Tina Thompson named women’s basketball head coach

The WNBA legend brings years of championship pedigree to the Cavaliers

sp-TinaThompson-CourtesyTexasAthleticsDepartment

Tina Thompson was drafted with the first pick in the first-ever WNBA Draft in 1997 by the Houston Comets, where she began an illustrious career that lasted 16 seasons. 

Courtesy Texas Athletics Department

Virginia Director of Athletics Carla Williams announced Monday that Tina Thompson will be the new head coach of the women’s basketball team.

Thompson will replace former coach Joanne Boyle, who announced her retirement shortly after the Cavaliers exited this year’s March Madness. Boyle coached the team for seven seasons and stepped down due to family reasons.

While this will be Thompson’s first head coaching job, she has substantial experience in women’s basketball.

Thompson is a WNBA Hall of Famer. She was drafted with the first pick in the first-ever WNBA Draft in 1997 by the Houston Comets, where she began an illustrious career that lasted 16 seasons. Thompson is the second all-time leading scorer in WNBA history, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a four-time WNBA champion.

She also has coaching experience, serving on the Texas coaching staff for the past three seasons. Thompson joined as an assistant coach, and was promoted to associate head coach last September. During Thompson’s tenure, Texas reached the Sweet Sixteen three-consecutive years — compiling a total record of 84-21.

She will bring great experience, knowledge and passion for the game to Virginia.

“She has proven to be a tremendous teacher and recruiter,” Williams said of Thompson. “I’m excited for the future of our program.”

Thompson said she was excited to work with the team to build upon retired coach Joanne Boyle’s success.

“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.”

Thompson will lead a high potential team that returned to the NCAA Tournament this past season for the first time since 2010.

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