Life University Director of Athletics Jayme Pendergast made it official that Ashawnte Hawkins will be returning to Life U to lead the women’s basketball program.
Hawkins is no stranger to the NAIA, having played for a Talladega College team that made it to the National Tournament in 2013, and then helping to elevate the team to even greater heights as an assistant coach where they won back-to-back GCAC Conference titles and contended in the national tournament over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. She returns to Life U after having familiarized herself with Running Eagles culture early in her coaching career as the assistant women’s basketball coach from 2017-2020. In her final season with the Running Eagles, Hawkins helped put together a team that finished 18-11 with a victory over a top 20 Lindsey Wilson team for the programs best year since it restarted in 2016-17. For the past two years, Hawkins has been on the West Coast, acting as an assistant coach for Cal State-Monterey Bay and NCAA DII Cal State University-San Bernardino.
Pendergast expressed her excitement over the return of a familiar face and her confidence in Hawkins being able to steer the program to success, “It’s always good to welcome back someone you are familiar with. Ashawnte was a critical piece in the success of our women’s basketball program in their early development before she left to pursue her next opportunity. Her and I are incredibly aligned in our vision for the program, and she understands the standards we are expecting from our program moving forward. We are building upon the significant progress this past season and I’m excited to have a front row seat in her development in the head coach chair.”
Hawkins conveyed how excited she was to for the future of the women’s basketball team and how thankful she is for this opportunity, “I want to first give thanks to God. I am thankful to Jayme Pendergast and the Life U Administration for this incredible opportunity and having the confidence in me to lead as the next head women’s basketball coach at Life University. I am thrilled to take over this program and work hard to take it to the next level.”Life University NAIA