A two-time Coach of the Year, Daynia La-Force is in her first season as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She previously served as an advance scout / volunteer coach for the Connecticut Sun during their historic 2019 season where the team advanced to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2005.
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Coach La-Force spent more than two decades as a collegiate basketball coach in five different conferences: Atlantic 10 (A-10), Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), New York Collegiate Athletic Conference (NYCAC), Big East (BE) and Northeast Conference (NEC). Most recently, she served as the head coach at Division I, University of Rhode Island (URI) where she was the university’s first minority woman head coach in any sport. At URI, she is the winningest coach in the first two seasons in the program’s history with a record 29 wins. Under her leadership, the team also won the program’s first Ocean State Tournament Championship.
Coach La-Force landed her first Division I head coaching role at Northeastern University, a position she held for eight years. She rebuilt the Huskies program and led the team to its first ever 17-win season, to include ten CAA conference wins. She directed Northeastern to historic victories over conference powerhouses, including James Madison University, Old Dominion University, and the University of Delaware. For her efforts, she was named the CAA Coach of the Year, her second such honor. Additionally, in six of her eight seasons, Coach La-Force and the Huskies exceeded preseason coaches’ poll expectations.
Before her tenure at Northeastern, Coach La-Force led the University of New Haven, Division II, to 24 wins where the team was both the regular season and tournament champions. She was also named the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference (NYCAC) Head Coach of the Year. Prior to her stint at the New Haven, she served as an assistant coach at both St. John’s University and Long Island University (LIU), Brooklyn.
Coach La-Force began her basketball career as a player at Georgetown University where she was a member of the 1993 Big East Co-Regular Season Champions, helping lead the Hoyas to its first ever Sweet 16 appearance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgetown and later went on to obtain her Master of Science in Education with a focus in School Psychology from LIU, Brooklyn.
Coach La-Force is the mother of both Terance and Martin Mann. Terance is in his second year with the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), making Coach La-Force the only WNBA coach with a son playing in the NBA. Martin is a senior at Pace University where is a member of the men’s basketball team. She is married to Eddie Benton, the All-Time Leading Scorer at the University of Vermont, and a member of the Catamount Hall of Fame. Coach La-Force and her husband, Eddie, currently own BentForce Basketball, a training business with clientele ranging from beginners to those in the professional ranks.
Away from the court, Coach La-Force is an active member of the community. She is a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), the Black Coaches Association (BCA), Women of Color Coaches (W.O.C.), and served on the board of the Girl Scouts of Southern New England. Additionally, she recently co-founded Mothers Against Racism, a non-profit educational resource center for disseminating information on how mothers, united, will defeat racism. She serves as the organization’s President.
Follow Daynia’s journey as she shares experiences as a former Division I player, successful coach and her most important roles, mother and wife.