Scranton, PA - The Lackawanna College Athletic Department is honored to announce that Joya Whittington has been hired as the head coach of the women's basketball team. She returns to a position that she held from the 2013 through 2015 basketball season. Additionally Coach Whittington will take on an expanded role as Senior Woman's Administrator serving as a mentor for Lackawanna College woman's sports programs.
Whittington spent the 2015-2016 seasons as an assistant coach for the Lamar University women's basketball program. She resigned that position at the conclusion of the season in order to return to the Northeast. When asked why, Joya said frankly, "I missed my family, the greater northeast and the impact I was making on my players lives, both on and off the court, during my initial coaching stint at Lackawanna.
In discussing her return to Lackawanna, Whittington said, "Luckily my return coincided with Kayla's (Kayla Sileo) resignation at Lackawanna for a position at Marietta. Although, I had interviews scheduled with other schools, I decided that Lackawanna was the right fit for me. I was impressed by the administration's plans for the future and the role I would have in implementing those plans. Not only would I have an impact on my own players but I would be involved in the other women's sports programs at the school. A return to Lackawanna just felt right, its values and visions just meshed with my core values."
Whittington is a resident of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Carbondale Area High School and excelled in women's basketball. She is a member of that school's "Thousand Point Club" and was a starter on the team that won a district championship and two conference titles.
Whittington played her college basketball at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where she played four years, two of which she was named team captain. At Seton Hill, Joya helped the team to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance in the 2009-10 season. In her senior season, she helped lead the Griffins to a 23 win season and the semifinals of the WVIAC Tournament. Over her four year career, Whittington played in 112 career games and scored 548 career points and secured 470 rebounds. She also had 155 assists and 112 steals.
Joya graduated from Seton Hill in 2011 with a Business Degree and received her MBA from that institution in May of 2013 with a specialization in Sport Management. "Coach Joya brings another key component to our athletic staff at Lackawanna College, we are currently enhancing an already accomplished program from good to great as we look to the future of athletics at our college," stated Dean of Students Dan LaMagna.
In addition to her two years at Lackawanna, where she compiled an overall win/loss record of 41-16 and a Region record of 27-8, Whittington served two seasons as an assistant coach at Seton Hill; where she coordinated the recruiting process; provided on-floor coaching for team practices and individual instruction; developed scouting reports and game strategies; coordinated video and coordinated all aspects of strength and conditioning. In her one season at Lamar, she assisted with on court coaching; preseason skill workouts; player development and scouting of opponents; she monitored and mentored the academic needs of four players; assisted with recruiting process for prospective student athletes, assisted with official visits of prospective student athletes, developed camp operating plan for the summer of 2016 and organized community service for the team.