Joi Williams named MBB Chief of Staff at South Florida

University of South Florida Head Men’s Basketball Coach Amir Abdur-Rahim has announced the addition of former USF women’s basketball player Joi Williams as his new chief of staff.

A USF graduate, Williams played for the Bulls from 1984-89 and brings over 20 years of head coaching experience in her return to Tampa. Williams was most recently the Assistant Athletic Director for Women’s Basketball at Mississippi State.

“Joi is someone that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and learning from the last 18 years,” said Abdur-Rahim. “I met Joi when she was the head coach at Murray State when I was a graduate assistant. Her teams were disciplined, connected and tenacious defensively. We were able to hire one of the best coaches in the country in Joi for this role.

“I’m excited to learn from Joi, but I’m even more excited to witness her impact on our staff. Being an alum of USF, Joi will be invaluable to our program. She is someone who knows the value of a USF degree and what the relationships with other alumni will do for the future of our players after their basketball careers. Joi is an absolute home run hire for our program.”

Williams has over 20 years of head coaching experience to her name, including 13 as a Division I head coach, while also spending time as an assistant coach in the WNBA with the San Antonio Stars, now the Las Vegas Aces.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Williams spent the 2022-23 season as the Assistant Athletic Director for Women’s Basketball at Mississippi State. Prior to that, she spent four seasons as the Director of Quality Control at Clemson.

Prior to her stint in the WNBA, Williams spent nine seasons as the head coach at the University of Central Florida, where she finished as the winningest head coach in program history with 114 wins. She guided the Knights to a pair of conference tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

Williams also has experience with USA Basketball, where she served a four-year term with the USA Junior National Team Committee. While working with USA Basketball, Williams assisted in selecting coaches and athletes for USA Basketball’s college-aged competitions. She served as an assistant coach in the summer of 2010 for the U-18 USA National Team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship. In 2011 she coached the U-19 USA squad at the World Championships in Chile, earning a second-consecutive gold medal when the US defeated Spain.

Before Williams took the head job at UCF, she was the head coach at Murray State from 2003-07. While leading the Racers, Williams was tasked with rebuilding the program, and she did just that. In her fourth season at Murray State, Williams led her team to a 21-10 overall record and a second-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference.

That season, Williams took Murry State to the WNIT, which was just the second postseason appearance in program history. That year her Racers led the nation in free throw percentage, field goal percentage and scoring offense.

Before serving as the recruiting coordinator at Clemson during the 2002-03 season, Williams was an assistant coach at the University of Florida for 12 seasons from 1990-2002. During her tenure with the Gators, Florida participated in nine NCAA Tournaments and tallied a 247-121 overall record. Williams recruited five All-America selections and nine WNBA Draft picks, including DeLisha Milton-Jones, the 1997 SEC Player of the Year, and a 2000 and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist.

Williams played college basketball at the University of South Florida from 1984-88, where she was a four-year starter. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing in 1988.

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