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Meet Head Coach Naomi Graves

Naomi Graves When Naomi Graves arrived at Springfield College in 1991, the women’s basketball team had won nine games in the previous three seasons combined. Under the watchful eye of Graves, the program is now one of the best in New England.

Entering her 23rd season as head coach and assistant professor of physical education at Springfield College, and 28th season as a head coach overall, in 2013-14, Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 323-261 record (.553 winning percentage). Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids, including five berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Graves’ squads have also won five New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships and has been honored with three NEWMAC Coach of the Year Awards.

In May of 2008, Graves was one of 30 coaches selected from around the country to attend the 2008 NCAA Women Coaches Academy in Denver, Colo. The Academy provides skills training for coaches at all levels to assist them in being more efficient, productive, resourceful and successful. While at the Academy, Graves was honored as a co-recipient of the Judy Sweet Award, which was voted on by her peers. The award recognizes members of the Denver Academy Class who's spirit and willingness to share and live her story with integrity and perspective for her own and others personal and professional success has made an impact.

In 2005-06, Graves earned her third NEWMAC Coach of the Year award, leading her team to a 22-7 overall record, and the regular season NEWMAC title. The Pride cruised to its fifth NEWMAC championship in six years. In advancing to the NCAA tournament, the Pride then fell short against a talented Messiah (Pa.) squad at Messiah's home court in the first round.

The 2004-2005 season ranks as one of Graves’ best seasons. The team started with a very respectable 8-4 record, but finished the season 17-2 in its last 19 games, winning both the regular-season and post-season NEWMAC titles. The season came to an end with a loss to Southern Maine in the NCAA Division III Elite 8. This was the Pride's most impressive run in NCAA tournament play in the school's history. On the season, the Pride tied the school record with 25 wins.

The 2002-2003 squad managed to overcome its first four-game losing streak in eight seasons to capture its third straight NEWMAC title with three straight wins in the NEWMAC tournament. Springfield lost in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Pride finished with an impressive 20-9 record.

Expectations were high for Graves’ 2001-2002 squad and SC delivered. The Pride won its second consecutive NEWMAC regular-season and tournament titles, marking just the third time in NEWMAC history that a team had won back-to-back regular season and tournament crowns. Springfield advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Division III Tournament before bowing out to Bowdoin. SC set a school record for wins (25), established a school mark for consecutive victories (17) and became the first team in the history of the NEWMAC to win nine conference games. For her efforts, Naomi was named the conference’s coach of the year.

In 2000-2001, SC rolled to the NEWMAC Championship and its first berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. SC posted a 24-5 mark and registered a 14-0 record at Blake Arena. Graves stocked up on post-season hardware, winning NEWMAC and New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) Division III Coach of the Year honors.

Graves received her bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Rhode Island in 1982. She was captain of the basketball team and scored 1,862 career points (second best in school history) while receiving URI Female Athlete of the Year honors as a senior. Graves was named to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) All-American team as a senior, and was an All-New England selection in each of her four years with the Rams. She was inducted into the URI Athletics Hall of Fame on October 20, 1995.

Graves served one year as an assistant basketball coach at URI before attending graduate school at Springfield College, where she earned her master’s degree in physical education in 1985. She also was a women’s graduate assistant coach for two seasons.

Graves served as president of the Women’s Basketball Association in 1986 and was a member of the ECAC Selection Committee for three years. Graves is a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, and was the District 1 representative for the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year committee. She was and continues to be a member of the New England Women's Basketball Coaches Association (NEWBA).

A native of Williamsburg, Mass., Graves ranks among the state’s all-time basketball greats. As a senior at Hampshire Regional High School, she averaged 23 points and 17 rebounds and was named a high school All-American. Graves led her squad to four state championships and earned an unprecedented three MVP Awards at the Western Massachusetts State Tournament. Graves was the Western Massachusetts scoring leader with 2,137 career points until former Southwick High star (and UConn All-American) Rebecca Lobo broke her record.

On Nov. 26, 1999, the Springfield Union-News ranked Graves 36th on its list of the top 100 Western Massachusetts Athletes of the Century.

Graves' All-Time Coaching Record
Season Wins Losses School
1985-86 13 10 WPI
1986-87 17 9 WPI
1987-88 5 20 WPI
1988-89 10 16 WPI
1989-90 13 15 WPI
1990-91 10 13 WPI
1991-92 2 23 Springfield
1992-93 3 22 Springfield
1993-94 2 22 Springfield
1994-95 6 18 Springfield
1995-96 14 11 Springfield
1996-97 18 7 Springfield
1997-98 16 9 Springfield
1998-99 20 6 Springfield
1999-00 18 8 Springfield
2000-01 24 5 Springfield
2001-02 25 4 Springfield
2002-03 20 9 Springfield
2003-04 18 11 Springfield
2004-05 25 6 Springfield
2005-06 22 7 Springfield
2006-07 14 12 Springfield
2007-08 16 11 Springfield
2008-09 16 11 Springfield
2009-10 15 11 Springfield
2010-11 13 14 Springfield
2011-12 12 14 Springfield
2012-13 4 20 Springfield
28 seasons 391 344 .532 winning percentage
22 seasons (at Springfield) 323 261 .553 winning percentage

Graves' Tournament Appearances
Season Tournament
1986-87, WPI ECAC Champions
1995-96, SC ECAC Championship
1996-97, SC ECAC Championship
1997-98, SC ECAC Championship
1998-99, SC ECAC Championship
1999-00, SC ECAC Championship
2000-01, SC NEWMAC Champions, NCAA Tournament
2001-02, SC NEWMAC Champions, NCAA Tourn. Sweet 16
2002-03, SC NEWMAC Champions, NCAA Tournament
2003-04, SC NEWMAC Runner-up, ECAC Tournament
2004-05, SC NEWMAC Regular Season Co-Champions, NEWMAC Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament Elite 8
2005-06, SC NEWMAC Regular Season Champions, NEWMAC Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament
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Head Coach Naomi Graves

Naomi Graves Entering her 23rd season as head coach in 2013-14, Naomi Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 323-261 record (.553 winning percentage). Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids in the past 18 years, including five berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Read more.

Contact Head Coach Naomi Graves

E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3415

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