Elizabeth City State University has named Former WNBA and Wolfpack player Tynesha Lewis as its next Head Women’s Basketball Coach. Athletic Director George Bright announced the hire at a virtual press conference Thursday evening held in the Thorpe Administration building.
“The pressure faced to provide an incredible head coach and leader for our women’s basketball program was something that we took very seriously,” said A.D. Bright. “We’re hiring a seasoned veteran who has absolutely earned the right to be a head coach.“ I firmly believe that coaches have a critical, positive and significant impact on the lives of student-athletes here at ECSU and across our country. I believe that we have the right coach at the right time to lead the Mighty Vikings women’s basketball program now and into the future.“
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the Head Coach of ECSU. The opportunity to return to the 252 is both exciting and humbling,” said Lewis. “I do not take lightly the responsibility of mentoring, coaching and molding the lives of young adults. The goal of our program is to win everywhere. Win in the classroom. Win on the court. Win in the community. Above all, win in life.”
Drafted by the Houston Comets as the 31st pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft, Lewis went on to play in the WNBA for six seasons. Her career is highlighted by two seasons with the Comets in 2001-03, two seasons with the Charlotte Stings in 2003-05, spending her final season in the league with the Minnesota Lynx in 2005-06.
She brings a wealth of experience as a player at the highest level of women’s basketball competition in America.
The North Carolina State University graduate was a four-time All-ACC selection helping to lead the Wolfpack to the Final Four in 1998 and a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2001. She left her mark on the program ranking 1st in triple-doubles recording the only two triple-double performances in school history at that time (male and female programs). Her career averages were 13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals; highlighted by a 1,621 career points.
Lewis comes to ECSU after spending the last three seasons as an assistant women’s basketball coach at North Carolina Central University in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. She has previous coaching experience as a women’s basketball assistant coach at Illinois State University in 2012-13. She was also a graduate assistant at her alma mater, N.C. State.
As a coach she says she is committed to placing an emphasis on leadership, communication, and being results-oriented. Her coaching experience includes scouting, player development, game day analytics, recruiting, building relationships, and much more.
The Macclesfield, North Carolina native brings an abundance of knowledge on and off the court to ECSU with four academic degrees. She graduated from North Carolina State with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry in 2001. In 2004 she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science from NC State. She earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2006 from American InterContinental University and continued her education pursuing a second Master’s Degree in Education/Curriculum with a concentration in Integration of Technology in 2013.
At the forefront of our list was finding a leader with incredible respect for our student athletes, for our department, university, and our ECSU community. Finding a leader with incredible integrity, determination and excellence. An educator. A motivator. An experienced coach with an up-beat tempo playing style, one that has played at a very high level, is student athlete centered, has the right values, understands the vision, and wants to build a championship culture. Coach Lewis embodies all of these things and will incorporate that into taking our program into a new direction.
“Our chancellor, Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, AD Bright, and the ECSU community, have done a great job in leading the way, and laying the foundation for building a culture of champions,” said Lewis. “The 252 is known for its hard-nosed approach and work ethic. These are the same characteristics we will look for in our prospective student-athletes, coaches, and volunteers. A Championship Culture starts with leadership, and ECSU definitely has all the pieces to do something amazing.”
Photo Courtesy ECSU AthleticsCIAA D2 ECSU