Balerio Elevated To Associate Head Coach

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – UCFhead coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson has announced the promotion of Tahnee Balerio to the position of associate head coach. Balerio has been an assistant coach on the UCF staff since Coach “ABE” was hired prior to the 2016-17 season.


“Tahnee is by far one of the hardest working coaches, but more importantly, she has one of the best x-and-o minds in the country,” Coach “ABE” said. “She’s an integral part of our program. From her playing days at Missouri State to winning five championships at Albany to our historic turnaround at UCF, Tahnee has played a key role in our success. Our coaching staff, players and administration all know that this promotion is well-deserved.”

Balerio will continue to oversee the development of the guards, opponent scouting and recruiting.


"I am so appreciative to have this opportunity," Balerio said. "It means so much to me because I have known Coach 'ABE' since I was 16 years old. She has always been family to me and to continue to learn and grow from her has been an honor."


UCF is coming off one of its best seasons in program history. Setting a program record for victories, the Knights finished with a 26-7 overall record and earned the first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in program history. The Black and Gold registered their third consecutive 20-win campaign for the first time in their Division I history. After back-to-back seasons advancing to the second round of the WNIT, UCF returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

"UCF is a special place," Balerio said. "I truly believe that we can attain all of our goals and continue to gain national exposure."


Under Balerio’s guidance, Kay Kay Wright has developed into one of the top guards in the American Athletic Conference. A first team all-conference selection, Wright led the Knights with 18.0 points per game, 3.5 assists per contest and 1.9 steals per outing. She became the first Knight to earn USBWA National Player of the Week honors and joined the 1000-point club. The Orlando native currently sits fourth all-time at UCF with 383 assists and is sixth in career steals with 207.


In 2017-18, Balerio witnessed Zakiya Saunders earn second team all-conference honors after coaching her to a school record for assists (227) and all-conference honors at Albany.


Balerio came to UCF after helping Albany capture four America East regular season titles and five conference tournament championships along with five-straight NCAA Tournament berths in six seasons, which included Albany's first NCAA Tournament win in 2016 against 5-seed Florida.


A graduate of Missouri State, Balerio was a two-time all-conference honoree and led the MVC in scoring during the 2006-07 season under Coach “ABE”, averaging 18.7 points per game. She helped lead the Bears to the MVC and WNIT Championships in 2005.