UVA Names Amaka Agugua-Hamilton as Women’s Basketball Head Coach

– Photo courtesy of Missouri State Athletics

Virginia was in search of a new women’s basketball head coach after terminating the contract of Tina Thompson, who went 30-63 in her four seasons. Athletic director Carla Williams announced that Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton has been named as the successor.

We are thrilled and very fortunate to have recruited Coach Mox to UVA,” Williams said. “She is a gifted teacher, a skilled tactician of the game, and a person who cares deeply about her players and vice versa…. Her integrity, work ethic, passion for education and determination to build something special here at UVA is inspiring.”

Agugua-Hamilton has received praise from various head coaches, especially from those with Virginia ties.

“Amaka is an elite coach and proven winner who understands the expectations and traditions of the University of Virginia,” South Carolina head coach and 1992 Virginia graduate Dawn Staley said. “She brings a culture of success and attracts student-athletes who exemplify the character and athleticism that it takes to win championships.”

“Amaka was an excellent choice to lead the University of Virginia’s Women’s Basketball Program,” Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer and former UVA head coach Debbie Ryan said. “She is a proven college coach who has built a great legacy in the game already and is known for producing outstanding teams at every stop along the way. She demands excellence from her players on the court, in the classroom, and around the community. Her teams are always well prepared, play extremely hard, and are very intelligent. The game is fun for the players because she creates a family atmosphere on the team. Amaka will bring an immediate level of excitement to UVA Women’s Basketball that will ignite our fans, our players and future student-athletes. Our players will work hard and compete on every play as we strive to win championships!”

Agugua-Hamilton spent the past three seasons at Missouri State, where she compiled a 74-15 record (46-6 record in the Missouri Valley Conference) and won two MVC titles. Along with this, her teams have played in NCAA tournament in the past two seasons, with a Sweet 16 appearance in 2021 as a No. 5 seed. In her first season, she led the Lady Bears to a 26-4 record, and they finished ranked in the Coaches (19th) and AP (23rd) Polls, while also being rated 8th in RPI. This past season, Missouri State was an 11-seed, and they defeated Florida State, 61-50, in the First Four, before falling to the No. 6 seed Ohio State.

Agugua-Hamilton is a native of Herndon, Virginia and attended Oakton High School. From 2001-06, she played at Hofstra, where she is the all-time leader in field goal percentage (55.1%), and she has stuck in the women’s D-I ranks since. She became a graduate assistant at Virginia Commonwealth while studying for her master’s. Over the past decade and a half, she has become an assistant coach for VCU, Indiana, Old Dominion, and Michigan State.

During her VCU tenure from 2007-09, the Rams were 52-15, with back-to-back 26-win seasons. She spent two seasons at Old Dominion, where Monarchs made an eight-game improvement in her second season. In her six seasons at Michigan State, Agugua-Hamilton helped guide the Spartans to four seasons of at least 21 wins, four NCAA tournament bids, and the 2014 Big Ten title. She won four games as an interim coach in 2017 and finished her stint with a 125-72 record.

During this past season, the Lady Bears were one of the top teams when it came to defense and rebounding. They ranked 11th in scoring defense (53.9 ppg), 16th in total rebounds per game (42.21), and 20th in rebounding margin (+7.5). Wherever Agugua-Hamilton has gone, her teams have seen massive success, which is a massive positive for the Cavaliers. The praise she has received and her accomplishments are encouraging, and she can not wait to begin her next chapter in Charlottesville.

“I was immediately drawn in by Carla Williams’ vision for the women’s basketball program and the athletic department as a whole,” Agugua-Hamilton said. “I am certain I will thrive under her leadership. As a Virginia native, UVA is a dream come true for me. I could not be more excited to be home!”


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