Xavier head women’s basketball coach Melanie Moore has announced the addition of Lester Rowe as an assistant women’s basketball coach. The coaching veteran most recently worked at Northern Kentucky and brings 14 years of collegiate experience to Xavier.
“We are ecstatic to welcome Lester Rowe to Xavier Nation,” said Moore. “I have known him for a long time and have always admired his work ethic. He is an experienced winner who brings a wealth of knowledge, high-level recruiting and a contagious, positive attitude to Cintas Center. He will make an immediate impact on our program!”
In his lone season (2019-20) with the Norse, he helped the program post a 20-12 (12-6 Horizon League) record – a nine-win improvement from the previous season. He also assisted in coaching three players to all-conference honors. The Norse also increased its scoring offense by 7.1 points per game from 2018-19 to 2019-20 with Rowe on the coaching staff.
Prior to Northern Kentucky, he spent eight seasons (2011-19) as an assistant coach on the women’s basketball staff at West Virginia. The Mountaineers had six 20-win campaigns with Rowe on staff and posted two Big 12 Conference Championships, while advancing to five NCAA Tournaments. He also assisted in coaching seven all-conference honorees and four WNBA Draft picks, highlighted by Bria Holmes who was a first-round selection in 2016.
Rowe also spent five seasons as an assistant coach on the men’s basketball staff at West Virginia from 1997-2002. The Mountaineers posted 73 wins during his time on the bench and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1998. He also assisted in coaching seven all-conference selections, highlighted by three-time selection, Damian Owens.
Rowe played basketball at West Virginia from 1981-85, leading the Mountaineers to three conference titles. He was also named the conference tournament MVP in 1984. He is a member of the 1976-85 West Virginia all-time basketball team and was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Following his collegiate career, Rowe spent eight seasons playing professionally in Argentina, the Philippines, Venezuela, France, Germany and the United States.