Storm COO Alisha Valavanis
Alisha Valavanis was named Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Seattle Storm on June 18, 2014. In this role, Valavanis oversees all business-related and basketball operations.
Valavanis comes to the Storm with a strong involvement in women’s basketball, both as a former player and coach, uniquely blending with her experience in athletics business operations.
Valavanis, 37, joined the Storm from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was an Assistant Athletics Director of Development. With Cal, she oversaw annual giving, alumni relations and development operations. Valavanis was responsible for Cal’s annual fundraising efforts, she oversaw the ticket-based donation program, established new courtside scholarship programs for both men’s and women’s basketball and drove comprehensive alumni engagement strategies.
Prior to her time at Cal, Valavanis spent one season, 2010-11, in group sales at the Golden State Warriors.
Valavanis’ impressive coaching resume spans over two decades. She got her start in 2002 as the women’s basketball head assistant coach at California State University, Chico. In her four years as an assistant coach, the program made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, highlighted with a 2006 Final Four appearance. She then moved on to the University of the Pacific in 2006, joining the women’s basketball program as an assistant coach. She was elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2008 season. Valavanis ran the defensive system, guard development, and led program marketing strategies and community relations.
A native of Valparaiso, Ind., Valavanis graduated from California State University, Chico, in 2000 with a B.A. in communications, focusing on public relations. She then earned her M.A. in physical education with an emphasis on athletic administration in 2004.
Lettering in women’s basketball at Chico from 1995-99, Valavanis graduated as Chico’s all-time three-point leading scorer. A two-year captain from 1997-99, Valavanis ended her playing career in 1999 with numerous conference and NCAA recognitions. Valavanis has a twin sister, Alexa, who played alongside Valavanis at Chico State. Both were recognized with the award of Outstanding Contributions to the University in 2001.
Valavanis is recently married to Kai Felton, a women’s basketball assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley.