Durham, NC – With a reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters and over 10 years of coaching experience, including local stints at UNC and Duke, Trisha Stafford-Odom was announced as North Carolina Central University’s ninth head women’s basketball coach on Monday, May 8th.
“I am thrilled about having the opportunity to work with Coach Stafford-Odom,” said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree. “Her varied coaching and playing experiences in collegiate and professional sports will definitely help move our women’s basketball program to the next level. These experiences will enable her to recruit the best scholar-athletes and provide them with the tools and quality coaching necessary to win championships.”
The former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player and collegiate hall of fame inductee returns to The Triangle to continue her head coaching career after last coaching three seasons at Concordia University Irvine from 2013-2016. Prior to that, Stafford-Odom was a successful assistant coach for four seasons with both the UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils. She began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant for the UCLA Bruins.
“I am elated to be announced as North Carolina Central University’s head women’s basketball coach,” said Stafford-Odom. “As I look to the future I see great things for us. I am very excited about the opportunity.”
Stafford-Odom won the Concordia Eagles first conference championship in 18 years to highlight her time coaching in California. In her second season as head coach, CUI posted a 23-7 record and won the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Championship. She produced two All-Americans and was named the league’s coach of the year.
As an assistant coach at UNC from 2011-2013, Stafford-Odom was a valuable recruiter for the No. 1 nationally-ranked recruiting class in 2013. She aided the development of two WNBA players, two ACC Players of the Year and two ACC Freshmen of the Year while working under the leadership of Naismith Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell.
Stafford-Odom brought her first No. 1 nationally-ranked recruiting class to Durham when she was an assistant at Duke from 2009-2011. The Blue Devils won the ACC Championship both seasons as she mentored WNBA draft picks, an ACC Tournament MVP, a two-time ACC Academic All-American and a ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
“We are definitely not strangers to Durham, North Carolina,” said Stafford-Odom about her family. “It’s the opposite coast for us, but we made it home several years ago. We are onto new and greater things by being at NCCU.”
While at UCLA from 2005-2008, Stafford-Odom was the recruiting coordinator for a No. 3 nationally-ranked recruiting class her first season and went on to develop two top-5 WNBA draft picks and the Pac-10 Tournament MVP.
Stafford-Odom was enshrined into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. She led the Golden Bears to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances. She was a multiple All-Pac-10 honoree as well as a Kodak All-America honorable mention. Stafford-Odom averaged 15.3 points during her four seasons (sixth all-time at Cal) and led the Pac-10 in scoring with over 23 points her senior year.
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in mass communications in 1992, Stafford-Odom pursued a professional basketball playing career that included a couple years in the WNBA with Houston (2001) and Miami (2002) as well as time in the ABL, NWBL, NBDL, NBA Entertainment League and European leagues.
Stafford-Odom continued her education while coaching at Concordia Irvine and earned a Master of Arts degree in coaching and athletic administration in 2015, and continues to be a student in the assistant coaches program of the NBA.
“I am confident that the preparation I’ve had in coaching will help make me the most elite Division I basketball coach that I can be,” concluded Odom-Stafford.