Women's Basketball Coaching Staff
Head Coach 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 22nd season as head coach and assistant professor of physical education at Springfield College, and 28th season as a head coach overall, in 2012-13, Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 306-156 record (.662 winning percentage) since joining the Division III ranks in 1995. Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids in the past 17 years, 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.
Assistant Coach Staci Andrews
Staci Andrews is in her fourth season at Springfield College as an assistant coach. She is a third-year doctoral student in teaching and administration. She graduated with her master’s degree in sport psychology from Springfield College in December, 2011, all while gaining valuable experience on a coaching level under Head Coach Naomi Graves. Staci earned her bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. in 1998. She was captain of their basketball team and contributed as a four-year starter. She was named to the All-Academic and All-Athletic West Coast Conference teams as a senior. Andrews then moved back to California where she taught sixth grade at Grover Heights Elementary School, and also coached the junior varsity as well as assisting the varsity team at her alma mater, Arroyo Grande High School. She also facilitated the athletic development of high school basketball players as the owner of Central Coast Baller Academy.
Assistant Coach Alyssa Herrington
Alyssa Herrington is in her first year as a graduate assistant for the Springfield College women’s basketball staff. She is pursuing her doctorate of physical therapy at Springfield College. Alyssa received her bachelor of science degree in exercise science from Manhattan College, from where she made the dean’s list her senior year. While at Manhattan, she played four years on the women’s basketball team. She was selected to the MAAC All-Academic Team for three years. The Cambridge, N.Y. native was also selected an MAAC Rookie of the Week, and named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team.
Assistant Coach Heather Stec
Heather Stec is entering her first year on the Springfield College women’s basketball staff. She will be pursuing a master’s degree in athletic counseling at SC. She received her bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.in biology and psychology in 2009, graduating cum laude. While at Siena, she captained her women’s basketball team as a senior, a year in which she made the All-Academic Team. Stec then went overseas for two years. She played for the Horsholm 79ers in Denmark in 2009-2010, when they were Dameligaen Champions. A year later, she played for the STOL Grasshoppers in Katwijk, Netherlands. During the 2011-2012, she served as an assistant coach for the Cazenovia College women’s basketball team, and as an assistant coach for the Cazenovia Middle School 7th and 8th grade teams. She hails from Cazenovia, N.Y.
Assistant Coach Andrea Butler
Andrea Butler will step right from the court where she served as a tri-captain of the Springfield College women’s basketball team one season ago to the ranks of assistant coach at Springfield College. Last year, she started all 26 games the team played, averaging 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. But she will best be remembered for setting two Springfield College records – most steals in a season (107 in 2011-2012) and most steals in a career (220). She also finished with 234 assists in her career, including a season-best 96 a year ago. Andrea directed the show as the team’s point guard, starting 54 games during her career at SC. She graduated from Cohoes High School, where she was a First Team All-Conference performer. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Springfield College in sport management.