Greg Williams, enters his ninth season (2012-13) at his alma mater, having led the Owls to four postseason appearances. A product of Rice's Hanszen College, he has led Rice to two C-USA title games, and four finishes in the top four of C-USA.
Williams has earned four Coach of the Year awards from four different leagues in his career. He has a 320-271 career collegiate coaching record from stops at Houston, Colorado State and Rice.
He has helped his players earn 10 All-Conference USA selections while at Rice, and seven Academic All-C-USA honors in his tenure at Rice.
Williams' Owls, up against the 52nd-toughest schedule in the nation, won 14 games, five of them in dramatic comeback fashion in 2012-13. The Owls rattled off six straight wins in December, which was the nation's 12th-longest winning streak at the time, and the longest for Rice since 2005-06. That streak was part of a larger, seven game home winning streak, the eighth-longest in Rice history.
Under the tutelage of Williams, Jessica Kuster became the eighth C-USA player to be named First Team All-C-USA three times. Just a junior, she was the first Rice player to be named Defensive Player of the Year, and averaged a double-double for the third straight year.
The Owls made consecutive postseason appearances in 2010-11 and 2011-12, earning trips to the WNIT in 2011 and WBI in 2012. The Owls finished third in C-USA each of those seasons, posting a .594 winning percentage in that span.
Williams' first two seasons on South Main also produced postseason bids, including an appearance in the second round of the 2006 WNIT. The Owls advanced to the C-USA Tournament Championship Game in both 2005-06 and 2006-07, but fell just short each time. The Owls had Top 100 RPIs in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and pulled off victories over No. 14 Texas Tech in 2005-06 and No. 10 Texas A&M in 2006-07.
In 2007-08, the Owls tallied a 14-18 record, and a 6-10 conference mark, after playing the first eight conference games (1-7) without Valeriya Berezhynska, who was C-USA's top scorer and rebounder in conference games. Berezhynska tallied the program's first career triple-double during a nationally-televised contest at Tulane, was selected by the WNBA's Detroit Shock in April of 2009.
As a player, Williams was a three-year letterman for the Owls under coach Don Knodel in 1967-69, earning all-Southwest Conference honors and the league's Co-MVP in 1969. After receiving his Rice degree in physical education in 1970, he immediately joined the men's staff under Knodel, helping the Owls to the 1970 SWC championship as a student coach.
After six seasons as an assistant coach and two years in private business, Williams rejoined Knodel as an assistant coach with the Houston Angels in the Women's Professional Basketball League. In the league's first year (1978-79), the Angels won the league title and Knodel was named Coach of the Year.
Williams got his first head coaching position in 1980 with the WBL's Dallas Diamonds, earning the league's Coach of the Year honors in 1981 after leading the team to a runner-up finish. His Diamonds featured legendary Nancy Lieberman and outdrew the NBA's Dallas Mavericks during the WBL Championship series.
After two years as a volunteer assistant at SMU, Williams returned to the professional ranks in 1984 as the coach of the new Dallas Diamonds in the Women's American Basketball Association. In his only season with the Diamonds, he led the squad to the WABA title and won his second Coach of the Year award.
Williams By The Numbers: 1,101
Career Points at Rice (as a player)
Player of the Week Selections
Conference All-Academic Selections (since '90-91)
First Team All-Conference Selections
Collegiate Postseason Appearances
Coach of the Year Honors
Williams moved back to Houston in 1985 and returned to the college game when he was named head coach at the University of Houston. Among his accomplishments at UH were a 66-60 upset of No. 3 Louisiana Tech in 1985-86 and a 22-7 mark during 1987-88 that secured the school's first Top-20 ranking along with a NCAA Tournament appearance. Williams also took home 1987-88 SWC Coach of the Year honors.
Williams took the reins at Colorado State University in 1990, leading the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament in 1996 in addition to the school's first Western Athletic Conference championship. He won another Coach of the Year honor that season, adding the WBCA Region Seven award. CSU finished No. 24 in the final USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll in 1996 behind WAC Player of the Year Becky Hammon, who finished second in the WNBA MVP voting in 2007 with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
The Indiana native's successes on the professional and college level made him a natural fit when the WNBA started play in 1997. First, he was an assistant with the Utah Starzz, then added director of scouting duties when he moved to the Detroit Shock in 1998. As a Shock assistant coach from 1998-2000, Williams helped lead the team to a 17-13 (.567) inaugural season record, which was the highest winning percentage by an expansion team in the history of the four major sports-(WNBA/NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) to go along with a 1999 WNBA playoff berth.
Two years later, Williams became the Shock's head coach and director of player personnel. He was the first person to be a head coach in three different women's professional leagues. Williams' selections included Deanna "Tweety" Nolan and Swin Cash, who were key players as the Shock won the 2003 and 2006 WNBA championships. Nolan earned 2006 WNBA Finals MVP and was a 2007 WNBA All-Defensive Team selection, while Cash was a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in Athens.
Williams returned to the college ranks in 2003 as an assistant coach at the University of Dayton. He was an aide to head coach Jim Jabir as the Flyers had the fourth-best national increase in wins (nine) during 2004-05 before returning to Rice as the program's fourth coach in May 2005.
Williams is married to Suzanne Mote of Union City, Ind.