Lewis named Women’s Basketball Head Coach at UNC Asheville

Tynesha Lewis has been named the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach for UNC Asheville, announced today (Friday, Apr. 12) by the University and Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone. Lewis becomes the 12th head coach in program history.

“We are so excited to have Tynesha Lewis as our next head women’s basketball coach,” said Cone. “Her experiences as a player at NC State and in the WNBA and as a successful head coach at Elizabeth City State demonstrate that she knows how to compete and win at a high level, that she cares deeply about her student-athletes and their holistic development on and off the court and that
she places a high value on doing things the right way. Tynesha will work tirelessly in getting our women’s basketball program to a place of consistent competitive excellence.”

Lewis comes to Asheville from Division II Elizabeth City State, where she compiled a record of 61-29 with three straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) tournament championship game appearances including one tournament championship. In her three seasons at ECSU, she led the program to three straight 20-win seasons including the first winning season in over a decade. In her first season, Lewis coached the CIAA Defensive Player of the Year while she herself was named Coach of the Year. Year two saw ECSU lead the CIAA in scoring defense for the second straight season, as Lewis led the program to its first-ever conference championship and national tournament appearance. Her third season saw ECSU capture a north division title with one All-Conference selection, along with being the third straight season the team achieved a grade point average over 3.0.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Tynesha Lewis to the UNC Asheville community and the Bulldog Nation,” said Chancellor Kimberly van Noort. “In addition to her notable record of accomplishments as a coach, I am confident her equally impressive leadership skills will help develop character, courage, and determination among our players, building a firm foundation for their success both on and off the court.”

Prior to her time at ECSU, she served as the Associate Head Coach at North Carolina Central from 2017-19 and was an Assistant Coach at Illinois State from 2012-13. She also spent part of her career in pharmaceutical sales and education.

What they’re saying about Tynesha Lewis:

“UNC Asheville has scored a game winner with the hiring of Tynesha Lewis. Not only are they getting a person of great integrity who knows the game, but also a proven winner off and on the court. Tynesha has the ability to relate to and motivate her student athletes to their highest potential in the classroom and on the court. I’m excited about the future of UNCA Women’s basketball.” – Charlotte Smith, head coach at Elon University.

“Tynesha Lewis is a WINNER! Tynesha is a creative, innovative coach who cares about her players’ well-being while teaching them the game of basketball, emphasizing the importance of academic success and instilling life lessons along the way. She motivates each player to be the very best version of themselves on and off the court. As a college player at North Carolina State University, Tynesha had the drive to learn the game and excel at the highest level becoming the first player in NC State history, male or female, to record a triple-double. From being a starter on the 1998 Final Four team, coached by legendary Hall of Fame Coach Kay Yow, and the winner of numerous ACC awards, Tynesha took her talents to the WNBA and into the coaching ranks. UNC Asheville has hired a great leader, teacher, motivator and inspirational woman as their next Head Women’s Basketball Coach!” – Stephanie Glance – coached Lewis at N.C. State

Lewis had a prolific basketball career as a player, playing five seasons in the WNBA after her college career at North Carolina State. She played for the Houston Comets from 2001-03, the Charlotte Sting from 2003-05 and the Minnesota Lynx from 2005-06.

“After everything I’ve read and heard about Chancellor Kimberly van Noort and AD Cone, how could I not be excited about this new opportunity,” said Lewis. “Stepping into this role is more than just a job – it’s a privilege and a responsibility. I’m honored to be part of such a storied program and am eager to work tirelessly alongside ‘The Dream Team’ to reignite the flames within our women’s basketball program.”

A 2001 graduate of N.C. State, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry along with a Bachelor of Science in biological science from American InterContinental University (2004). She also holds a Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Grand Canyon University, and a Master’s of Education with a concentration in Integration of Technology.

A formal press conference will be held in the Ingles Mountain View Room in Kimmel Arena at 10:30 a.m. The live stream can be viewed here


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