NCMA awards Lewis Division II Coach of the YearCourtesy Elizabeth City State Athletics / July 7, 2023
WINSTON-SALEM – On a night filled with honors and accolades, Tynesha Lewis, women’s head basketball coach at Elizabeth City State University, was awarded the Clarence “Big House” Gaines Division 2 College Basketball Coach of the Year, by the National Sports Media Association (NCMA), at the Benton Convention Center.
Lewis, the Division 2 winner, led the Vikings to a 20-11 record, the team’s first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Tournament championship, and the school’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament, all in her second season as ECSU head coach.
“One thing that I know for sure is “Big House” Gaines cared about his university, his community, and the people he coached. I hope to follow in his footsteps, in believing in giving back to the community, loving your institution, and taking care of your players,” said Coach Lewis as she gave her acceptance speech.
Lewis is a Macclesfield, N.C. native, who earned two bachelor’s degrees while a four-time All-ACC player and graduate assistant coach at North Carolina State.
After a six-year stint in the WNBA, she continued her coaching career as an assistant at Illinois State and North Carolina Central. Along the way, Lewis also earned two master’s degrees.
The Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Awards are presented to the head coach in NCAA Divisions 1 and 2, who may not earn recognition from mainstream outlets.
An NSMA committee votes on the awards after the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments.
Gaines was the head basketball coach at Winston-Salem (N.C.) State University for 47 seasons. His teams won 828 games, including the 1967 NCAA Division II National Championship. That team was led by Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, who went on to an NBA Hall of Fame career. Among other notable players, Gaines coached were Cleo Hill, the first NBA first-round draft choice from a historically Black college or university, and sports media personality Stephen A. Smith. A former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Gaines was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. He died in 2005.
Lewis was named alongside Rodney Terry, the University of Texas Division 1 winner of the Clarence” Big House” Gaines Coach of the Year award.
For more information about ECSU Women’s Basketball visit www.ecsuvikings.com.