Mt. Pleasant, IA – March 21, 2021- If you have been a fan of Tiger Athletics since the early 2000s, you will be familiar with one of our longest and most successful women’s basketball head coaches. During his first stint with the Tigers, this head coach accumulated 246 wins, four conference championships, five conference tournament championships, and eight national tournament appearances, one of which ended in the Tigers finishing as runner-up in 2016. In 2009, the women’s basketball team was the #14 ranked team in the country and appeared in the “Sweet 16” and the “Elite 8” in the national tournament. He also had several players earn All-American honors, including five first-teamers, and four players earn Player of the Year honors under his leadership. He also earned Coach of the Year honors three times during his previous tenure at Iowa Wesleyan. This individual, a 2000 Iowa Wesleyan graduate, was also recently inducted into the Iowa Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2019.
This afternoon Iowa Wesleyan announced Steve Williamson would be returning to Iowa Wesleyan to serve as the head women’s basketball coach. Williamson will be taking control of the Tiger women’s basketball program to build upon his previous success and further the women’s basketball legacy at Iowa Wesleyan.
“This is an exciting day for Iowa Wesleyan University and the women’s basketball program,” said Derek Zander, vice president for athletics and advancement. “Coach Williamson is one of the best small college coaches in the country and has a proven track record of success both in the classroom and on the court. Williamson’s return to Iowa Wesleyan, coupled with our return to the NAIA, will bring the energy and excitement back to our historic women’s basketball program.”
Since leaving IW, Williamson has been the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at William Penn University. There, he was awarded the Heart of America Coach of the Year in 2017-18 and 2018-19, led his team to become Heart of America Conference Champions in 2018-19 (the first time in 31 years), had three teams become NAIA National Tournament Qualifiers, finished the regular season ranked ninth in the country in 2019, coached three All-Americans, and coached one Conference Player of the Year. He also coached 10 All-Conference athletes, three All-Americans, seven academic Heart Scholar-Athletes, and five NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
“I want to thank President Plunkett and Derek Zander for the opportunity to come back to Iowa Wesleyan and the Mount Pleasant community to lead the women’s basketball program again,” said Williamson. “I am looking forward to building our program back to one of the top programs in the NAIA. Iowa Wesleyan has been a huge part of my life and my family’s life, and we are happy to be part of the Iowa Wesleyan family. Looking forward to seeing the community support and students in the stands next year!”
Tiger Athletics will host a press conference for Coach Williamson in the Social Hall of the Howe Student Activity Center tomorrow, March 22nd, at 5:00 pm. Space will be limited due to Covid-19 regulations, but the event will also be streamed live online here.
Tiger Athletics: Iowa Wesleyan University strives to provide its student-athletes the opportunity to be successful in life and sports. Engaged in the SLIAC and UMAC Conferences, Tiger athletics is a current member of NCAA Division III, but will make the transition to NAIA beginning July 1, 2021.