Alabama head women’s basketball coach Wendell Hudson announced today the hiring of former Tide standout Joni Crenshaw. Crenshaw will join Ty Evans on the Crimson Tide basketball staff as an associate head coach.
“Adding Joni to our staff will be a major contribution to our program,” Hudson said. “Joni is someone who played here at Alabama and was a really good player, good person and also is a great coach, an excellent recruiter.”
“What we are trying to do here is bring back the tradition and former players to get them reconnected with the program, regardless of who they played for or when they played. I think that is key to what we stand for. All the ex-players are welcome.”
Joni Crenshaw completed her third season at Louisiana Tech as a member of head coach Chris Long's coaching staff, her first as the associate head coach following a July 1 promotion.
Crenshaw became only the fourth person to hold the title of associate head coach in the history of the Lady Techster program, joining Leon Barmore, Kim Mulkey-Robertson and Kurt Budke.
“It is great to come home,” Crenshaw said. “I think anyone who knows me, knows I love the University of Alabama and the women’s basketball program. To be able to come back and be a part of the program, it is just exciting and I am happy to be here.”
Crenshaw's No. 1 responsibility was serving as Louisiana Tech's recruiting coordinator, handling both high school and junior colleges, with an emphasis in her home state of Mississippi as well as Alabama where she played collegiately.
Crenshaw's recruiting work paid dividends for Louisiana Tech as she was instrumental in signing high school standouts Shanavia Dowdell (2006 Miss Basketball in Alabama) and Tiawana Pringle (2006 Miss Basketball in Mississippi).
“By playing here and coaching at Troy and Tech, I was able to meet a lot of the players and coaches,” Crenshaw said. “I feel pretty confident about going out and recruiting in the state of Alabama with coach Hudson and Evans. Players in this state want to come to Alabama.”
In addition to recruiting, Crenshaw handled post player development, scouting reports, working the Tech summer basketball camps and attend speaking engagements on behalf of the Lady Techster program.
Crenshaw also helped lead Louisiana Tech to a pair of Western Athletic Conference regular season titles in her first two years and an appearance in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
Prior to coming to Tech, Crenshaw spent three years at Troy University in Alabama where she served as that program's recruiting coordinator. In addition to that duty, she also handled post player development, served as academic coordinator and coordinated Troy State's summer camps.
During those three years, Crenshaw recruited and signed two Atlantic Sun Freshmen of the Year honorees in Laura Lee Holman (2004) and Amy Lewis (2005). Holman was joined by another one of Crenshaw's signees on the 2004 Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen team.
The Meridian, Miss., native lettered four years at the University of Alabama for Coach Rick Moody where during her playing days as a center for the Crimson Tide she scored 716 points, grabbed 555 rebounds and registered 103 blocked shots (third most in the program's history). She started for Moody her final two years while serving as team captain as a senior.
While at Alabama, Crenshaw was named to the Southeastern Conference's Good Works Team for two years and also received the Outstanding Community Service Award (2000-01).
She was named to the SEC's Academic Honor Roll (1998-2001), received a post graduate scholarship for community service from the SEC in 2001 and was recognized as one of the 10 most influential African Americans on campus by the Mentor Fellowship Society (2001).
Crenshaw earned her bachelor's degree in education from Alabama in 2002 and is a candidate for her master's degree in sport and fitness management.
Prior to her collegiate career, Crenshaw prepped at Meridian High School where she was named the 1997 Gatorade Player of the Year and a USA Today All-American while leading the school to a mark of 67-7 over her final two years. She also won three state titles in track and field during her high school days while also being selected as the school's Homecoming Queen in 1996.
Hudson also announced that Evans will join the coaching staff. Evans completed his first season at Capstone after coming to Alabama from Georgetown.
“This is a great opportunity to stay here at Alabama and coach with Wendell and Joni,” Evans said. “Alabama has become home for me and my family and to be able to be a part of this staff and to be a part of this transformation is really exciting.”
A former professional player and coach in Europe, Evans has seven years of Division I coaching experience and one season of professional head coaching acumen to add to the Tide staff.
At Georgetown, he worked under head coach Terri Williams-Flourney, helping the Hoyas to a 23-33 record in his two seasons at GU. Evans helped tutor guard Kieraah Marlow, who earned Big East second team honors both years he was with the school.
Prior to his tenure at Georgetown, Evans spent four years as an assistant at St. Louis University beginning in the 2000-01 season. He helped with the coordination of pre-season and post-season individual instruction, scheduling, film exchange and team travel as well as directing the Billikens summer camps.
During the 2002-03 season, Evans served as head coach with the Ulkiken Eagles, based in Bergen, Norway, and competed in the Norway Professional Men’s League.
Evans also spent time as a player in Europe, where he played in Norway and in Taiwan, including the 1997-98 season, where he won his team’s MVP award in Norway.
In 1999, Evans founded Krossover Basketball, Inc., based out of Janesville, Wis., an organization devoted to using basketball to teach youth the value of conflict resolution, time management and vocational training while promoting the game of basketball through the AAU component of the organization.
A 1995 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Evans earned a degree in secondary education while serving as a co-captain on the basketball team for two seasons. He was a first team All-American for the Warhawks in the 1994-95 campaign.