Finkbeiner Basketball Camps
Associate Head CoachBen Finkbeiner
Ben Finkbeiner is in his first year as Utah State’s associate head coach after being promoted in May 2018. Finkbeiner is in his fifth year with the program after joining the staff prior to the 2014-15 season.
Finkbeiner (pronounced Fink-by-ner) serves as the USU recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator, while also overseeing the guard position.
During the 2017-18 season, the Aggies averaged 34.1 rebounds per game, had 213 steals and 128 blocks. While coaching the defense and the guards, Finkbeiner helped center Deja Mason, forward Shannon Dufficy, and guards Eliza West and Rachel Brewster to spots on the USU record lists.
Through the 2016-17 season, the Aggies finished in the top half of the Mountain West in every major defensive category. He coached three players to all-conference honors, as Brewster, Dufficy and West were all recognized by the Mountain West.
Dufficy and West each earned a spot in the USU career record books, ranking on the single-season rebound and assist lists, respectively. Dufficy ranked fifth with 261 rebounds, while West tallied 146 assists to rank fourth. The Aggies finished the season with a 17-15 record, including a 9-9 Mountain West ledger.
Finkbeiner spent the 2015-16 season overseeing the USU post players. The Aggie defense ranked among the best in the Mountain West in multiple categories, averaging 41.2 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 6.6 steals per game. Utah State finished the year with a 14-17 overall record, going 8-10 in league action.
In Finkbeiner’s first season at Utah State, the Aggie defense averaged 40.3 rebounds per game, while tallying 142 blocks, the most since the 2009-10 season, and 232 steals.
Prior to accepting the USU position, Finkbeiner spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Boise State. While there, he coached several Boise State players to Mountain West postseason honors. In addition, seven players earned Mountain West all-academic team recognition.
Finkbeiner’s first full-time coaching position was at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M., where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach. He served in several capacities, including the recruiting coordinator, guard coach, defensive coach, strength and conditioning coach and assisted with scouting. In his last season (2010-11) at NMJC the team recorded a 20-win season, going 20-10 and 6-6 in league play. In 2009-10, Finkbeiner helped guide the team to the program’s first postseason appearance in eight years, finishing third in the conference with a 16-14 overall mark.
During Finkbeiner’s first season in 2008-09, the Lady T-Birds had a 17-win campaign, an improvement of 14 wins over the previous year. In his final two seasons at NMJC, he coached five Lady T-Birds to all-conference honors, two to all-conference honorable mention and one player to NJCAA All-Region 5 honors.
Finkbeiner started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the University of Central Oklahoma’s men’s basketball team in Edmond, Okla. The Broncos ended the 2007-08 season with a 28-6 record, reaching the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
Before UCO, Finkbeiner served as the director of basketball operations for the Oral Roberts University women’s basketball team in Tulsa, Okla., where Jerry Finkbeiner was the head coach. He assisted the program in winning the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament, as well as earning a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Finkbeiner earned his bachelor’s degree at Oral Roberts in 2006, followed by a master’s degree from Central Oklahoma in 2008.
Finkbeiner and his wife, Alycia, have three sons, Zane, Jude and Lyle, and a daughter, Rose, and are expecting their fifth child in February. The family lives in Wellsville.
Ashley Gill is in her first year as an assistant coach on the Utah State women’s basketball staff after joining the program in the summer of 2018.
Gill joins the Aggies after spending nine seasons on the women’s basketball staff at Washington State. She spent three seasons as a team manager and video coordinator before being named an assistant coach prior to the 2012-13 season.
Serving as the recruiting coordinator for the Cougars, Gill brings significant experience and international ties to Utah State. In her role, she focused primarily on the Pacific pipeline, recruiting players from Hawaii and Australia, which will tie into the Aggies’ tradition of bringing players in from Down Under.
While Gill was on staff at Washington State, the Cougars made three WNIT appearances, advancing to the semifinals at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. WSU made it to the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament once, while playing in the quarterfinals three times during Gill’s time with the team.
Gill earned a pair of degrees from Washington State, graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a focus in sport management and a master’s degree in sport management. A native of Brier, Wash., Gill attended Mountlake Terrace High School, where she lettered in basketball, volleyball and track. She and her husband, Trevor, have a daughter, Kendall (1).
Paris Johnson is in her first year as an assistant coach on the Utah State women’s basketball staff after joining the program in the summer of 2018.
Johnson joined the Aggies after spending the last two seasons as the director of player personnel at San Diego State. In that role, Johnson coordinated film exchange, edited film and developed the team highlight videos. She also served as the team’s assistant recruiting coordinator, handled the team’s social media pages and oversaw the Aztecs’ student managers. She was also responsible for coordinating the team’s community service activities. Additionally, Johnson served as an interim assistant coach this spring, assisting in recruiting efforts and post player development.
Johnson was a four-year letterwinner at San Diego State from 2008-11. She is one of 21 1,000-point scorers in Aztec history, finishing her career with 1,598 points. She still holds the single-game (9), single-season (94) and career (267) blocks records at SDSU. Johnson was a four-time all-Mountain West honoree and helped the Aztecs to the Mountain West Tournament championship in 2010, which led to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in social science at San Diego State, graduating in 2011. She went on to play basketball overseas for five years, making stops in Australia, Poland, Spain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining the SDSU staff, Johnson served as the camp director at Skyhawks Sports Academy’s San Diego camp in the summer of 2015, supervising coaching staffs and coordinating daily lessons.