Former NBA PG Mo Williams Named Alabama State Men's Basketball Head Coach

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams celebrates after Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. The Cavaliers won 93-89. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Alabama State University named former NBA All-Star Mo Williams as its new head basketball coach Tuesday.

"We are excited about the direction of our men's basketball program as we moved forward into this new era," athletic director Jennifer Lynne Williams said in a statement. "Mo Williams checked the boxes that we were looking for in the next head coach of Alabama State men's basketball, and his passion and leadership speak volumes. He is no stranger to the South, having played high school basketball in Mississippi and college basketball in Alabama.

"I want to thank the (members of selection) committee for all of their hard work during this process, as they vetted many qualified applicants for the position. Over the last few weeks and during this national pandemic, they took time away from their daily schedules to find the right fit for Alabama State men's basketball."

Williams has been an assistant coach at Cal State Northridge since 2018. Northridge has gone 28-38 during Williams' tenure under Mark Gottfried, who coached him while he was at Alabama.

"It's a great day to be a Hornet," Williams said. "I am extremely excited to become part of the family, and I am looking forward to the challenge. Go Hornets!"

Alabama State went 8-24 in 2019-20, leading to the resignation of longtime coach Lewis Jackson. He led the program to two NCAA tournament berths in 15 seasons but had not posted a winning record since 2014-15. 

Williams will be taking over the program at an uncertain time, given the coronavirus pandemic's threat to the upcoming college basketball season. College commissioners have said they will not resume sports until it is safe for the student body to return to campuses. It's unclear if it will be deemed safe to congregate thousands of students in a confined area until there is a vaccine, which is not expected until 2021. 

A virtual press conference will be held next week to formally introduce Williams.