Courtesy of North Carolina Central Athletics
DURHAM, N.C. – Sixth-year head coach Trisha Stafford-Odom has announced the addition of four members to the North Carolina Central University women’s basketball coaching and support staff for the 2022-23 season.
The new Eagles are assistant coach N’Dea Bryant, assistant director of operations Ashlyn Lockard, director of player development Melvin Scott and special assistant to the head coach George Williams. NCCU women’s basketball also returns second-year associate head coach Fred Applin, second-year assistant coach Terrence Baxter and sixth-year director of operations Clarissa Adams.
NCCU Women’s Basketball New Coaching & Support Staff…
NCCU assistant coach N’Dea Bryant moves into the collegiate coaching ranks after last coaching at Durham Academy. Bryant played four seasons at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2012-2016, competing in a total of 124 games for the Tar Heels. Bryant is from Goose Creek, South Carolina, and she had success playing internationally in Europe before beginning her coaching career.
“N’Dea brings her Chapel Hill education, ACC and international playing experiences to NCCU after having coached and mentored girls at Durham Academy,” said Stafford-Odom. “Coach Bryant is the consummate player-coach that brings invaluable life knowledge to the players. Her modest approach is ideal and complimentary, and her most impactful moments will come as she patiently guides the guards throughout their most intense and challenging stints on and off the court.”
NCCU director of player development Melvin Scott is another former Tar Heel joining the maroon and gray. Scott played at UNC from 2001-2005 and was co-captain of a national championship team in 2005. The shooting guard from Baltimore, Maryland, also played professional basketball in Europe after earning a degree in African American Studies at North Carolina in 2005. Scott has coaching experience that includes stints at Clark Atlanta University and Tennessee Tech University. He also has some Durham ties as a previous coach at Voyager Academy.
“In a most fascinating manner, Coach Scott blends his passion, gift, and expertise and lends it to the game,” said Stafford-Odom. “The energy and repetition he receives from the players on the court is what he brings daily. As a deadly shooting guard for UNC’s 2005 National Championship team, he has honed in on his gift of teaching all things building up to and culminating with the best and most efficient shots possible. I just love how the players lift up when he challenges them to ‘literally’ shoot their best shot.”
NCCU special assistant to the head coach George Williams is returning to both his alma mater and the women’s basketball program as a volunteer. The 1973 graduate of NCCU previously served as an assistant coach for the Eagles for seven seasons from 2002-2009 and he held the title of assistant head coach when NCCU won its last league title in program history: the CIAA championship in 2006-07. Williams worked as a teacher with the Durham Public Schools and was head girls coach at Hillside High School from 1988 to 1997, where he had five 20-win seasons, six state playoff appearances, three conference championships, three sectional championships, a regional championship and a state championship. Williams was a three-time PAC Coach of the Year and was picked as the 4-A State Championship Coach. The four-sport athlete at Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, also coached girls track, wrestling and football at Hillside. Williams played football at NCCU as a tight end and all-conference punter. He was a member of the 1972 MEAC Championship Team and served as a graduate assistant coach when the Eagles repeated in 1973. Williams also coached at E.E. Smith High School and Fayetteville State University.
“Coach’s hard-nosed defensive mindset is unwavering,” said Stafford-Odom. “The same head coach standards and mentality that won him a 1996 Hillside Championship, and helped bring NCCU women’s basketball the CIAA Championship in 2007 while an assistant, is what will propel this team to compete in every practice and every game. Offense and skill sets change, but the consistency of Coach Williams’ philosophy, ‘We can win if we stop them’, is something I believe in strongly and the players have begun to adopt.”
NCCU assistant director of operations Ashlyn Lockard joins the staff after just completing four seasons as a student-athlete for the Eagles from 2018-22. Lockard represented the maroon and gray in 92 games, including 70 times as a starter. The forward from Tracy, California, earned the NCCU women’s basketball Debra Saunders-White Leadership Award during a senior season in which she averaged 8.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
“Once Ashlyn completed her playing career, she was an easy transition to my staff,” said Stafford-Odom. “Ashlyn’s success as a disciplined and well-conditioned team captain for our most successful DI teams and her recent ability to relate to my coaching demands will give the players an edge. The knowledge she has for the game, particularly on the defensive end is a welcomed voice for our team, but I am most thrilled about the desire Ashlyn has to further her career in the business side of women’s basketball.”