Georgia Southern Head Women’s Basketball Coach Anita Howard announced today the addition of Tia Lewis as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
Lewis comes to Statesboro after a highly decorated career as a collegiate student-athlete at both UCF and Old Dominion, while also playing professionally overseas in Slovakia, Bulgaria and Israel. The Poulan, Ga., native was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2007-08 at UCF, then earned All-CAA honors twice while finishing her career at ODU. In her four seasons collegiately, Lewis scored 1,624 points and grabbed 1,124 rebounds.
After her professional playing career, Lewis started coaching at the high school level as the head varsity girls basketball coach at Denbigh HS in Newport News, Va., in 2015. She led the Lady Patriots to their first playoff berth and playoff victory since 1998-99. Moving back to her hometown of Poulan, Ga., Lewis then became the head coach at Turner County HS in 2018, leading the Titans to the Sweet 16 in her first year, and to the State Final Four in 2020. She moved on to Fitzgerald HS in 2020, leading the Purple Hurricane to the state playoffs for a 10th consecutive season.
“Tia will be a shining star in the collegiate coaching ranks,” Head Coach Howard said. “Not only was Tia an outstanding student-athlete, but she has displayed the ability to utilize her former experiences to establish winning programs as head coach at the high school level.”
Lewis, a Georgia native, enjoys a personal connection to Coach Howard as well, playing AAU basketball with Peach State Basketball under Howard while in high school. The exposure allowed Lewis to receive more than 280 college scholarship offers.
“It really warms my heart to see Tia’s growth personally and professionally,” Coach Howard said. “I’m more excited to know that she is a noteworthy member of the Anita Howard coaching tree. She’s won everywhere she’s been, she knows the state of Georgia, and she’s one heck of a player! It was a no-brainer for me to add her to the Georgia Southern women’s basketball staff.”
Lewis was a high school standout at Worth County HS, earning All-State honors three times and first-team All-State honors as a senior. The two-time Tifton County Player of the Year averaged 19 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks per game in her senior season for the Rams.
She graduated from Old Dominion with her bachelor’s degree in recreation and tourism studies in 2012, and while playing overseas, earned her master’s degree in sports administration from Liberty in 2014.Georgia Southern Sun Belt