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Amna Subhan | | November 5, 2022

The top 10 new women's college basketball coaches to know, according to Autumn Johnson

10 women's college basketball coaches in new places

When the women’s basketball season tips off Nov. 7, it’ll debut multiple new head coaches with many long-time coaches retiring or others moving on to other programs. NCAA's Autumn Johnson picked the top 10 you should know. 

Get to know 10 new coaches in new places, listed in alphabetical order by program

1. Natasha Adair, Arizona State: Adair takes the helm of the Sun Devil program after Charli Turner Throne retired after 25 seasons. Adair previously coached Delaware for five seasons, most recently taking the Blue Hens to the NCAA tournament last season.

2. Amber Whiting, BYU: Whiting, a Utah native, gets her first college coaching experience after leading Burley High School in Idaho to a state championship. She takes over for Jeff Judkins, who had 21 seasons coaching the Cougars. 

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3. Sytia Messer, UCF: Messer has 22 years of college coaching experience, mostly as an assistant. She sat on the bench for Kim Mulkey at Baylor and LSU, winning a national title with the Bears in 2018. Messer takes over for Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. 

4. Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, Georgia: Abrahamson-Henderson moved on from UCF to coach Georgia in the SEC. UCF is coming of its best season in program history, when it went 26-4 and made the second round of the NCAA tournament.

5. Sam Purcell, Mississippi State: Purcell takes the permanent position after interim coach Doug Novak led the Bulldogs last season. Purcell left Louisville after helping build the program since 2013. 

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6. Coquese Washington, Rutgers: Washington takes over for legendary women’s college coach C. Vivian Stringer, who retired after coaching Rutgers for 27 seasons. Washington was a head coach at Penn State for 12 seasons before becoming an associate head coach, most recently with Notre Dame.

7. Felisha Legette-Jack, Syracuse: Legette-Jack returns to coach her alma mater. After three decades she still ranks top 10 in scoring and rebounding at Syracuse. She coached Buffalo to four NCAA tournaments, including in 2022, in 11 seasons.  

8. Joni Taylor, Texas A&M: Taylor left Georgia after seven years as the Bulldogs head coach. At Georgia, Taylor racked up an impressive resume winning SEC Coach of the Year in 2021 and a .651 winning percentage. She takes over for Gary Blair, who led the Aggies for 19 years.

MORE: Top 10 returning women's basketball players, ranked by Autumn Johnson

9. Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, Virginia: Agugua-Hamilton, better known as “Mox” was hired at Virginia after three seasons at Missouri State. With the Bears she went 73-15, winning two consecutive conference tournament championships with a Sweet 16 run in the 2021 NCAA tournament.

10. Dawn Plitzuweit, West Virginia: Plitzuweit most recently led South Dakota on a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16, earning the chance to coach in the Big 12. Plitzuweit leaves the Summit League holding the overall winning percentage mark (.819). 

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