Chattanooga Women’s Basketball Staff Update

Former Eastern Illinois head coach Debbie Black will join the Tennessee Chattanooga coaching staff along with former Moc Ka’Vonne Towns while Jonathon Goldberg assumes a new position.

Jonathon Goldberg enters his fourth season with Chattanooga in his third role for the Mocs. He was named an assistant coach, taking over the position following the departure of John McCray.

“Jon is a very bright, hard working person,” Foster said. “I think he’ll fit right into the scheme of things. You’ve got to be smart about who you’re recruiting and how you’re recruiting and you’ve got to work hard at it. I’ve watched him for three years and that’s who he is. It’s an easy transition.”

Goldberg began his time at UTC as a graduate student, assisting the women’s basketball team. After earning his Masters, he became the Director of Student-Athlete Development.

In his three seasons with Chattanooga, the Mocs won three straight Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles. UTC advanced to the NCAA Tournament and in each season saw the Mocs ranked as high as 17th by the Associated Press.

Jon graduated from Emerson College, a small Division III school in Boston, MA, in the spring of 2014. He earned a B.S. in Communication Studies. While at Emerson, Jon played under Head Coach Jim O’Brien and Assistant Coaches Bill Curley, Jack Barrett, and Alfred “Rico” Cabral. During his junior and senior year at Emerson, Jon was nominated captain by his teammates. In his senior year, the Emerson Lions defeated the number one ranked team in the nation, Amherst College, and the number three-ranked team in the nation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Debbie Black will become the Mocs Director of Basketball Operations, filling the position left by the departure of Brianna Sanders.

“Debbie has a great feel for the game,” Foster said. “She has a great passion for the game and should be coaching the game, but that opportunity is not here. There is the opportunity of learning a little more and I think she’ll take advantage of that.”

UTC head coach Jim Foster and Black have an extensive association. She first played for the Hall of Fame coach at St. Joseph’s leading the Hawks to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances before graduating in 1984.

Her first assistant coaching position was for Foster at Vanderbilt during the 1999-2000 season. Following her retirement from the WNBA in 2005, she returned to assist Foster at Ohio State for eight seasons. The Buckeyes advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2009 and 2011.

She spent the last four seasons at Eastern Illinois in the Ohio Valley Conference. She led the Panthers to the OVC Tournament twice and finished tied for second in the West in the 2013-14 campaign.

She represented Team USA at the Williams Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The team had a 7-1 record and won the gold medal after defeating Japan 56-54 in the final. She played eight seasons with the Tasmanian Islanders of the WNBL in Australia and helped them to national titles in 1991 and 1995.

In the ABL she was an All-Star selection for the Colorado Xplosion and the 1997 Defensive Player of the Year. While playing for the Atlanta Glory in December 1996, she became one of just a handful of players to record a quadruple double (10p, 14r, 12a, 10s).

In 1999, Black was drafted by the Utah Starzz of the WNBA in the second round. She played for the Miami Sol from 2000-2002 and earned the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award at the age of 35. In 2003 she was acquired by the Connecticut Sun in the dispersal draft and was there until her retirement in 2005.

Black was hired in May 2013, and served four years as the Panthers’ head coach, compiling a 34-80 record. Her best season was her first, leading Eastern Illinois to a 12-16 record. She replaced Lee Buchanan, who coached for one season before taking the head coaching job of the LaGrange Panthers.

2015 Chattanooga graduate Ka’vonne Towns is the Mocs’ Director of Student-Athlete Development. She becomes the third former Chattanooga player on the staff, joining Katie (Galloway) Burrows, ’04 and Alicia “Red” Payne, ’16.

“Ka’Vonne is one of those people you loved having in the program,” Foster said. “She’s competitive, tough and smart. She has a lot of attributes.”

Towns was a 2015 Southern Conference All-Tournament selection. She helped the Mocs to four straight SoCon regular season and tournament titles and four appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Foster moved her to point guard her senior season where she started 31 of 33 games. She ranks 10th in UTC history for games played with 125 over four years. She closed out her career with 682 points, scoring 291 her final campaign and had 340 career rebounds. She dished out 177 assists with 77 in her senior year and had 162 steals.

In her senior year she recorded a career-high in scoring with 18 points against South Florida, had a career-high eight rebounds against Western Carolina and had nine assists in UTC’s win at Harvard.

“With more people like Debbie and Ka’Vonne you can have around you, the more these players will learn just by who they are. Players can talk to them about a wide range of experiences.”

Photo Courtesy UTC Athletics

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