Tulane WBB Coaching and Support Staff Update

Tulane’s head women’s basketball coach Ashley Langford recently announced her complete 2024-25 coaching and support staff.

The new coaches joining Coach Langford on the sidelines this season are assistant coach Darrick Gibbs; assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Joe Silvestri; assistant coach Rena Wakama, assistant coach/video coordinator Shyan Mwai; and director of basketball operations Cherise Beynon. The team is also retaining Moon Ursin, whose new title is assistant coach/director of player development. 

“I’m ecstatic to announce the additions to my staff,” Langford said. “Each of them will be an asset to Tulane and the New Orleans community.”

Gibbs, a 20-year veteran of the coaching profession, is a former head coach at the University of North Florida (UNF), who most recently worked as an assistant at Clemson University for the 2023-24 season. While at Clemson, the Tigers totaled 12 victories and saw Amari Robinson earn All-ACC selection under his tutelage. In his eight years in charge of the Ospreys, the program set school records for points (126) and assists (43) in a game, while also producing the school’s first ever WNBA draft choice in 2022 with Jazz Bond (Dallas Wings). Additionally, Gibbs led the program to its best finish in school history in 2021, four consecutive ASUN Tournament Semifinal appearances, six ASUN All-Conference honors and two ASUN Newcomers of the Year. Before taking over at UNF, Gibbs had assistant coach stops at Miami, Charlotte, College of Charleston and Wofford.

“I am elated to have Coach Gibbs join our staff,” said Langford. “He’s a veteran coach who has a wealth of knowledge and has won at several different collegiate levels. His head coaching experience will be a tremendous asset; not only for me, but for our players and staff. Lastly, Gibbs knows what it takes to help our players win on and off the court.”

Silvestri arrives at Tulane after spending the last three years working as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State. The team had a First Team All-Southern Conference player in Nevaeh Brown during the 2023-24 campaign after a historic season, boasting the largest women’s basketball turnaround in the country (+19 wins). Those 25 wins were also a new school record for the Buccaneers. Before his time at ETSU, Silvestri also had assistant coach stops at North Florida, FIU and UCF.

“Joe is a relentless recruiter with a high basketball IQ,” Langford said. “His energy is infectious and he has the ability to connect with all different types of people. Joe’s passion for student-athlete welfare and the game of basketball shines daily. Our women will benefit from his guidance on and off the court.”

Wakama formerly worked as an assistant coach at Stony Brook University under Coach Langford. Last season, she aided the Seawolves to a school-record 28 wins, the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) regular season title, plus the CAA Player of the Year (Gigi Gonzalez) and CAA Coach of the Year distinction for Coach Langford. Prior to her time at Stony Brook, Wakama had assistant coach stops at Manhattan College and the Carolina Flames AAU organization. She was also named the head coach of Nigerian National Team in July 2023, where she became the first female head coach in history to win the FIBA Afrobasket. This summer she will lead the senior team as its prepares for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. 

“Rena has the ability to develop relationships with players and recruits that will immediately elevate our program,” said Langford. “Also, her experience as the Nigerian National Team head coach will be valuable to our program. I’m excited that she is a part of our staff and the New Orleans community.”

Mwai also arrives at Tulane from Stony Brook, where she worked in a video coordinator role last season. In 2022-23, she played her final college basketball season at Long Island University, appearing in 29 games with 19 starts while averaging 7.4 points and serving as a team captain. Mwai started her collegiate playing career at Iona University, where she played four seasons.

“I’m so glad Shy made the trip down to Nola!” Langford said. “She is a bright, young coach who is hard-working and is passionate about our program. Shy’s positive energy is contagious and the Tulane community will always see her smiling.”

Beynon served in the same director of operations role for Coach Langford at Stony Brook last season. Before her time at Stony Brook, Beynon was a graduate assistant at Loyola Marymount after enjoying a four-year career as the starting point guard for New Mexico. She collected All-Mountain West First Team honors three times after being selected to the league’s All-Freshman Team. Beynon was named CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team twice and then went on to be the school’s first National Academic All-American. Upon graduation, Beynon played professional basketball overseas in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Germany.

“Cherise is an absolute star in this business,” said Langford. “Her love for our players and program shows every day. She works extremely hard and her ability to connect with people will allow us to establish relationships on campus and in the community.”

Ursin returns for her third season at Tulane in a coaching position, fourth overall and first in the role of assistant coach/director of player development in 2024-25. The Destrehan, Louisiana native averaged 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in aiding the Green Wave to a 2022 WNIT berth, while earning First Team All-American Athletic Conference honors and being named the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Ursin came to Uptown from Baylor, where she aided the program in its 2019 NCAA National Championship, a run to the 2021 Elite Eight, four regular season Big 12 Championships and three Big 12 Tournament Championship titles.

“Moon is a local legend, and I am excited that I was able to retain her,” Langford said. “She knows firsthand what it means to be a Tulane women’s basketball player and takes a lot of pride in helping her alma mater be successful. Also, her WNBA experience is great for our players as many of them aspire to play professionally.”


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