Goucher College Director of Athletics and Associate Dean of Students Andrew Wu announced Wednesday that Joya Whittington, who has spent eight seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Lackawanna College, has been named Goucher’s head women’s basketball coach and will officially begin on Monday, June 6. Whittington becomes the ninth head coach in the Gophers’ NCAA era.
“I want to thank Andrew Wu and the entire search committee for giving me this opportunity to lead this women’s basketball program. It was evident from my first meeting with the committee that Goucher is a special place with a very supportive college community,” said Whittington. “I am beyond excited to dive in with the team and begin to build a program. I was honored to meet a few of the ladies throughout the hiring process and was very impressed with their passion, excitement and focus.”
“Throughout this search, Joya’s qualifications as an experienced and decorated head coach made her stand out. Perhaps more importantly, she was consistently described by interviewers as “someone I would like to play for.”,” said Wu. “Women’s basketball is ready to step up and I think we’ve found a fantastic fit with Coach Whittington, who buys into our institution’s values and has the ability to continue building this program.”
Whittington has served as head coach at Lackawanna, located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, since the 2013-14 season, with a one-year stint at Division I Lamar University in the 2015-16 campaign. Over her tenure at Lackawanna, she has compiled a 159-66 (.707) record including three straight seasons with 25-plus wins from 2017-20. In 2018-19 Whittington guided the Falcons to a 27-9 mark and the Final Four of the NJCAA tournament.
A three-time NJCAA District Coach of the Year, Whittington has guided Lackawanna to the NJCCA tournament three times, the most recent coming in 2020-21 when the Falcons went 12-6 in an abbreviated season. The Falcons captured three NJCAA District championships and won at least 20 games on four occasions while finishing with a winning record in seven of eight seasons.
During her tenure at Lackawanna, Whittington coached and developed five NJCAA All-Americans, 16 All-Region players and two Region Players of the Year.
In addition to coaching at Lackawanna, Whittington also served the College in several off-court roles. She is currently Lackawanna’s Director of Student Financial Services. From 2017-21 Whittington was the Director of Athletics, overseeing 11 varsity programs, and she also was the athletic department’s Senior Woman Administrator during her time as head coach.
Whittington was a student-athlete at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa. During her collegiate career, Whittington helped propel the team to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in the 2009-10 season. In her junior and senior seasons, she served as team captain, and as a senior guided the Griffins to a 23-win season and the semifinals of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. Over her four-year career, Whittington played in 112 career games, scored 548 career points, and secured 470 rebounds. She also had 155 assists and 112 steals.
She earned a Business degree from Seton Hill University in 2011. Upon graduation, Whittington joined the coaching ranks as an assistant women’s basketball coach for the Griffins. She also obtained an MBA with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Studies from Seton Hill in 2013.D3 Goucher