July 23, 2008




Providence, R.I.—Rhode Island College Head Women’s Basketball Coach Marcus Reilly has named Claudia DeFaria as the Associate Head Coach and tabbed Erica Kirwan as an Assistant Coach.


“Adding Associate Head Coach Claudia DeFaria and Assistant Coach Erica Kirwan are big wins for our basketball program,” Reilly said. “As student-athletes, both were proven winners and leaders on and off the court. Claudia has already proven herself as a success in the coaching profession and we are both confident Erica will be a rising star. More importantly, I can proudly say they are perfect representatives of Rhode Island College and the ideal role models for our student-athletes on the court, in the classroom and around the community.”


DeFaria enters her sixth season with Coach Reilly. She will assist him with all phases of the RIC women’s basketball program including recruiting, scouting, practice execution, game coaching and alumni relations.




“I am excited about the opportunity to continue coaching under Coach Reilly and looking forward to building the women’s basketball program at Rhode Island College. It is especially exciting to coach at my alma mater and I hope to tie the program in with the alumni base.”


While on the Community College of Rhode Island staff, DeFaria helped lead the Lady Knights to the NJCAA Div. II National Tournament Final Four twice and the Elite Eight four times, while capturing five consecutive Region XXI and Northeast District Championships.




DeFaria is a 1996 graduate of Rhode Island College and is one of the college’s all-time greatest women’s basketball players. In just two years at RIC, DeFaria scored 1,048 points, which ranks her ninth all-time in career scoring. She remains the only RIC player to ever score 1,000 points in just two seasons. She is also fifth all-time with 592 career rebounds. She was inducted into RIC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and named to the college’s 75th Anniversary Women’s Basketball Team in 2005.


As a senior in 1994-95, DeFaria was named the Little East Conference’s Player of the Year, First Team All-LEC and to the All-LEC Tournament team. DeFaria led the LEC in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 19.2 ppg and 11.8 rpg, a double-double for the entire season. She was named a New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) Second Team All-Star and was named a Distinguished Student-Athlete by the Rhode Island Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (RIAIAW).


As a junior in 1993-94, she was named a NEWBA Second Team All-Star, an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Front Court Second Team All-Star and First Team All-LEC. She ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring and led the LEC in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.


Prior to coming to RIC, DeFaria starred at the Community College of Rhode Island from 1990-92. She was an NJCAA Division III Second Team All-American, an All-Region XXI First Team All-Star, team Co-MVP and was an RIAIAW Distinguished Student-Athlete in 1991-92. At the time of her graduation, she was CCRI’s all-time leader in career scoring and assists and was inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.


DeFaria is a 1996 graduate of Rhode Island College, earning a bachelor’s degree in justice studies. She is a 1993 graduate of CCRI, earning an associate’s degree in business with a concentration in law enforcement.


In addition to her coaching duties, DeFaria is a supervisor with The Key Program, Inc. She resides in Central Falls, Rhode Island.


Erica Kirwan enters her first season with Coach Reilly. She will assist with all phases of the program, including recruiting, scouting, practice execution, game coaching and alumni relations.




Kirwan played four seasons of basketball under Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Hall of Famer Barbara Stevens on a full scholarship at Bentley College. Playing for an elite NCAA Div. II program, she helped the Falcons garner four NE-10 conference tournament appearances and three NCAA Div. II National Tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 twice.


As a senior in 2007-08, she served as a co-captain, playing in 27 games, starting 25 of them. Kirwan averaged 7.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. She scored a season-high 25 points vs. Southern Connecticut on Feb. 26, while hauling in 14 rebounds on three separate occasions.


As a junior in 2006-07, Kirwan appeared in 30 games, starting 27 of them, averaging 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds, while playing 21.2 minutes a game. She was third on the team in offensive rebounds with 44. Kirwan scored in double figures five times, with a high of 12 opening night against Bridgeport and then again against St. Michael’s on Dec. 17. She pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds at St. Michael’s Feb. 6 and came up with four steals at UMass-Lowell Nov. 26.




As a sophomore in 2005-06, she played in 29 games, starting eight of them, averaging 3.3 points and 3.6 rebounds. Kirwan scored in double figures four times with two double-doubles. She posted a career-best 12 points and 10 rebounds against Merrimack Nov. 6 in the Disney Tournament. Kirwan also logged a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) on Feb. 18 at Bryant.


As a freshman in 2004-05, she appeared in 33 games, averaging 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Kirwan had her most productive game of the season on Dec. 4 at Saint Anselm in a 68-42 win, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds.


Kirwan is a 2004 graduate of North Kingstown High School where she was a three-time All-State selection. She scored over 1,500 points in her career for the Skippers.


She earned a bachelors degree in business management, while minoring in sociology, from Bentley in 2008. Kirwan is currently working on her MBA at the University of Rhode Island.


She is single and resides in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.