June 20, 2002
CLEMSON, SC – Former Florida assistant Joi Williams has been named an assistant women’s basketball coach at Clemson according to Head Coach Jim Davis Thursday.
Williams was an assistant coach for the Florida Lady Gator women’s basketball program for the past 12 years and served as the chief recruiter on Carol Ross’ staff.
Williams was raised in Jacksonville, FL and played prep ball at Bishop Kenny. She then attended the University of South Florida in Tampa to continue her basketball career. Williams was a four-year starter at South Florida from 1984-88. Williams is seventh on the career assists list and held the record for most blocked shots in a game upon her graduation. After only a few years in Gainesville, she developed a reputation as one of the premier assistant coaching talents. Lindy’s Basketball Annuals listed her as one of the Top Young Recruiters in the nation in their 1994-95 preseason guide.
Williams was responsible for an arrival of every student athlete into the Florida program during the Carol Ross era. The recruitment of All-American Merlakia Lake Jones (Cleveland Rockers) began a successful trend for Williams and the Lady Gators. Jones was named All-SEC three times and led her team to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and became UF all-time leading scorer. Williams also recruited DeLisha Milton (Los Angeles Sparks) who was a member of the 2000 USA Olympic team and was Florida’s first Kodak first-team All-American and the first SEC Player-of-the-Year for the Gators. Murriel Page (Washington Mystics) was a 1998 Kodak first-team All-American. Both Page and Milton earned selections to several USA Basketball teams while being first round draft selections in the WNBA.
Other WNBA players that Williams recruited while at Florida include: Tonya Washington (Washington Mystics) Brandi McCain (Cleveland Rockers), and Bridget Pettis (Indiana Fever). Current Florida standout Vanessa Hayden is a Williams’ recruit as well.
Williams’ job description however was not limited to recruiting. She worked with the wing players, while serving as the program’s liaison with USA Basketball and professional teams. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Williams was active with the team in several community and charity events. She earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing from South Florida in 1988.
“Joi is a proven division I recruiter having served as a recruiting coordinator at Florida for 12 years,” said Clemson Head Coach Jim Davis. “She is primarily responsible for bringing six players to Florida who play in the WNBA. She will head up our recruiting efforts and her success will be very beneficial.”
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