Wittenberg University Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Brian Agler announced that Dayton, Ohio, native Tamika Williams-Jeter has been selected as the tenth head coach in the history of the Wittenberg women’s basketball program.
“We are very excited about Tamika leading our women’s basketball program. I’ve known her for 20 years, and I’m looking forward to working with her. She is a proven winner, champion, and leader,” Agler said. “Her positive influence on our student-athletes, women’s basketball program, athletic department, and university will be significant. We will create an opportunity for her to make a big impact.”
Williams-Jeter brings an extensive basketball resume to Wittenberg as both a player and coach. Williams-Jeter joined the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Ohio State University in 2008, followed by stops at Kansas University (2008-10), the University of Kentucky (2014-16), and Pennsylvania State University (2016-19) before returning to Ohio State in 2019. She has helped guide teams to a combined 11 postseason appearances, including eight trips to the NCAA Division I Tournament and a run to the WNIT Championship Game with Kansas in 2009.
“Congrats to Tamika Williams-Jeter on being named the new head coach at Wittenberg! Tamika is smart, hard-working, and will empower the young women that play for her to have success on and off the court,” said Debbie Antonelli, a college basketball analyst who works for multiple networks, including ESPN. “She brings a winning attitude and winning mentality to each opportunity, including the detail of successful strategies in-game and the educational experiences to be prepared to begin their careers post-game. Great hire by Brian Agler!”
Williams-Jeter was the No. 1-ranked high school player in the nation coming out of Chaminade-Julienne in Dayton. A two-time Ohio Player of the Year, Williams-Jeter scored a whopping 2,015 points in her career, and she earned consensus High School Player of the Year and Ohio Miss Basketball honors as a senior. She helped the Eagles to their first appearance in the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I Final Four, where they eventually finished runner-up to USA Today National Champion Pickerington Central.
Recruited by almost every major college basketball program in the country, Williams-Jeter chose to play at the University of Connecticut (UConn) under legendary head coach Geno Auriemma as a member of the “best recruiting class of 1998” according to Sports Illustrated. Jeter was joined in the class Asjha Jones, Swin Cash, and Sue Bird, all of whom went on to tremendously successful professional careers.
Williams-Jeter made an immediate mark in the collegiate ranks, earning National Freshman of the Year from The Sporting News and Rookie of the Year honors from both the BIG EAST Conference and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1999. As a sophomore, she was named Most Outstanding Performer of the 2000 BIG EAST Tournament and the 2000 NCAA Division I Tournament. She received Honorable Mention All-America honors as a senior in 2002, and she was a Naismith Player of the Year candidate that year as well.
During Williams-Jeter’s collegiate career, UConn won a pair of NCAA Division I championships. Her 2000 and 2002 NCAA Championship teams have both been inducted into the Huskies of Honor, a program that celebrates the most significant figures and teams in UConn basketball history.
As the No. 6 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx, Williams-Jeter excelled on the professional hardwood for seven seasons before retiring in 2008. Along the way, Williams-Jeter earned WNBA All-Rookie team honors in 2002, helping her team reach the WNBA playoffs three times. During her career, Williams-Jeter tallied 1,404 points, 1,166 rebounds, 221 assists, and 183 steals.
“Every bit of success that I have ever experienced is because of the people who have helped drive the vision,” Williams-Jeter said. “President Frandsen and Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Brian Agler painted a picture of their vision of success at Wittenberg University that I couldn’t pass up. They have given me an opportunity to be a part of a vision that promotes a tradition of excellence both academically and athletically.
“I am extremely honored to continue to help young minds grow, to engage in my Dayton and Springfield community, and create a winning culture on the court. I want to do everything I can for Wittenberg University, to make Pam Evans Smith look down and be proud.”
Williams-Jeter, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in interpersonal communication, and her husband Richard have sons named R.J. and Jojo.D3 NCAC Ohio State