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Background[]

  • Women's Basketball coach at La Salle as of spring 2010
  • Formerly the associate head coach of women's basketball at University of Pittsburgh

Media[]

Williams begins work as La Salle's women's coach in March 2010[]

By Mel Greenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer

After being introduced yesterday at La Salle's Hayman Center as the Explorers' new women's basketball coach, Jeff Williams talked about the challenge of building the team back to respectability.

It's a task he has successfully handled several times as an assistant on several men's and women's coaching staffs.

"We had a similar situation at South Carolina State," Williams said of a stint with the Bulldogs men's team. "They hadn't had a winning program in 10 years, and in year two we won 25 games.

"Pittsburgh was no different, and I had a great head coach in Agnus Berenato."

The 45-year-old Williams, a graduate of Howard University in Washington and until recently an associate head coach at Pittsburgh, was propelled to the top of La Salle's search list because of his strengths in recruiting.

Berenato traveled east yesterday with two of her assistants to give Williams a good send-off.

Berenato and her sister Bernadette McGlade, the Atlantic Ten commissioner, are products of Gloucester Catholic.

Berenato spoke of what impressed her when she hired Williams for her staff at Georgia Tech before their move to the Steel City.

"Bernadette gave me a great recommendation on him," Berenato said. "I watched him in action and really liked his calm personality - not really hyper. He really had the best interests of his student-athletes in his heart and really wanted to go someplace that is family."

La Salle was 7-11 in the 2009-2010 season and missed the Atlantic Ten tournament for the third straight time. Several sources recently said the conference may include all member women's teams in future playoffs.

Williams promised to recruit locally and nationally.

"If we can't get them from Philadelphia, we're going to go elsewhere," Williams said. "I've been in the business long enough to make connections throughout the country.

"But we're going to go after people who want to be at La Salle."

Terms of Williams' deal were not announced, although La Salle has been known to offer three-year packages.

"It's longer than that, and it's competitive within the Atlantic Ten," La Salle athletic director Bob Brennan said.

A source within the conference familiar with salaries of women's coaches said that would mean Williams, on average, got a four- to five-year deal with guaranteed money starting at about $150,000.

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