proved at Northeastern that she could rebuild a program. She took over the Huskies one year after they made the jump from the America East to the CAA. In her first season, Northeastern struggled to a 4-26 mark, going 3-11 in league play. The next season, La-Force’s squad went 14-16 overall for an improvement of 10 wins. The Huskies also made a five-game jump in the CAA with an 8-10 league mark that same year.
After stabilizing the program, La-Force had a breakthrough season in 2012-13, guiding Northeastern to a 17-13 overall record - including a 10-8 mark in conference play, en route to a fifth-place finish in the CAA. She earned CAA Coach of the Year honors, as the 17 wins marked the most for the program in 13 years while the 10 conference wins and fifth-place finish were NU’s best since joining the CAA in 2004-05.
During her time at Northeastern, La-Force recorded the program’s first-ever victories over CAA powers James Madison, Old Dominion and Delaware. In six of her eight seasons, La-Force and the Huskies exceeded preseason coaches' poll expectations.
Additionally, La-Force coached 10 All-CAA performers, including Jewell Tunstull, who became Northeastern’s first player to earn First Team All-CAA and All-Defensive Team honors during the 2013-14 season.
In her time at Northeastern, La-Force experienced success against Atlantic 10 teams, compiling a record of 9-5 against such programs. She won five of her last six contests against A-10 competition. La-Force also came to Rhode Island with a working knowledge of George Mason and VCU, having faced those programs in the CAA before they joined the A-10.
Before going to Northeastern, La-Force spent one season as the head coach at New Haven (NCAA Division II), where she guided the Chargers to a 24-4 record as well as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference championship title. For her efforts, she earned the league’s Coach of the Year award for the 2005-06 season.
La-Force spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level before ascending to the head job at New Haven. She was on the Long Island University staff from 1995-2002. In 2001, she was part of Blackbirds' 2001 Northeast Conference championship squad, advancing to the NCAA Tournament. From 2002-05, she was on the coaching staff at St. John's, which earned a spot in the 2005 WNIT.
A 1995 graduate of Georgetown with a degree in psychology, La-Force was a four-year letterwinner for the Hoyas. As a sophomore, she was part of the 1993 Big East Championship team, helping lead the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
An active member of the National Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Black Coaches Association, La-Force earned a master’s degree in school psychology from LIU in 2000. La-Force has two sons, Terrance and Martin.