Western Carolina Head Women’s Basketball Coach Stephanie McCormick today announced the addition of Asia Williams as an assistant coach for the Catamounts, replacing Tierra Rudd who left to accept a position at William & Mary earlier this summer.
Williams is no stranger to the Southern Conference as she spent two seasons with UNCG as an assistant under Head Coach Trina Patterson. Williams was an integral part in helping lead the Spartans to the first 20-win season in a decade in 2016-17 and an appearance in the WBI Tournament Championship game. In the two years, Williams was an assistant coach, UNCG had an overall record of 33-33 and reached the semifinals of the 2018 Southern Conference Championship. She was also responsible for the individual skill development of the SoCon Freshman of the Year Nadine Soliman, four All-SoCon selections, two All-Freshman team selections and a SoCon All-Tournament pick.
“I have been making my way across North Carolina in my recent positions. Taking this position at Western Carolina afforded me the chance to work under Coach McCormick which was the catalyst for my move because of her ties to North Carolina. Seeing her success in recruiting at pretty much every level, I feel like I can learn a lot from her,” Williams said.
Williams will take on the role of Recruiting Coordinator as well as work with the guards for Western Carolina.
“I am very familiar with Western Carolina, being from the state of North Carolina, and I have played with and know numerous former Catamount women’s basketball players,” Williams said. “In my high school and AAU days I played with former Catamounts Rena Wakama, Kaila’Shea Menendez, and Kendra Eaton, and they told me how special Western Carolina is and the success they have had playing for the Catamounts.”
“What makes Asia such a great fit for us right now, I would dare to say a perfect fit for us right now, is she is coming into our Recruiting Coordinator position with strong North Carolina ties,” McCormick admitted. “She knows it up and down. She played in both the Triad and Triangle areas. Playing for one of several prominent AAU programs in the state and still having those ties, there is no doubt she will help us regain a footing in Eastern North Carolina. On top of that, she has had tremendous success in the SoCon helping Coach [Trina] Patterson turn around the UNCG program.”
“We were in a similar situation while I was at UNCG that Western Carolina is in now, trying to rebuild a program with basically a balance of new and returning players,” Williams said. “We were able to turn the program around in one year, winning 20 games, and I am hoping we can move the Catamounts in that direction as well.”
“Asia is going to be instrumental for us as we continue to change the culture and the mindset of our young ladies,” McCormick said. “As a player at Wake Forest, she has played at the highest level and I think it gives our current players a different perspective and I know they will really respect that.”
“I am hoping to see Western Carolina rolling and winning again like in the past,” Williams admitted. “I love the state of North Carolina, so to get a chance to work at another school in the state and in a different location to recruit, will be a welcome challenge.”
Williams came to UNCG after spending the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach at LIU-Brooklyn. While there, she helped develop two Northeast Conference third team selections.
Prior to that, she spent two seasons on the staff at then SoCon member Appalachian State, helping the Mountaineers to a 10-8 league record in their final year in the SoCon. In her second year at ASU, she made the move to video coordinator.
A native of Durham, N.C., Williams is a former North Carolina High School Gatorade Player of the Year and stand out at Wake Forest. She appeared in 109 games for the Demon Deacons and made 36 starts in the backcourt. During her senior campaign in Winston-Salem, she led the team with 145 assists, the sixth highest in single-season history while ranking fourth on the team in scoring with 10.4 points per game.
Williams joins a 2018-19 Western Carolina squad that saw two of its three assistant coaches change, as well as the addition of seven newcomers to the program; five freshman, and two junior college transfers to go along with the six returning players.
However, don’t tell McCormick this is a clean slate for the program. She sees it more of seeing around the corner at what the future holds.
“As we are turning this program around we are still in the process, McCormick said.” “Every player and staff member who has come through the program in the past three years has been a huge part of that process. I thank them all for their contribution. We are at the point now in which there have been a lot of changes in a short amount of time, but this program and everyone that has withstood the changes has been extremely resilient and continue to fight for Catamount women’s basketball’s success.”Assistant Coach DI