The University of South Dakota women's basketball team is coming off of a historic season in which they made a run to the Sweet 16 and although they have a new head coach, they are looking to have that same kind of success moving forward.

After Kayla Karius was hired to replace Dawn Plitzuweit who took the job at West Virginia, she was tasked with hiring a staff to continue the success at USD.

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Coach Karius and USD have announced the most recent hire that staff this week.

VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota women's basketball head coach Kayla Karius is pleased to announce the addition of Taylor Ignoto to her coaching staff.

"We are so excited to have Taylor on board as an assistant coach," said Karius. "She is an energetic person with a knack for developing great relationships with student-athletes. Taylor brings knowledge of the Summit League along with her as she was a part of Western Illinois' Summit championship team in 2016-17 and she also spent time at Omaha. We are so happy to welcome Taylor to Vermillion and cannot wait to get started working with her!"

Ignoto spent the last two seasons on staff at Utah State. She spent her first season as the director of operations before being promoted to assistant coach for 2021-22. Ignoto primarily worked with the guards, coordinating and developing workouts. She also created scouting reports, helped with scheduling, managed summer basketball camps and coordinated community service activities.

"I am beyond grateful and excited for the opportunity to work alongside coach Karius," said Ignoto. "Kayla is a very well-respected coach in this profession and is passionate about giving student-athletes the full experience while also competing at a high level. I cannot wait to start working with the team and help be a part of continuing the success here at USD. I am excited to move to Vermillion and join a community that loves and supports women's basketball."

A familiar face in the Summit League, Ignoto was on staff as an assistant coach for two seasons at Western Illinois and one at Omaha. She was a part of the Leathernecks' 2016-17 championship squad, which clinched the Summit League regular season and tournament titles. WIU advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 22 seasons that March. She worked with 2017 Summit League Player of the Year Emily Clemens, as well as all-Summit picks Morgan Blumer and Taylor Higginbotham.

Ignoto also has a year under her belt as a head coach. She spent the 2018-19 season as the head coach at Rock Valley College. Under Ignoto, the Golden Eagles went 25-6, won the North Central Community College Conference (N4C) with a 14-0 record and came one win away from advancing to the national tournament. Ignoto was named the N4C Coach of the Year and the Region IV Coach of the Year.

A native of Thousand Oaks, California, Ignoto graduated from Washburn University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in social work.


Life on a Cattle Ranch in Western South Dakota

Life is different out in the country. One look at the photo from Robin Bickel and you quickly realize that a workday is quite different as well, after all, she lives out west in South Dakota Cattle Country.

Robin Bickel took time to tell KIKN Country a little bit about her life out west and life as a woman, working outdoors with animals and nature in God's Country. Bickel lives and works on a cattle ranch operated by herself, her father, Jack, and his brother Keith. How far out in the country is she? How does 50 miles west of Mobridge, South Dakota sound? Yep, mountain time out there.

Life is so different in Sioux Falls, South Dakota compared to what our friends on the farm and ranches deal with. It's a half-mile to the grocery store for our family. For Robin, it's 17 miles. However, it's a quick step out her door and she's right in the middle of where a lot of the groceries come from.

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