Honors & Awards
Amy Williams opened a new chapter in a familiar place after being named the head coach of the Nebraska women's basketball team on April 11, 2016.
Williams, who proved herself as a winner and a program builder in her first nine seasons as a collegiate head coach, returned to her alma mater to lead a new stage in the Husker program.
In her first season of a building process at Nebraska in 2016-17, the Huskers struggled to a 7-22 overall record that included a 3-13 Big Ten mark. While the Huskers' record was not glossy, the Big Red faced one of the nation's top-30 schedules and finished with three wins over top-65 RPI teams by the end of the season.
Nebraska's regular season ended with a 76-74 overtime win over NCAA Tournament-bound Michigan State at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 26. That win followed a 67-64 home win over an Indiana squad that finished in the top four in the final 14-team Big Ten standings. The Huskers added a win over Mountain West Conference regular-season champion Colorado State in the 2016 Preseason WNIT at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
While the building process continues, Williams and the Huskers carry the full support of Husker Nation. In 2016-17, Nebraska ranked 17th nationally in average home attendance with 4,712 fans per game at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Williams, who was a four-year letterwinner (Amy Gusso, 1995-96-97-98) at Nebraska, played for coaches Angela Beck and Paul Sanderford before embarking on a career in coaching. The academic All-Big 12 honoree earned her bachelor's degree from Nebraska as a biology and mathematics major in 1998, before earning her master's degree in sports administration from Nebraska-Kearney in 2002.
Williams spent four successful seasons (2013-16) as the head coach at South Dakota, where she led the Coyotes to four straight postseason appearances. She led USD to a 32-6 record that culminated with a WNIT Championship in 2015-16. The Coyotes won the Summit League regular-season title with a 15-1 mark, and she was named the Summit League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Her gritty pack of Coyotes went 32-3 after opening the year 0-3. South Dakota's 32 wins were a program record (Division I), surpassing the 26 victories her Yotes totaled in 2014-15, when she won her first Summit League Coach-of-the-Year award. Over Williams' final two seasons at USD, her teams went 58-14 (.806), including 28-4 in the Summit League with a pair of regular-season conference crowns.
She led USD to 16 straight wins (longest streak in school history) before falling to rival South Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament title game. The Coyotes defeated the same South Dakota State team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament twice during the regular season. Five of USD's six losses in 2015-16 came to teams that advanced to postseason play, including a loss to NCAA Women's Final Four qualifier Washington.
Williams' team rolled to a WNIT title with six straight wins, including a six-point victory over Creighton, a 12-point win over Minnesota, a victory over Northern Iowa, a 14-point win over Western Kentucky and a whopping 34-point victory over Oregon before beating Florida Gulf Coast.
Williams finished her four-year stint in Vermillion with the second-most victories in program history (96), averaging 24 victories per season in her first stop as an NCAA Division I head coach.
Williams, who guided the Coyotes to an appearance in the Summit League championship game all four seasons, led USD to remarkable home-court success at the DakotaDome. The Coyotes were 32-1 at home in her final two seasons with the lone loss coming to 2016 NCAA Women's Final Four participant Washington (Dec. 12, 2015).
Williams also helped the Coyotes to success in the stands, attracting 7,415 fans to the DakotaDome for the WNIT Championship game win over FGCU. Vermillion, which is located in the southeast corner of South Dakota near the Nebraska and Iowa borders, has a population of just over 10,000. Overall, USD ranked in the top 50 nationally in average home attendance in 2015-16.
In 2014-15, Williams guided USD to a 26-8 mark that included a trip to the second round of the WNIT. The Coyotes went 13-3 on their way to a Summit League regular-season title. Their 2014-15 success represented a seven-game improvement in the win column over 2013-14 (19-14), when they won the Summit League Tournament title. That team earned an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament before falling to Stanford in the first round.
In her first season at South Dakota, Williams finished with a 19-16 record and earned a trip to the Women's Basketball Invitational semifinals after advancing to the conference tournament title game.
Williams, who will enter her 11th season as a head coach in 2017-18, began her head coaching career with a unique opportunity at Rogers State in Oklahoma. She was named the first-ever head women's basketball coach for the fledgling program in 2007-08 and built the program from the ground up. Her stay at the Claremore, Okla., school culminated with a trip to the NAIA Elite Eight in 2011-12. In five years heading the Hillcats, Williams produced a 97-65 record, including the school's first trip to the NAIA Tournament in 2010-11.
Williams began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Kearney (1998-99 to 1999-2000), before earning a full-time assistant coaching role at the University of Texas San Antonio in 2000-01. She spent four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State (2001-02 to 2004-05), before working in a similar role at Tulsa (2005-06 to 2006-07).
Williams helped the Golden Hurricane claim its first Conference USA regular-season and tournament championships in 2006. The Hurricane also earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament and won its first tournament game on its way to a 26-6 record.
Williams served as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State, and brought the 2003 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year to Stillwater in a class that was ranked No. 19 nationally by All-Star Girls Report.
A native of Spearfish, S.D., Williams and her husband, Lloyd, have two daughters Kennadi and Bentli.
Amy Williams' Year-by-Year Head Coaching Record
|2007-08||Rogers State (NAIA)||13-18||.419||9-13||.409||--|
|2010-11||Rogers State||23-10||.697||15-7||.682||NAIA 1st Round|
|2011-12||Rogers State||22-12||.647||14-8||.636||NAIA Elite Eight|
|2012-13||South Dakota||19-16||.543||10-6||.625||WBI Semifinals|
|2013-14||South Dakota||19-14||.576||7-7||.500||NCAA 1st Round|
|2014-15||South Dakota||26-8||.765||13-3||.813||WNIT 2nd Round|
|2015-16||South Dakota||32-6||.842||15-1||.938||WNIT Champion|
|Totals||10 Seasons||200-131||.604||95-71||.572||6 Postseasons|
|Div. I||Five Seasons||103-66