Nicole Woods, an experienced collegiate coach and tireless recruiter, has been named the 12th head coach in UNCW women’s basketball history, Director of Athletics Michael Oblinger announced late Thursday.
Woods takes over the Seahawk program after 10 years on the staff at Charlotte, where she most recently served as associate head coach under 49ers Head Coach Cara Consuegra.
She also worked as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Stetson (2011-13) after beginning her coaching career as a graduate assistant at SIU Carbondale (2009-11).
Woods will be introduced at a press conference on Monday, Apr. 17, at 3 p.m. in the Golden Hawk Room of the Nixon Annex.
“We’re very excited to welcome Nicole to the Seahawk family,” said Oblinger. “She has an excellent basketball pedigree and will bring new excitement to our program. Our student-athletes and staff will enjoy getting to know Nicole as the program prospers. It’s a great day for our women’s basketball program and Seahawk Nation.”
Woods, a native of Gastonia, N.C., and recruiting coordinator for the 49ers over the last six seasons, helped Charlotte pile up four WNIT berths (2014, 2016, 2019, 2021) and one NCAA Tournament appearance. The 49ers captured the 2022 Conference USA Championship.
Charlotte racked up five winning seasons and four 20-win campaigns during her time in the Queen City. With Woods on the staff, the 49ers recorded a C-USA winning percentage of .500 or better in nine straight seasons from 2013-22, capped by a 15-3 conference mark in the 2022 championship season.
“I want to thank Chancellor Volety, Mike Oblinger and Tiffany Tucker for believing in me,” said Woods. “The three of us will do remarkable things together. It will be a pleasure to work for such an amazing administration and I am ready to lead this program to progressing daily, while positively impacting the lives of these young ladies.”
“In recruiting I tell recruits they should go where they’re celebrated not where they’re tolerated. I felt celebrated and wanted from the first conversation I had with Mike and Tiffany. I believe in timing and alignment. This is the perfect time and the mission and values of UNCW align with my core values. The time is now!
“I don’t take for granted the opportunity at hand. Helping people is my calling in life. I look forward to cultivating relationships and pouring into those around me. Words cannot express my gratitude and I am ready to hit the ground running!”
Woods primarily worked with the backcourt at Charlotte, helping numerous players run the team’s high-octane offense while contributing on the defensive end. She mentored several All-Conference performers, including Syracuse transfer Jade Phillips, a 2020 C-USA First-Team and All-Defensive selection, who averaged 14.1 ppg and 8.7 rpg over two seasons.
In addition to Phillips, Woods headed up the recruiting efforts for three-time All-Conference selections Jada McMillan and Octavia Jett-Wilson. McMillan started 117 games and collected 120 steals. Jett-Wilson was the 2022 C-USA Player of the Year and is Charlotte’s all-time leader in games played (143), games started (123) and minutes played (4,157). She ranks second in free throws made (490) and third on the school’s all-time scoring list (1,812).
Woods’ recruiting acumen has extended from the state of North Carolina to the national level. The 49ers featured their first all-North Carolina freshman class in 2018-19 and Charlotte has added several Power Five transfers in recent years.
At Stetson, Woods played a key role when the Hatters and Head Coach Lynn Bria cranked out a school record 23 victories and the program’s first WNIT berth in 2012. Woods and the Hatters went on to capture the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship, earning an NCAA First-Round matchup vs. No. 3-seeded UCLA.
Woods arrived at Stetson following two years as a graduate assistant coach at SIU Carbondale, where she worked under Missy Tiber, who coached Woods during her playing days at Belmont Abbey. Woods was responsible for team travel, video exchange, game day operations and oversaw the team managers. She also assisted with film breakdown, scouting, community relations, graduating in 2011 with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Woods recruited Stetson’s all-time leading scorer, Brianti Saunders, who poured in 1,975 points for the Hatters. Saunders joined Victoria McGowan, Jama Sharp and Sasha Sims as former players for Woods who made the ASUN Conference’s All Decade Team.
Saunders ranks fourth all-time in ASUN history for career points and earned three All-Conference and nine Player of Week selections. McGowan was named 2012 ASUN Player of the Year and earned Tournament MVP honors in 2011 after helping Stetson capture the ASUN title. Sharp racked up two First Team All-ASUN selections during her career in DeLand. Sims earned postseason honors in each of her years in Deland, being named to the All-Conference Team from 2012-14 and to the All-Freshman Team in 2011.
Woods played four seasons at Belmont Abbey (2002-06), where she blossomed into an NCAA Division II Bulletin Second-Team All-American, averaging 24.1 ppg, less than .01 ppg behind the national leader. Woods was also selected Carolina-Virginia Athletic Conference (now Conference Carolinas) Player of the Year after averaging 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists during her senior campaign.
Woods earned degrees in Accounting and Business Management at Belmont-Abbey and graduated in 2006 as the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,641 points. Her 676 markers in 2005-06 is a school record.
Woods, who was inducted into the Gaston Sports Hall of Fame in 2022, played professionally in England for the Nottingham Wildcats in 2007-08, leading the team in assists and ranking second in scoring.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2023-24 season. Tickets remain $75 per seat. Visit UNCWsports.com/BuyTickets. Current season ticket holders can log in to renew seats today.
The Nicole Woods File
Full Name: Alicia Nicole Woods
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
Education: B.A., Accounting, Belmont Abbey, 2006; B.A., Business, Belmont Abbey, 2006; M.A., Public Administration, SIU Carbondale, 2011
The Woods Coaching Timeline
Graduate Assistant | SIU Carbondale (2 seasons) | 2009-11
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator | Stetson (2 seasons) | 2011-13
Assistant Coach | Charlotte (4 seasons) | 2013-17
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator | Charlotte (5 seasons) | 2017-22
Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator | Charlotte (1 season) | 2022-23