Claudia DeFaria begins her first season as the coordinator of women's basketball operations.
“I feel extremely lucky to have Coach DeFaria make her return back to the sidelines this season as she joins our staff,” RIC Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jenna Cosgrove said. “Claudia is a winner and knows what it takes to win at Rhode Island College. She is one of RIC’s all-time greatest women’s basketball players and the only player to ever score 1,000 points in just two seasons. Claudia also coached alongside Marcus Reilly at the helm of the RIC Women’s Basketball program and was an integral part of the 2012 Little East Championship team. Her experiences both as a hall of fame player and a winning coach will be instrumental as she'll play a big role in mentoring our student-athletes and helping re-establish that championship culture.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to return home to Rhode Island College and provide whatever assistance I can to this young team,” DeFaria said. “Coach Cosgrove has done a fantastic job recruiting a group of energetic and talented players to compliment the returners. After a couple of conversations and watching what Coach Cosgrove has done with the program in the past two years, I couldn't say no! It will be my honor and privilege to be a support for this amazing group of women athletes and coaching staff.”
Defaria spent five seasons as the associate head women’s basketball coach from 2008 through 2013. She spent four seasons on Reilly’s staff and one with Kara Williamson. During her tenure, she assisted with all phases of the RIC women’s basketball program, especially focusing on scouting, post player development and alumni relations.
While on the Community College of Rhode Island staff, DeFaria helped lead the Lady Knights to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament Final Four twice and the Elite Eight four times, while capturing five consecutive New England 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 12th all-time in career scoring. She remains the only RIC player to ever score 1,000 points in just two seasons. She is also seventh all-time with 592 career rebounds. She was inducted into RIC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002, named to the college’s 75th Anniversary Women’s Basketball Team in 2005 and was named to the Little East Conference Women's Basketball 25th Anniversary Team in 2011. She is currently a member of the Rhode Island College Hall of Fame selection committee.
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).
Prior to coming to RIC, DeFaria starred at the Community College of Rhode Island from 1990-92. 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. She was also honored as the CCRI alum of the year in 2008.
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. She was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in Fall 2009 and the Little East Hall of Fame in 2014.
In addition to her coaching duties, DeFaria works at Adoption Rhode Island.