Xavier University of Louisiana announced Wednesday the hiring of Whitney Gathright — one of the most accomplished athletes in school history — as assistant women’s basketball coach. Gathright began her XULA duties on Sept. 14, 2020.
As a XULA student-athlete (2012-16) Gathright was a WBCA NAIA first-team All-American her senior season — the program’s first first-team NAIA All-American since 1998 — a two-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament MVP and first-team All-GCAC her final three seasons.
Gathright was XULA Female Athlete of the Year (all sports) as a senior. She was All-Louisiana three times — second team as a senior and third team as a junior and sophomore. She is No. 7 at XULA with 1,414 career points, and she holds school records for free throws made (463) and free-throw percentage (.782) in a career.
“I am extremely grateful to be a part of the coaching staff at Xavier and to be back at home,” Gathright said. “I look forward to molding and impacting our young ladies’ lives on and off the court.”
Gathright was a women’s basketball assistant coach this past season at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.
“I had the opportunity to watch Whitney coach a few times last season, and I was impressed by what I saw,” said XULA head coach Bo Browder. “I am pleased and excited to welcome Whit back to Xavier and the women’s basketball program. She was a talented and hard-working athlete — one of the best we’ve ever had here. Not only will she be a successful coach here, but she also will be a great influence on the young women in our program.”
Gathright, a native New Orleanian, replaces Tarniesha Scott, who departed XULA in April after four seasons to become head coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan.
The XULA women were 16-15 in 2019-20. The previous year they won the GCAC regular-season championship and qualified for NAIA nationals. XULA qualified for nationals 20 times in its last 26 seasons — 15 times in Browder’s 21 seasons as head coach.
What They’re Saying About Whitney Gathright
Barbara Farris, Stetson University women’s basketball assistant coach, 10-year WNBA player and winner of five state championships as a coach at John Curtis Christian School
“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to coach Whitney for two seasons at John Curtis. Her high basketball IQ and competitive drive made my first seasons as a head coach much easier. Whitney is talented, hard-working, driven and an extremely loyal young woman. I know she will seize this opportunity to join the Xavier coaching staff and make better the lives of the young women in that program.”
Eddie Fields, Delgado Community College women’s basketball head coach
“Whitney Gathright was a tremendous asset to our program during her time at Delgado. She exhibits the energy and passion of a young coach and will continue to grow as she returns to Xavier to begin her new chapter. I know that as a Xavier alum, Whitney will continue to strive for excellence on and off the court as she exhibits the values she first learned as a member of the Gold Nuggets. Best wishes to Whitney and the Xavier family on a great 2020-21 season!”
Dennis Aidoo, coach/director of Kenner Angels AAU program
“I have known Whitney since her days at John Curtis. She has proven to be an outstanding individual. She possesses outstanding characteristics to be qualified for the job as assistant coach for Xavier women’s basketball. Whitney is a natural leader, and her ability to lead while showing humility and compassion for others sets her apart from many people. She also is very loyal and dedicated to the game of basketball and to the people who have supported her. I have no doubt that she will continue to be an incredible asset to Xavier as a coach, just as she was as a player! She is a relentless worker and committed to success. That along with her deep basketball knowledge and ability to relate to the others will help to continue to cultivate the high standards of success that Xavier women’s basketball is accustomed to.”
Emoni Harvey, XULA women’s basketball athlete, 2012-16
“Whitney will be a great fit back home! She was a great player and all-around great person. She knows the game and is very passionate. I believe she and Coach Bo will do well together. I am so proud of my sister/roommate/teammate! Wishing her the best of luck in her coaching career!”
Danielle Tucker, XULA women’s basketball athlete, 2012-14
“Whitney Gathright was a great choice for the assistant coach position. She was an amazing teammate and athlete. This position will allow her to share her knowledge and skills. I am happy for her.”
Kevin Herod, Talladega College director of athletics and women’s basketball head coach
“Congratulations to Whitney Gathright as the new assistant women’s basketball coach at Xavier. Whitney had an amazing run as an All-America collegiate player and was highly competitive. I have no doubt that Coach Gathright will be excellent addition to Coach Browder’s staff.”
Photo Courtesy XULA AthleticsGCAC NAIA XULA