Pictured is UD women’s head basketball coach Tamika Williams-Jeter. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.
Tori Miller | News Editor
Tamika Williams-Jeter was announced as the head coach of the University of Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team on March 26. Ever since the initial announcement and the Flyers home opener on Nov. 10, Williams-Jeter has been very excited to see what the season will bring.
As a Dayton native and graduate of Chaminade Julienne High School, Williams-Jeter has been welcomed home with open arms. For the first home game, the stands were filled with her family and close friends to cheer on the Flyers.
Williams-Jeter reflected on what coaching at Dayton has been like so far.
“We come here and create enough energy to win a lot of games,” she said. “It’s been a challenge, but that challenge keeps you coming to work everyday, right?”
As a former Division I basketball player for the University of Connecticut and assistant coach for several college teams — including Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky and Penn State — Williams-Jeter has plenty of experience under her belt to lead the women to victory this season. Prior to UD, Williams-Jeter was the head coach at Wittenberg University for the 2021-22 season.
“I had great coaches and my college coach Jim Foster, who gave me my first job, helped me to see the game from a broader view,” she said. “I think the thing that’s helped me the most is being coached by so many different people, you get different ideas on how to do things.”
Williams-Jeter has experience coaching in many college basketball conferences, but she is highly anticipating A-10 conference play since it will be brand new to her. She said she looks forward to learning more about the conference, how it works, how different coaches coach and what the Flyers can learn by playing against their conference rivals.
When asked who she was most excited to play against, Williams-Jeter responded with a confident “everybody.” The Flyers are practicing to be battle tested and are willingly taking on a brutal non-conference schedule as a chance to get in the right direction and get used to playing together as a team, according to Williams-Jeter.
Dayton will be taking on notable competitors such as Mississippi on Nov. 21, Kentucky on Nov. 23, Florida on Dec. 4 and Texas A&M on Dec. 20.
With a new coach and fresh players this season, Williams-Jeter hopes to help see her team advance to another level. She said Dayton is a tournament program every year and that they go a little bit further each time they compete.
Williams-Jeter said she is excited about getting a group of individuals together who don’t know each other, having them learn to play together and becoming one team. The Flyers are not only striving for a successful season, but want to go far in the NCAA tournament since Dayton women haven’t been to the Elite 8 since 2015.
“Getting to that level again would be where I want the program to go in the future,” she said.
As a team that’s still learning how to play together, Williams-Jeter said that the team hasn’t developed any gameday traditions or rituals just yet. As a non-superstitious person herself, she makes sure to honor her father during the National Anthem before starting every game.
“I say a little prayer,” she said. “I think about the players that have become family and teammates, and I think about my dad who passed away a few years back. That’s the only thing I do because you can’t control it.”
You can catch Williams-Jeter and the Flyers Thursday as they take on Northern Kentucky at home. The women will travel to the Bahamas the following week for the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship where they play Ole Miss and Kentucky.