With her 27 years of coaching experience, the Chicago State Cougars hired Andrea Williams as their women’s head basketball coach for the 2022-23 season.
According to Interim Director of Athletics Jessica Poole, Williams is a veteran coach with Division I, Division II and Division III women’s basketball experience. She comes to CSU after three years of leading the Division II Fort Valley State Wildcats program. “We are very excited to welcome Coach Andrea Williams to Chicago State to lead our women’s basketball program,” said Poole in a statement to the Crusader.
“After conducting a search, it was clear that coach Williams’ vision for excellence both on and off the court was in perfect harmony with our University and Athletic Department values. We look forward to watching the growth of our young women on and off the court under her leadership.”
During her time at Fort Valley State, Williams led the Wildcats to a first-year record of 13-14 and 9-8 in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, earning victories in two of her first three games on the way to the program’s most wins in six years.
In her first season, the Wildcats earned a home upset win over nationally-ranked and SIAC Tournament and East Division champion Benedict College, a sweep of rival Albany State, a victory over regionally-ranked West Georgia and led NCAA Division II in offensive rebounds (19.8 rpg) and third in rebounds per game (48.1 rpg).
In three seasons at Fort Valley State, she accumulated a 28-34 record and a 17-22 Southern Intercollegiate Conference mark.
“I am very happy to join the CSU family and work with some tremendous people at the University. [Athletics Director] Poole shared with me a great vision for this program and for the entire Athletics Department. This is a very exciting time to be a Cougar, and I look forward to building this program and finding the right players to join us.”
Prior to leading Fort Valley State, Williams was an assistant coach at two Division I schools, Oakland University (2016-19) and Purdue Fort Wayne (2015-16), following a six-season stint as the head coach of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) women’s basketball program (2010-15).
During her time in Colorado Springs, the Falcons defeated nationally-ranked teams, including Colorado State, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Fresno State and Boise State. Williams began her coaching career at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (1995-97), followed by a head coaching role at Division III Waynesburg University (Pennsylvania) (1997-99). Williams graduated from Vincennes University with an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in physical education and a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Edinboro University. Williams was also an assistant coach at the University of South Florida (2008-10), Jacksonville University (2004-08), the U.S. Naval Academy (2002-04) and the University of Tampa (1999-2002).
During her time at South Florida, the Bulls earned the 2009 Division I NIT tournament crown and while she was at Jacksonville University, Williams was part of Dolphins teams, which defeated the University of Miami, Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.