Tulane’s Stockton announces retirement

Tulane women’s basketball head coach Lisa Stockton announced her retirement following 30 years as the Green Wave’s head women’s basketball coach.

Stockton, the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach in the state of Louisiana and newest inductee to the Conference USA Hall of Fame, wrapped up her third decade at the helm during the 2023-24 season. Her 591 career Division I victories ranked her 14th among all active Division I coaches this season and her 654 overall wins put her 27th on the NCAA’s all-time active wins list.

Stockton’s victories represent 78 percent of the program’s overall win total since its first season (1975-76). Stockton has coached eight players and one team who have been inducted into the Tulane Hall of Fame as well as five WNBA players.

A press conference with Stockton and Ben Weiner Director of Athletics Chair David Harris will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Family Club. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and fans are welcome to attend. There will be free parking available in the Claiborne Lot and an ADA shuttle will run from 12:30 p.m. through the end of the event.

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to represent this great university for 30 years,” Stockton said. “I came to New Orleans for a job but found a home and a perfect fit with a university that values athletics and academics at the highest level. I am so proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved on the court; however, it is the relationships with the players, coaches, and staff that I will cherish the most.”

A 30-year veteran of the Division I head coaching ranks, Stockton is one of the most respected names in all of college basketball. The Greensboro, N.C. native was named one of the 25 most influential women in Louisiana sports history by The Advocate in 2022. In 2020, Silver Waves Media tabbed her as one of the 100 Most Impactful People nationally across the sport of women’s college basketball. To that end, Stockton was a member of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Issues Committee and was previously on its Academic Subcommittee. Dubbed one of CitiBusiness’s 2007 Women of the Year, she is currently on the NCAA regional ranking committee, has also had two stints on the Kodak All-American Committee, twice chaired the C-USA Women’s Basketball Coaches and served four terms as the WBCA Conference Captain. 

A 2017 inductee to the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame, Stockton was named her league’s Coach of the Year three times and Louisiana’s Coach of the Year twice. Entering the season, she was also one of only two active coaches (Stanford’s Tara Vanderveer) to take one of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 40 academic institutions to at least 11 NCAA Tournaments.

“Lisa’s commitment to her student athletes is unparalleled – every four-year player has completed their degrees under her leadership,” Tulane President Michael A. Fitts said. “She is a champion, not only on the court, but also in the lives of so many student-athletes, coaches and staff who have been part of our women’s basketball program.”

Stockton also made the Pelican State a priority in the construction of her program. Of the 23 players who became members of Tulane’s 1,000-Point Club during her tenure, 13 hailed from the state of Louisiana. She also had eight players inducted to the school’s athletic Hall of Fame with five coming via homegrown talent.

In NOLA, Stockton led Tulane to 21 postseason appearances, while averaging nearly 20 wins a season. She also helped the Olive and Blue secure five conference tournament championships and four regular season conference titles. While leading the Green Wave, Stockton mentored six All-Americans and five WNBA draft picks.

While team success was the ultimate goal, individual recognition was a constant as well under her leadership. In her 30 years, Tulane saw 28 different student-athletes earn all-conference honors 53 times and 13 receive All-Freshman recognition.

“You cannot talk about the history of Tulane University, and its athletic department, without prominently mentioning Lisa Stockton and all of her wonderful accomplishments,” said Harris. “Winning the ‘right way’ has become a phrase that can be overused at times in this business. However, Lisa made sure that truly happened at Tulane and so many in New Orleans are better for it.

“I believe that the way we competed in the AAC women’s basketball tournament this year is an indication of the culture, spirit and resilience of our program. We will forever be indebted to Lisa for 30 years of service to Tulane Athletics and we thank her for her positive impact on the lives of the young women who were fortunate enough to call her coach.”

Stockton’s own playing career began at Greensboro’s Western Guilford High School before heading to Wake Forest University. During her four years with the Demon Deacons (1983-86), she set the school’s career records in scoring (1,347), scoring average (12.1 ppg), field goals made (592), field goals attempted (1,262), field goal percentage (.462), assists (330), steals (206) and minutes played (3,385).

Stockton still holds the Wake Forest record for consecutive games started (97) and still ranks in the top 10 for points, made field goals, assists and steals. As a senior, she was named honorable mention Fast Break All-American after scoring 473 points and hitting 204-of-415 shots (.491), pulling down 94 rebounds, dishing out 97 assists and tallying 58 steals.

Stockton earned a spot on the ACC Academic Honor Roll following each of her final two seasons and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in health and sports science in 1986. 

She was drafted by the National Women’s Basketball Association following her senior season but chose instead to begin her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at the University of North Carolina for the 1986-87 season where she helped the Tar Heels go 19-10 overall, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Stockton also enveloped herself in post-graduate studies and completed her master’s degree in 1987. 

From there, she accepted her first collegiate head coaching position at Division III Greensboro College. In three seasons, she helped guide the Pride to a combined 63-27 record en route to a pair of Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors.

Stockton returned to the Division I level the following year when she accepted the top assistant position at Georgia Tech. While there, she was responsible for coordinating recruiting efforts, monitoring academic progress, the supervision of scheduling and coaching the offense. In her four years in Atlanta, the Ramblin’ Wreck went 63-52, including a 20-win campaign in 1991-92. The following season, Georgia Tech advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. 

Stockton then came to NOLA for the 1994-95 season, where she led the Green Wave to nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

A national search for Stockton’s successor is underway. Collegiate Sports Associates will assist with the search.

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