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WSSU Names Dee Stokes Head Women’s Basketball Coach
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Director of Athletics, Dr. Chico Caldwell announced on Tuesday that Dee Stokes has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Winston-Salem State University, replacing John Williams who was released at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season.
Stokes, who has 12 years of coaching experience, spent the last two seasons as an assistant under Bud Childers at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.
“We conducted an extensive search process, and from that process, we had 53 very qualified candidates. The search committee that was assembled for this hiring was extremely excited about the quality of the candidates that the search generated, and we are happy to bring in Dee as our new head women’s basketball coach.”
“We are happy that she brings with her a Division I playing and coaching background and understands what it takes to build a program, both academically and athletically. I feel that she truly captures the vision the University has about college athletics and how it relates to academics. She brings with her a wealth of experience and ability both in the coaching and teaching realm, but also in terms of recruiting and all other facets that make an athletic program great.” Dr. Caldwell said on Tuesday.
Stokes, who served as the head women’s basketball coach at East Carolina University from 1998 through 2002, played college basketball at Wake Forest University for two seasons before transferring to UNC-Charlotte from where she graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. In December of 2004, Stokes earned her Master’s of Public Administration from DeVry University.
Following her undergraduate graduation, Stokes entered the coaching profession and held assistant coaching positions at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Murray State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Nebraska until 1998 when she was hired at ECU.
During her five years as an assistant coach, the schools at which she served made three NCAA tournament appearances, captured two conference tournament championships and one regular season title. Stokes helped to lead ECU to three consecutive winning seasons from 1998 to 2001 marking the first time in 14 years that feat had been accomplished.
In 2001, she was selected to serve as an assistant coach for the USA Basketball Team that captured the gold medal at the World University Games in Beijing, China.
“I am grateful and I thank God for the opportunity that Dr. Caldwell and Chancellor Martin have given me. I truly appreciate their show of support for me, and I am excited to be the head women’s basketball coach at Winston-Salem State University.” Stokes said on Tuesday.
“I look forward to the challenge of taking this program from its transitionary period into NCAA Division I. I think that this will be a tremendous challenge, but one that I am looking forward to. I can’t wait to get started.”
Stokes inherits a Lady Rams team that went 10-18 last season, their final year in NCAA Division II and the CIAA. WSSU will begin the second year of a five-year NCAA transition period as the Rams and Lady Rams make the move to full NCAA Division I member status during the 2009-10 season.
Stokes will commence her coaching duties at WSSU immediately.