DeCole Shoemate Robertson enters her 11th season as Lander's assistant women's basketball coach. Robertson was hired in August of 2011.
Lander has advanced to the NCAA Touranment in eight of Robertson's 10 years on staff, making the Elite Eight in 2012 and the Final Four in 2021. The Bearcats also won the Peach Belt Conference tournament championship in 2016 and 2020.
Robertson, began her career with Lander as a volunteer coach from 2006-2008. She then went on to join Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga. as the Assistant Women's Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. In her role as recruiting coordinator she signed several all-state players and transfers including a Kodak All-American. She took over sole head coaching responsibilities in December of 2008. That year she led the team to the SSAC Conference Tournament just falling short to the #1 seed.
A native of Beaufort, S.C., Robertson led her high school team, Battery Creek, to a South Carolina 3-A State Championship. She was named 2-time Female Athlete of the year, Player of the Year, and 4-time All-Area and Regional Player. She signed and played Division I basketball at Florida International where she won a Sunbelt Conference Championship and made an NCAA Sweet 16 Appearance. In Robertson's junior year, she became Pederson's first signee as a rookie coach, when she transferred to Anderson University. There she received All-Conference honors, a Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Championship, and the school's first ever NCAA win.
Robertson also serves as an active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She speaks to schools around the southeast and FCA camps about her faith and the importance of Christian values. "My faith in Christ is the leading force in all I do. I know that with Him I am able to do all things, but through Him I will be the role model necessary to lead these young ladies," said Robertson. In 2014 she was named Lakelands Fellowship of Christian Athletes 2014 Coach of the Year. (http://www.landerbearcats.com/sports/wbkb/2014-15/releases/20141217jb0bim)
Robertson holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Anderson College and a Masters in Sports Management from Liberty University.
She and her husband, Stephen, have a son, Joseph, and a daughter, Karis.
Kevin Pederson, Assistant Camp Director
Kevin Pederson enters his 17th season as head coach of the Lander women's basketball program. Pederson became the Bearcats' ninth head women's basketball coach when he was hired in May 2005.
Pederson is the winningest coach in Lander women's basketball history with an overall 332-155 record in 15 seasons. He has taken the Bearcats to 13 Peach Belt Conference tournaments and 12 NCAA tournaments in the past 14 years. At age 44, Pederson became the PBC's all-time leader in women's basketball victories. He owns a 210-93 record in PBC play.
Lander had an historic 2020-21 campaign, winning the program's second region championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history. Pederson's team won the South Region title over North Georgia and defeated Azusa Pacific in the Elite Eight before falling to eventual national runner-up Drury. Lander rose to No. 2 in the WBCA Coaches Poll during the season and ended the year with a final ranking of No. 3, the highest in program history.
Makaila Cangé was named Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year and joined Zamiya Passmore on the WBCA All-American Team. Cangé was also tabbed as a D2CCA First-Team All-American, while Miriam Recarte won PBC Defender of the Year. Pederson was honored as the PBC Coach of the Year after guiding the Bearcats to an outright regular-season title and the program's first unbeaten regular season.
The Bearcats posted a 26-5 record in 2019-20, sweeping the Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships and earning the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Southeast Regional. Lander upset Clemson in a preseason scrimmage and tied a program record with 18 PBC wins during the regular season. Pederson was voted the WBCA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year, while Tabitha Dailey earned WBCA All-American honorable mention accolades and Jessica Harris repeated as a first team all-D2CCA Southeast Region selection.
Harris became the program's career leader in assists and steals, while Lander led the conference in scoring for the sixth consecutive season. The Bearcats ranked seventh in the nation in steals and eighth in turnovers forced.
In 2018-19, the Bearcats advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in program history, upsetting top-seeded Anderson on its home floor in the Southeast Regional semifinals to reach the region championship for the first time since 2012. Lander set a program record with 18 Peach Belt Conference victories in the regular season and earned the program's fifth consecutive berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Jessica Harris became the fourth Bearcat player under Pederson's guidance to win PBC Player of the Year and was named first team all-D2CCA Southeast Region. Mylea McKenith surpassed Britni Johnson as the program's all-time leader in steals with 291. The Bearcats led the conference in scoring for the fifth consecutive season.
Lander returned to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship for the third straight season in 2017-18 and earned its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. The Bearcats finished the year 25-8, marking the program's third straight season with at least 25 years, the first such stretch in program history. Lander tied a school record with 17 PBC wins in the regular season and had seven different PBC Players of the Week, tying a 26-year old conference record.
The Bearcats set a school record with 459 steals, ranking fourth nationally in total steals and steals per game, while Chelsea Mitchell led the league with 107 steals. Mitchell and Breshay Johnson were both first-team All-PBC and second-team D2CCA All-Southeast Region selections. Johnson surpassed Shannon McKever to become the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,927 points, fifth-most in PBC history. Lander led the conference in points, points per game, field goals made per game, free throws made per game, free-throw percentage and steals per game.
In 2016-17, Pederson led the Bearcats to their third consecutive PBC Eastern Division title and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bearcats finished the regular season with a 15-4 record in PBC play and returned to the conference tournament championship game for the second consecutive season. Lander earned its 11th NCAA Tournament bid in program history, the eighth in Pederson's tenure.
Breshay Johnson was named the D2CCA Southeast Region Player of the Year and PBC Player of the Year. Johnson and Ty'Hesha Reynolds, a second-team all-region selection, both earned first-team all-PBC honors. Mylea McKenith was named second-team all-PBC and was voted the conference's co-Defensive Player of the Year. Lander led the Peach Belt in scoring offense, field goal percentage, assists, steals, turnover margin, assist-to-turnover ratio, and three-pointers, while ranking 6th in the nation in steal and 9th in assists.
The Bearcats finished 25-7 in 2015-16, winning the Peach Belt Eastern Division and the PBC Tournament. Lander went 16-3 in conference play during the regular season, tying for the best league record in the PBC. Pederson won his 300th career game as a head coach as Lander defeated Columbus State for the conference tournament title. The victory pushed Pederson's overall record in conference tournament championships to 5-0. The Bearcats earned their 10th bid to the NCAA Tournament and seventh under Pederson, riding a 13-game winning streak to a No. 2 seed in the Southeast Regional.
Lander boasted one of the top defenses in the nation, ranking 2nd nationally in steals, turnover margin and turnovers forced. Bre Crum became the first player in program history to be named the Peach Belt Defensive Player of the Year and was named first-team All-PBC, while Breshay Johnson and Ty'Hesha Reynolds were named to the second and third teams, respectively. Lander also led the PBC in scoring offense, averaging 78.8 points per game.
In 2014-15, the Bearcats finished 23-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in program history. Lander won 15 consecutive games and climbed as high as #18 in the national polls. Pederson’s team also led the Peach Belt Conference in scoring, averaging 79.7 point per game and set the school record for points in a game by netting 132 against Allen University.
The Bearcats had an historic 2011-12 season, advancing to the program’s first ever berth in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. Pederson's squad advanced to the Elite 8 after defeating top seed USC Aiken on their home floor to secure the Bearcats’ third consecutive Sweet 16 Appearance. For the second consecutive season, and third time in Pederson's career, his team finished in the top 10 of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll with a final ranking of #8.
This also marked the first time in the program's history that the team has achieved five straight 20-win seasons and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances. From 2009-2012, the Bearcats posted an 80-16 overall record and a 48-6 mark in the Peach Belt Conference.
In 2010-11 Pederson led Lander to a school-record 29 wins, four weeks atop the USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches Top 25, a second straight Sweet 16 appearance and a final No. 6 ranking. The Bearcats tied the Peach Belt Conference record for points scored in a conference game, netting 113 versus Armstrong State.
In 2009-10, Pederson, who led the Bearcats to a 27-4 record and the Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship, was voted the Peach Belt and WBCA Region 3 Coach of the Year and the 2010 Bulletin's National Coach of the Month for February.
In 2008-09, Pederson led the Bearcats to their second straight Peach Belt Conference tournament championship from the fifth seed position.
Lander was the Peach Belt regular season co-champion and the PBC tournament winner in 2007-08. The Bearcats earned an automatic berth in the NCAA National Tournament and won an NCAA game for the first time in program history. Lander averaged 87.2 points per game in 2007-08 and totaled over 100 points seven times. The Bearcats twice broke school and Peach Belt Conference records for points in a game during the season, scoring 116 versus Southern Wesleyan, Nov. 24, and again then notching 121 at Allen University. Lander also set the Peach Belt Conference record for points in a conference by scoring 113 against Georgia Southwestern.
The Bearcats finished 5-22 in Pederson's first year at Lander, but improved to 15-13 in 2006-07 and led the Peach Belt Conference in scoring with 75.5 points per game.
Pederson has recruited a WBCA National Player of the Year in Shannon McKever (2010-11) and coached six conference players of the year, three freshmen of the year, and two career 2,000-point scorers in LaShonda Chiles and Diedra Langston (Anderson). Chiles played for Pederson at both Anderson and Lander, and became the NCAA Division II all-time women's leading scorer in 2008 when she finished with 2,885 career points. Pederson also coached Tiara Good (2006-08), who set the Peach Belt Conference record for scoring average in a career, averaging 20.7 points per game, and Jasmine Judge (2008-12), who set a Peach Belt Conference mark with 403 career three-pointers. During his time in Greenwood, Pederson has coached 21 All-PBC players.
Prior to joining the Bearcat program, Pederson spent three-plus years as Anderson’s head coach. Under Pederson's guidance, Anderson won two CVAC tournaments and one CVAC regular-season championship. Anderson led the nation in scoring in 2003-04 with 85 points per game and scored 100 or more points four times. Pederson went 88-31 during his time at Anderson. He led Anderson to its first-ever winning season and first two NCAA berths, reaching the second round and the Sweet 16.
In December 2001, after joining Anderson as a volunteer assistant men’s basketball coach, he was named the interim women's head coach and led the Lady Trojans to a 13-9 overall record. After being named the head coach, he followed with records of 17-12 in 2002-03; 25-7 in 2003-04 and 33-3 in 2004-05.
Pederson led Anderson to a 33-3 record and a berth in the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 in the 2004-2005 season and was voted the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC) Coach of the Year in 2005. The Lady Trojans, who were ranked No. 1 in the East Region at the end of the 2005 regular season, fell to Charleston (W.Va.) University in the regional final.
Anderson finished the season as the No. 9-ranked team in the country.
In 2003-04, Anderson led the nation in scoring, averaging 85.0 points per game.
Pederson, a native of Fairfax, Va., worked five seasons for the Clemson men's basketball program under Rick Barnes and Larry Shyatt before joining Anderson College in 2001
Pederson earned his bachelor's degree from Clemson University and has master's from the United States Sports Academy.
Pederson is married to the former Adair Clary of Gaffney, S.C., who graduated from Clemson with undergraduate and master's degrees. They have two children, Conner and Clary.