La Toshia Burrell begins her third season as head coach of the women’s basketball varsity program at Governors State. She was appointed to the position on July 1, 2014 and coached the club team for a season before the program was elevated to varsity status. She also serves as associate athletic director at GSU.
In 2016-17 Burrell led GSU to a five-win improvement from its previous year, despite playing nine games against ranked opponents. GSU recorded six wins during its debut season in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, one of the toughest leagues in the NAIA. Other season highlights included a school-record 100 points in a league loss to Olivet Nazarene, a 68-57 road win against Electric Line rival Roosevelt and a season sweep of Calumet St. Joseph. Burrell also recruited freshman standout Amber Brooks, who finished with 13 double-doubles and set team records for points and rebounds in a season.
Burrell guided the Jaguars through their inaugural varsity season in 2015-16, highlighted by a win over 21st-ranked IU-Northwest. Playing as an NAIA independent, GSU lost six games by seven-points or less, including a 100-98 overtime loss to Waldorf that saw the team set a school record for points. In the classroom, the Jaguars produced a 3.20 grade-point average and Kanitral Averhart was named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Now in her eighth year on the collegiate scene, Burrell’s previous head coaching experience included two seasons (2010-11, 2011-12) at Trinity Christian. She guided the Trolls to back-to-back appearances in the CCAC Quarterfinals and mentored an NCCAA North Central All-Region Honorable Mention player in Samantha Nekola. TCC also captured the Moody Bible Tournament title in 2012.
Burrell has three seasons of coaching experience in the CCAC, having served as an assistant coach at Roosevelt during the 2012-13 campaign, where the Lakers captured the league crown and advanced to the NAIA Sweet 16.
A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Burrell began her coaching career at her alma mater, Wartburg, where served as varsity assistant coach and head coach of the junior varsity for two seasons (2005-07) as well as one year with the Wartburg softball team. As a softball assistant coach, she helped the Knights to an Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Championships and was a member of the NCAA Division III Coaching Staff of the Year.
Burrell earned two varsity letters at Coe College for both basketball and softball. After transferring to Wartburg College (2005-07), Burrell averaged 9.8 points per game as senior. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fitness management in 2007 and earned a master’s in exercise science from the University of Northern Iowa in 2009.
In addition to her coaching roles, Burrell has held teaching and administrative roles in higher education. She currently teaches a class at GSU and served as assistant professor in exercise science and academic advisor at Trinity Christian.
A certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist, La Toshia is engaged to Andre Walton. The couple has an infant son, Jordan, and reside in Chicago.
Margoth Rodriguez is in her second season as assistant women basketball coach at Governors State University. She assists the Jaguars in the areas of recruiting and offensive strategy.
In her first season with the Jaguars, Rodriguez served as the team's lone assistant coach and helped the squad to a five-win improvement from its inaugural season. GSU also recorded six wins during its debut season in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, one of the toughest leagues in the NAIA.
Rodriguez previously spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Robert Morris, during which time the Eagles recorded a pair of 20-win seasons and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament in 2015.
A Dolton, Illinois native, Rodriguez has head coaching experience as well, spending four seasons as the sophomore girls coach at Marion Catholic High School and a year as freshman girls coach at Marian High School. In addition, she has been active in the AAU ranks, coaching with the Illinois Wolverines program.
Rodriguez played three varsity basketball seasons at Saint Xavier and earned a bachelor’s in science with an emphasis in nursing in 2005. She is working towards a Master’s in education at GSU.
Margoth and her husband, Andrew Rybarczyk, reside in Crestwood.
Dave Van Dyke begins his first season as assistant basketball coach at Governors State. He joined Coach Burrell’s staff on July 1, 2017.
Van Dyke has ties to the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), having served as assistant women’s basketball coach at Trinity Christian in 2016-17. In his lone season in Palos Heights, Van Dyke helped the Trolls advance to the NCCAA North Region Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
Van Dyke also coached for three seasons at the high school level in the Momence School District. All told, he has 11 years of coaching experience ranging from middle school to college.
A Homer Glen native, Van Dyke earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Trinity Christian in 2010. He resides in Manhattan, Illinois.