Charlotte hires Tomekia Reed as women’s basketball coach

Tomekia Reed, then coach of Jackson State, calls a play during an NCAA Tournament game in 2022. Reed now takes over as head coach at Charlotte. (Matthew Hinton/AP Photo)

CHARLOTTE — With a head-coaching vacancy at the helm of their women’s basketball team, it only took the Charlotte 49ers eight days to announce a new coach following the departure of Cara Consuegra, who decided to take a job at Marquette earlier in the month.

On April 25, the Niners’ athletic department revealed that former Jackson State coach Tomekia Reed has been named the ninth head coach for Charlotte’s women’s basketball program.

“Tomekia Reed is a proven winner whose passion for developing young people through the game of basketball is inspiring,” Charlotte athletic director Mike Hill said in a press release. “Her enthusiasm is contagious and will translate into even more success for her on the recruiting trail and in the community. She shares our vision for greatness, and we are ecstatic to have her lead our program!”

Charlotte marks Reed’s second NCAA Division I head-coaching gig as she inherits a Niners team that went 16-15 last year but has had some key departures to the transfer portal following Consuegra’s exit.

The first-year American Athletic Conference school won nine conference games on its way to earning the sixth seed in the AAC Tournament at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.

During six seasons leading the JSU Tigers starting in 2018, Reed’s teams garnered a 125-54 overall record (95-10 Southwestern Athletic Conference record), five consecutive SWAC regular season titles, and three SWAC tournament titles leading to NCAA appearances (2021, 2022, 2024).

Over the last five seasons, her teams have had the fourth highest conference winning percentage in the nation at 95.4%. JSU had a school-best 26 wins last season, including an undefeated 18-0 record in the SWAC.

On Monday, she was officially introduced by Charlotte during her debut press conference in the Niners’ Halton Arena.

“I must say that I am one blessed woman to stand before you as your next head women’s basketball coach,” Reed said after beginning her comments with an excited yell into the microphone.

“I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy because he is the reason that I am here today. I’d like to thank Chancellor Gaber, Director of Athletics Mike Hill, and Executive Associate Athletics Director Ragean Hill for entrusting me with the future of Charlotte women’s basketball.”

Prior to her time at JSU, Reed also spent time as a recruiting coordinator at Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Tech and New Orleans after initially beginning her head-coaching career at Hinds (Mississippi) Community College, her alma mater.

“Tomekia Reed is one of the most talented young coaches in college basketball today,” UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said in a team statement. “Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence, both on and off the court. We are delighted to welcome Tomekia to Niner Nation.”

Heralded on a national level, Reed is a three-time HBCU National Coach of the Year (2021, 2022, 2024) and a four-time SWAC Coach of The Year (2020, 2022, 2023, 2024) who has coached two players (Angel Jackson and Ameshya Williams-Holliday) that were later drafted by WNBA teams.

She recently drew the respect of legendary UConn coach Geno Auriemma, who gave her a strong recommendation in his postgame interview at the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship after his third-seeded Huskies defeated the No. 14 Tigers.

“The Gold Standard: What a powerful slogan for a university on the rise,” Reed said in Charlotte’s initial media release. “I could not be more thrilled to become a Niner. I am inspired and excited to continue the standard of excellence that is this women’s basketball program.”

“This leadership’s strategic comprehensive plan aligns with my standards and plans for sustained success at the highest level. I am more motivated than ever to capitalize on the opportunity at hand in leading a winning team for both our student-athletes and the great city of Charlotte. It is a great day to be a Niner!”

Reed confirmed on Monday that Charlotte was not the only job that she had interviewed for after JSU’s 2024 season ended, also meeting with Tulane and Tennessee but deciding to go with the 49ers.

Going forward into her first season in the Queen City, she will bring her Tigers assistant coaching staff of Chase Campbell, Jonathan Williams and LaShonda Cousin with her, while also adding staff.

As the Niners adjust to Year 2 in the AAC, they will now start a new phase in the program’s history following 13 years with Consuegra leading the team.

“I want more trophies and more championships,” Reed said. “This will be the new location for where the rings reside.”