After the retirement of legendary Blue Hens coach Tina Martin a couple weeks ago, University of Delaware wasted no time to find her replacement who was finally introduced to the media and the Blue Hens family Monday. It was announced that former Georgetown Hoyas coach Natasha Adair will be the next head coach of Blue Hens Women’s Basketball.
Adair steps into the Blue Hens head coach position with a tough challenge to follow up the success of her predecessor Tina Martin, who is the winningest coach in Delaware’s basketball ( men and women) history with 408 wins.
The former Georgetown coach comes into Delaware with a 72-85 win-loss record as a head coach.
Adair who coached at Georgetown from 2014 to 2017, racked up a 35-57 record and 2 WNIT appearances. While Adair’s record might not look glamorous, she did turn around a rebuilding program in 4 years. In her first year the Hoyas went 4-27 then in next two years the team went 33-27.
The Sliver Spring, Maryland native acknowledged at the press conference that she had to rebuild the trust of the Georgetown players by showing she was invested in each player on and off the court.
Adair also noted that in a certain extent she had to rebuild the roster at Georgetown but with Delaware she sees a lot talent here.
Georgetown was not the only place where Adair coached, she also was the head coach of College of Charleston from 2012-2014. She led them to a record of 35-31 and two WBI postseason appearances in two seasons. While there, Adair also seen University of Delaware close up since both of them are in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Adair got her start in coaching at Georgetown University as an Assistant coach ( 1998-2004) then went to Wake Forest University where she served as an Assistant coach ( 2004-2007) and Associate Head Coach (2007-2012).
In her years as a coach, Adair has developed and mentored 12 players that have played in the pro level of basketball.
The big question at the press conference for Adair was why leave a Big East school to join a mid major CAA school?
Adair’s answer was “I think that in the scope of women’s athletics and understanding that the CAA conference is a very competitive conference, as well, but it goes along the line of just the leadership and the vision and knowing the history of Delaware women’s basketball. We may be in a conference that’s considered mid-major, but this is a program that has been on the national scene, and so the foundation is right and the leadership in my opinion is right, and so it just — it was the perfect decision for me, one for me and my family, but also a very good professional decision.”
The newest Blue Hen coach mentioned multiple times during the press conference she was impressed by the leadership of Delaware and the competitiveness of the CAA. Adair also mentioned she felt that leadership shared the same vision she had and was another reason she took the job.
Adair also mentioned multiple times during the press conference about the winning tradition at Delaware.
While at Georgetown, Adair’s Hoyas played the Blue Hens a couple times over of the years and she said that definitely had a influence of coming to Delaware.
“It did. You know, honestly, it did, and just the atmosphere. Our alumni base, our fan base, just being in the Bob Carpenter Center, it’s electric, and I can’t lie, you want to be a part of it. So I do have an inside scoop, thought, a little bit, about competing, and I did pull out that scouting report to just know what we have and what we have to work with. But I’m excited to get started.”
Adair also described herself as a player’s coach and says she will have to sit down with all the players and figured out what makes them tick.
“Well, first and foremost, I’m going to be me. And again, I think sitting down with them and just kind of talking to them and just listening, because I think as a coach, for me, I’m a players’ coach, so each coach is no different than how you parent, and I think learning them and figuring out just what motivates each student-athlete, and it’s all differently, but I think that’s a question I can answer better later as I assess them and just kind of figure out who I am as a coach. I’m passionate. I’m energetic. My energy is contagious. I want to get excited about every aspect of the game, and I want that to trickle down to my team. Will we hold them accountable? Absolutely. But I’ll be the first one to praise them, as well. So I think it’ll be a great balance.”
Adair also gave praise to her predecessor Tina Martin and how the legendary coach built up the women’s basketball program in her 21 seasons as head coach.
” I would be remissed if I didn’t recognize the accomplishments of Tina Martin, she built a foundation a winning tradition here from the ground up.”
Adair continued ” For me to be able to step into that, you know I’m honored to be able to continue the tradition and move it to new heights.”
Adair wants to get the program back to being the top program in the CAA and even national spotlight but she admits it will take hard work and commitment from everybody in the program.
One interesting note on Adair hiring came from University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak that Blue Hens men’s basketball coach Martin Ingelsby and Former Blue Hen basketball star Elena Delle Donne played a role in the search for the new women’s coach.
Delle Donne said this of the hiring of Adair “Natasha is an established leader that has shown she is dedicated to developing student-athletes fully on and off the court. She is a terrific fit for the University of Delaware and as an alumna, I am confident that she will continue to build upon the foundation that has been set for the Blue Hens.”
Adair is not slowing down this week because she heads to Colorado Wednesday for USA Basketball. She was selected as an coach for the team and will be coaching some of the greatest women’s players in the country. The Maryland native hopes to bring back everything she learns there to the Blue Hens.
“Absolutely. I was very — just excited when I got the call from Carol Callan, who works with USA Basketball. Being selected, just they picked two court coaches out of all the coaches in the country, and that’s an honor and a privilege, and I just want to be a sponge. To be in the realm of just all those great coaches, and then the players, phenomenal players and talent, but just to be a sponge and absorb as much as I can and absolutely — all coaches do, all we do is steal from each other. We all think we reinvent the wheel and we don’t, so whatever I can bring back and just implement, but it’ll be just a great experience to be in the Olympic facility with some of the best talent and some of the best coaches in the country.”
University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak said this about why Natasha Adair was the right choice for Delaware:
“It became clear very quickly during this search that Natasha was the right person to lead this program,” remarked Rawak. “She brings a competitive spirit to all she does and is committed to helping young women grow on the court, in the classroom and in the community; embracing and supporting the complete student-athlete experience.”
University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis echoed the statement of the Athletic director:
“She instantly brings the attributes that we seek in our new hires to drive our programs to success. With a deep commitment to both academics and athletics, she has mentored and guided student-athletes to achieve their career goals both on and off the court. Natasha is an outstanding leader who will actively engage our players, our campus and our UD community.”
The newest addition to Blue Hen family also played collegiately at Pensacola Junior College (1990-92) and University of South Florida ( 1992-1994). She won two state Championships at Pensacola Junior College and holds the single season rebound record at South Florida.
Full audio of the Press Conference: