Wittenberg hires former CJ, UConn star to coach women’s basketball

04/09/98; Tamika Williams smiles as she is named the Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year Wednesday.
DIGITAL IMAGE
04/09/98; Tamika Williams smiles as she is named the Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year Wednesday. DIGITAL IMAGE

Credit: SKIP PETERSON

Credit: SKIP PETERSON

Tamika Williams, one of the great players in Ohio history, has coached at Ohio State the last two seasons

Wittenberg University has hired Tamika Jeter as its new women’s basketball head coach, according to a source Thursday. The hiring will be officially announced Friday.

The former Tamika Williams spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Ohio State. The Dayton native was the nation’s top-ranked recruit as a senior at Chaminade Julienne in 1998. She scored 2,015 points in her high school career and then followed it up with a standout career at Connecticut, scoring 1,402 points while helping to lead the Huskies to national championships in 2000 and 2002.

» PHOTOS: Tamika Jeter through the years

Jeter, 41, started her coaching career at Ohio State in 2002 and stayed with the program until 2008. She later spent time at Kansas, Kentucky and Penn State before returning to Ohio State before the start of the 2019-20 season.

Jeter also played in the WNBA from 2002-08. She joins longtime WNBA head coach Brian Agler, a Wittenberg alum who was hired in January as athletic director, in Springfield.

Jeter will be Wittenberg’s ninth head coach and fourth since Pam Evans Smith, the all-time winningest coach in program history (401-169 from 1986-2007).

The Tigers last won the North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship in 2010, the third season for coach Sarah Jurewicz. They have won eight NCAC tournament championships, most recently in 2015. That was also the last time Wittenberg played in the NCAA tournament. It has made eight appearances in all.

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Valerie Driscoll led the team as an interim coach this past season. The Tigers finished 5-3 in a season that didn’t start until February because of the pandemic and featured only North Coast Athletic Conference games.

Driscoll replaced Brian Neal, who was hired last May but left to take an assistant coaching job at Butler in December.

Neal replaced Kelly Mahlum, who stepped down on April 10, 2020, to take the head coaching job at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. Mahlum was 63-45 (.583) in her four seasons.

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