Lancaster Bible College and the Lancaster Bible College Athletic Department are pleased to announce Joyous Tharrington has been hired as the 26th coach in program history. Tharrington most recently served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I University of North Carolina Asheville in Asheville, N.C., and takes over for Katelyn Vanderhoff who stepped down in May.
Tharrington has assisted UNC Asheville in four straight winning seasons, including an NCAA Tournament berth in her first season in 2016-17. The Bulldogs also advanced to the Big South Conference semifinals or better in each of her first three seasons on the bench in Asheville. Prior to her time in Asheville, Tharrington served as a graduate assistant at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and was a part of the coaching staff that guided the Flames to the NCAA Tournament during the 2014-15 season, as the team went 26-7, and 19-1 in Big South Conference play.
In addition to coaching at the NCAA Division I level, Tharrington also played at the top level, as she played two seasons at the University of Richmond, followed by two years at George Mason University. While at George Mason, Tharrington served as team captain, and was the co-founder of the campus Athletics in Action group.
Tharrington’s ability to lead, build relationships, and live out her faith is what caught Lancaster Bible Director of Athletics Pete Beers‘ attention during the search for the program’s next coach.
“I’m very excited for Joy, because not only does she talk about her faith, she walks her faith on a daily basis,” Beers said. “We were blessed to have a number of qualified candidates apply for this job, especially our final two candidates, and I’m excited about Joy’s credentials, and equally excited for the path of the women’s basketball program here at Lancaster Bible.”
Lancaster Bible will be Tharrington’s first head coaching position, but she said her previous positions as an assistant coach at two very strong programs have helped prepared her.
“Relationship building is my number one goal, and when you have a good relationship with your student-athletes, you can eliminate a lot of issues,” Tharrington explained. “I want to grow these ladies as disciples, and really build the culture of the program during the first year. I feel if we can build the culture, we can really build a great path forward.”
Tharrington also said she wasn’t concerned with moving from NCAA Division I to NCAA Division III, though she did say there are things she must learn.
“I believe I have a good idea of what this position will take to be successful, and I am looking forward to building something of my own,” Tharrington said. “There is a lot to learn in switching divisions, but I’m excited to learn, and truly feel as though I have been called by God to take this opportunity.”
Tharrington has had a chance to talk with the returning members of the program, and has also watched a few games from last season as well, and remarked that she is excited to help the ladies realize their potential.
“There seems to be a lot of untapped potential with these ladies, and I’m excited to invest and develop that talent,” Tharrington said. “I’ve had good conversations with some of them, and can’t wait to grow more with them. If you are eager to work and learn, which the team seems to be, then a group like that can do a lot.”
In addition to helping the team realize its potential, Tharrington also wants to bring excitement to the program that will then transfer to the school and local community.
“I hope my energy is contagious not only for the program, but for the school and the community,” Tharrington said. “I want our ladies to carry themselves well, and really bring a spark to the program.”
Joyous Tharrington statement on being hired at Lancaster Bible College.
I am honored and thrilled to be joining the Lancaster Bible College family. I believe strongly in the mission of the institution and know this is a special place. I look forward to building our young women through a commitment to relationships, discipleship, and a culture of discipline. Our program’s mission will be to grow disciples who exemplify Christ’s standard of excellence in relationship to Himself, in how we treat our neighbors, and in how we approach all endeavors. While we grow as disciples we will also strive to increase our platform through success on the court. Our process toward winning will be characterized by integrity, discipline, purpose, passion, and an unmatched work ethic.
I am also looking forward to working with the LBC community to provide the most encouraging and fertile ground for growth and development of all students. It is an environment that aligns with my values and allows for my gifts to be used to touch others and build God’s kingdom agenda. He couldn’t have provided a better fit and clear answer to prayer!D3 Lancaster Bible