Soon-to-be Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Tina Thompson is the University of Virginia’s new women’s basketball coach, UVA athletics director Carla Williams has announced. Thompson, who becomes the fifth head women’s basketball coach in Virginia history, replaces Joanne Boyle, who resigned soon after the conclusion of the 2017/2018 season.
“I am thrilled to have Tina Thompson as our new women’s basketball coach,” Williams said. “She is one of the best to ever play the game and she has experienced tremendous success at all levels of the game. I am looking forward to working with her and supporting her vision for Virginia basketball.
“She has a strong commitment to and passion for developing confident, successful women. As a coach, she has proven to be a tremendous teacher and recruiter. I’m excited for the future of our program.”
Thompson enjoyed a stellar playing career as a student athlete at Southern California and then as a professional in the WBNA. She was the first player drafted in the history of the WBNA and was the league’s all-time leading scorer when she retired in 2013. The four-time WBNA champion and two-time Olympic champion will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in September of 2018.
Thompson joined the college coaching ranks in 2015, when she joined head coach Karen Alston’s staff as an assistant at the University of Texas. She was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2017/2018 season. Thompson, who worked directly with the Longhorn post players, helped Texas achieve 84 wins to only 21 losses the past three seasons.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to become the next women’s basketball coach at the University of Virginia,” Thompson said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a program with such a rich history. This program is in an exciting place with a hardworking group of young ladies. It is my intention to continue the winning ways coach Joanne Boyle has built with this impressionable group.
“My sentiments mirror that of my 12-year-old son Dyllan. When I told him the great news he said, `Wait! Mom are you kidding? I mean wow. Isn’t that a good program? Correction. Great program! I am so happy for you. We will do great things there!’ My response to him was that I could not agree more! I am excited about meeting my team, getting to know them and pouring into them.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity Karen Aston and the University of Texas provided me. My experience there has helped to prepare me for this moment. I want to thank Carla Williams for this coveted opportunity. I appreciate her courage and her outside-of-the-box thought process. Wahoowa!”
The Virginia women’s basketball program compiled a 19-14 overall record this past season, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. Boyle resigned for personal reasons.
Legendary Virginia women’s basketball coach Debbie Ryan was among those who took to Twitter to react to the Thompson hire, Carla Williams’ first hire as Cavalier director of athletics.
Bravo to Tina Thompson! Carla Williams and her staff did an excellent job choosing the next Cavalier WBB Coach. Salute!
— Debbie Ryan (@CoachRyanUVA) April 16, 2018
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) April 16, 2018
CONGRATS @IamTinaThompson!!! Virginia has hired an incredible and classy lady. So very deserving of this opportunity. Couldn’t be happier for you. Go do ya thang!!!
— Sheryl Swoopes (@sswoopes22) April 16, 2018
Another big coaching hire in the ACC:
Naismith HOF’er Tina Thompson is the new HC at UVA! https://t.co/N2Cmor6Od9
— Swish Appeal (@SwishAppeal) April 16, 2018