Pointer Returns to Rutgers as Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

Rutgers women’s basketball head coach Coquese Washington has hired the first member of her staff, bringing Tasha Pointer back to Piscataway as an assistant coach after a Hall of Fame playing career “On the Banks” and 18 years of coaching experience.
“It is an absolute blessing to welcome Tasha Pointer back home to Rutgers,” said head coach Coquese Washington. “Tasha is a Scarlet Knight legend and I am beyond thrilled that she will, once again, lead our program as an assistant coach. Her experience as a former player and alum, her passion for coaching, and her love for this University are traits that will have a powerful impact on our student-athletes. I am so excited to have her with us as we build the next era of Rutgers women’s basketball.”
Pointer, to this day, is the Scarlet Knights’ all-time assists leader and runner-up in career steals before beginning her coaching career, with this marking her second stint coaching at her alma mater after serving under Naismith Hall of Fame Coach C. Vivian Stringer for eight seasons from 2008-17. As a player from 1997-2001, Pointer led Rutgers to the 2000 Final Four, the hallmark of a 128-game career that produced program-record totals of 839 assists and 292 steals while scoring 1,456 points. Pointer was inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008, which was also her first year on the coaching staff that guided the Scarlet Knights to an NCAA Elite Eight, a Sweet 16, and a WNIT Championship during seven overall trips to the postseason.
“I am blessed to return to this great institution at Rutgers University and to be home again in New Jersey, the place that offered me the platform to excel as a student athlete, graduate student, professional, wife, and mother,” Pointer said. “I am privileged to have received mentorship, guidance, and love from the one-of-a-kind C. Vivian Stringer. I am grateful to work with Coquese, who is nothing short of spectacular and a person I have come to admire in the profession. Amazing days are ahead!”
Pointer proved instrumental in helping Rutgers land three top-five recruiting classes during her coaching tenure “On the Banks,” groups of recruits that she helped develop into perennial contenders nationally and in the Big East. Pointer recruited seven eventual WNBA Draft picks during her 14 years as an assistant and coached two Big East Rookies of the Year and four Big East Defensive Players of the Year at Rutgers, as defense would become a trademark of the young coach’s career following in Coach Stringer’s footsteps.
Following a three-year career in the WNBA, Pointer entered the coaching profession as an assistant at Columbia from 2004-06, followed by an Atlantic 10 Championship year at Xavier in 2006-07 before the eight-year stint at Rutgers. Pointer was then hired at St. John’s, where the Red Storm were ranked among the top-three defenses during her two seasons from 2015-17. She then served as an assistant at Northwestern in 2017-18 before landing her first head coaching job at Illinois-Chicago from 2018-22.
A four-year starter at Rutgers, Pointer became one of the top point guards in program history and in the Big East, where she was the only player in conference history to record 1,000 points, 700 assists, 500 rebounds, and 250 steals. She was the 1998 Big East Rookie of the Year and a two-time First Team selection. Pointer led her team to 10 wins in the NCAA tournament, earning two NCAA All-Tournament Team selections. She paced the Big East in assists twice. The WBCA and the Associate Press both placed her on their honorable mention All-America teams in consecutive seasons. As a senior, Pointer became the first player in Rutgers history to record a triple-double, a feat she would repeat three more times in 2000-01.
Pointer left Rutgers as the school’s all time – men’s or women’s – leader in assists and steals. She still holds the NCAA tournament record for assists in a game, with 18 against Stephen F. Austin in 2001. She led the Scarlet Knights to unprecedented success in the NCAA tournament, where they won multiple games in three seasons. Twice they were eliminated by the eventual national champion, and once by the eventual runner-up. Pointer led the team to wins over No. 1 Tennessee and No. 2 UConn in 1998, helping Rutgers become the first unranked team to defeat both a No. 1 and a No. 2 team. The win over UConn snapped the Huskies’ Big East record 47-game conference winning streak. Another upset followed in 2001, when Pointer and the Scarlet Knights handed top-ranked Notre Dame their first loss of the season in front of a record crowd at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. She graduated as the eighth all-time leading scorer and still has the top two single-season assist totals in program history.
Pointer earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass media from Rutgers in 2001, and received a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from the school in 2003. She is married to Kwabena Yamoah and they are the proud parents of daughters, Nariah and Anaiah.


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