Kara Williamson named RIC's head women's basketball coach

RIC has named Kara Williamson as its new head women’s basketball coach. She replaces Marcus Reilly who stepped down in June after four years at the helm.

Kara Williamson, center, new head women's basketball coach at Rhode Island College, is joined by RIC President Nancy Carriuolo and Gary Penfield, vice president for student affairs.
“I am honored to have been selected as the head women’s basketball coach at Rhode Island College,” Williamson said. “I am proud to have the opportunity to represent this institution and athletic department. I am extremely excited to lead such a motivated group of student-athletes. I am looking forward to the start of the school year and working hard to build on the recent successes of the women's basketball program on and off the court.”

Williamson spent the past three seasons (2009-12) as an assistant coach at Southern New Hampshire University. From 2011-12, SNHU won its most games (19) since 1989-90 as the Penmen went 19-10. SNHU reached the Northeast-10 quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons and the Penmen had a total of five NE-10 All-Conference selections.

She arrived at SNHU after serving as an assistant coach for two seasons at American International College in Springfield, Mass., a member of the Northeast-10 along with SNHU. While there, she helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a two-year record of 38-26. In 2008-09, AIC posted a 21-13 record, reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament and also reached the Northeast-10 semifinals.

SNHU Head Coach Karen Pinkos said, “Kara has helped build our program to where it is today. The success we had last season was directly impacted by Kara’s hard work and dedication. She is a relentless worker and spent a great amount of time with player development. Rhode Island College is lucky to get such a great quality person in a coach. There is no doubt in my mind Kara will become a successful head coach and her players will love playing for her. She is very passionate about the game and has a gift for helping young student-athletes.”

Williamson spent the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons as an assistant coach at Western New England University in Springfield. Over her two seasons on the WNEU staff, the Golden Bears posted a combined 37-22 record, including a 21-7 mark and a semifinal appearance in the ECAC Division III New England Championship in 2005-06. The 21 victories established a school record.

Before entering the coaching ranks, Williamson was a four-year member of the women's basketball team at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. A Dean's List student at Assumption, Williamson received the Most Improved Player award as a freshman and the Unsung Hero award as a senior for the Greyhounds. She earned her bachelor's degree in management from Assumption in 2005 and completed her master's in sport management at Springfield College in 2007.

A Ludlow (Mass.) High School graduate, Williamson was the Most Valuable Player and a team captain as a senior at LHS. She was a First Team All-Western Mass. selection and was also selected to the All-Massachusetts Scholastic Team. She was inducted into the Ludlow High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.