Catching Up With Coach Williams
July 8, 2011
USAFA, Colo. - Photo Gallery
Now active on the recruiting trail, Air Force head women's basketball coach Andrea Williams has been extremely busy over the past few months. She recently took a couple of minutes to catch fans up on what she's been up to:
Center for Coaching Excellence, May 23-25. "I attended the first session of two held this year in New York City at Columbia Uniersity. It was the brainchild of the WBCA board. Geno Auriemma thought so highly of having this type of program for head coaches that he ponied up $10,000 of tuition out of his own pocket because it's a program that's going to focus on leadership skills for head coaches and ethics of our game and where our game is going. We know that's a concern throughout our entire membership body.
[The attendees] were conference captains and the WBCA board, who were going to be the first ones. I was kind of pinch-hitting for Betty Jaynes, who's a pioneer of women's basketball. She couldn't go, so I got to slide into her spot. I was very honored that the Mountain West Conference thought so highly of me. I ended up taking her place and went to New York City for three days.
It was a phenomenal program. I got to sit down and talk intimately with other coaches and learn from a lot of ADs, conference commissioners, our board, and just discuss the general concerns of our game, which everybody has on the women's side. We learned some new tools and valuable tools that a head coach needs to keep the longevity of their career. Those are some of the things that are missing sometimes in coaching clinics, everything's usually just X's and O's. This was huge, something different and I throroughly enjoyed it."
BCA Convention, May 25-28. "I annually go to the BCA Convention, held this year in St. Petersburg, Fla. It's great networking with friends and a lot of coaches from all men's and women's sports. We get to see them every year at this event, usually, and then learn some things from a lot of great speakers. [NCAA president] Mark Emmert came down and spoke to us and the membership. It was another three days of good learning in the convention format. And I hosted my fourth annual BCA dinner party with some close friends, colleagues and mentees that I've worked with for the past eight years, which was fun."
ACE Program, June 5-8. "The ACE program (Acheiving Coaching Excellence) is an offshoot of the BCA for inspiring assistant coaches to become head coaches in basketball, both men's and women's. I originally was going as a fireside chat presenter with Charlton Young, the head coach at Georgia Southern. After speaking with him at the convention, I was asked to then do an on-court presentation with Bobbie Kelsey [head coach at Wisconsin], who was a fellow classmate of mine in the 2006 ACE Program. In addition, Shimmy Gray-Miller, the head coach at St. Louis, and her assistant came up and we spent all day on the court. I was also on a panel for all the presenters on the court, that also included assistant (Jay DeFruscio from the Indiana Pacers and all the men's coaches."
"It's always good when the NCAA wants you to be involved in things, to go speak and promote our program with Air Force. It's not just about Coach Williams and what we're doing--it's a piggyback of our program, the Mountain West, where we're going. Back in April during the WBCA convention at the Final Four, I was one of the head coaches for the assistant coach business meeting, where we talked about our transition from assistant to head coach and answered a lot of questions. It's fun to give back to the game, so it was a whirlwind spring.
I've also been to two events now with the hosting committee and selection committee for the NCAA Final Four in Denver next year. It's just generating that buzz, helping to grow our game. We're excited...it's the first time the Final Four is going to be in the Mountain time zone. Air Force basketball looks to be a part of it in any way, shape or form. That's the pinnacle of what we do at the end of our season. It's a great thing for family, friends.
It's an exciting time, even if you're just an average basketball fan. You've got to check out what Air Force women's basketball is doing. We've upgraded our schedule this year, and we're excited about our freshmen who are going through basic right now. We've got in a good quality class and they're great kids. We're just trying to continue to grow our program and go in the direction we want to go. Look forward to seeing you in the stands and I'll catch you next time!"