Following the 2015-16 season, in which The College of Wooster displayed significant improvement in the areas of attitude, competitiveness, and fun on the court, plus five more victories than the previous year, Lisa Panepento was upgraded from interim coach to head coach of the program that she once starred for.
Panepento, who brings contagious energy and passion to the position, has been associated with the Wooster program as a player, assistant coach, interim coach, and now head coach for 13 total seasons.
Since 2004, Panepento has been back at her alma mater, first gaining valuable administrative experience in the admissions office before returning to her true passion – the hardwood – when the assistant coach position opened up in 2010. As the lead assistant for five years, her teaching of sound fundamentals helped the Fighting Scots rank among the top-60 of 430-plus Div. III teams in free throw percentage twice (38th in 2014-15, .737; 37th in 2012-13, .734) and least number of turnovers once (56th in 2013-14, 15.2 per game), and that emphasis helped translate into a six-win improvement during the 2012-13 season.
In June 2015, Panepento was named interim coach, and immediately brought a new spirit to the program, as Wooster was in almost every game with seven losses by five points or less and/or that went to overtime, in addition to the six wins. In her first season as the full-time head coach, Panepento's Scots returned to the NCAC Tournament for the first time in three years. During the 2017-18 season, Wooster logged its best conference record since the 2012-13 season, and earned its best tournament seed since the 2009-10 campaign.
Panepento’s maiden name, Lisa Diment, can be found throughout the Scots’ record book. She was the first in school history to score 1,000 career points, finishing with 1,201, which currently ranks fifth, and she also collected 608 career rebounds as a forward, the third-most upon graduation (currently 10th).
Most notably, Diment helped Wooster to the 1985 North Coast Athletic Conference championship, and then she was selected second-team all-conference as a junior and first-team as a senior. She also excelled at track, helping the Scots to three NCAC championships (outdoor) in that sport and picking up four more All-NCAC honors individually as a specialist in the 400 and 800 meters. A psychology major, she excelled in the classroom as well and was the recipient of CoSIDA Academic All-American® recognition in 1987. She is enshrined in the W Association Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Wooster, Diment went on to earn a master’s degree in athletic administration/physical education from Western Michigan University in 1988, and shortly after, she became the head coach at NCAA Div. III Kalamazoo College for two seasons. She then moved around frequently while her husband pursued his career path, at one point settling back in Michigan, where she served as athletic director and girls’ basketball coach at St. Charles Community Schools.
Panepento and her husband, Blaine, live in Wooster, and their son, Anthony, a standout golfer, is a junior at Methodist University.