Elizabeth City State women’s basketball coach Tynesha Lewis has been rewarded for her quick turnaround of the Vikings by being named the Division II winner of the National Sports Media Association’s Clarence “Big House” Gaines coach of the year award, the CIAA announced Wednesday morning.
Lewis, a former North Carolina State standout and WNBA player, was named women’s head coach for the 2021-22 season and promptly led ECSU to the CIAA championship game, where they lost to Lincoln (Pa.) University 67-52.
This past February, the Vikings got sweet revenge, defeating the Lions 52-45 in the CIAA title game for the first women’s basketball conference championship and NCAA Division II tournament appearance in school history. Elizabeth City State fell to host Glenville State (W. Va.) College 84-60 in the Atlantic Region’s first round.
In her two years at ECSU, Lewis has compiled an overall record of 42 wins and 18 losses, with a 21-11 record in CIAA games.
The Clarence “Big House” Gaines Award, named for the late great Winston-Salem State coaching legend, is designed to honor coaches who may fly below the radar of mainstream media. A committee of NSMA personnel votes on the award from coaches across the country.
The 63rd annual NSMA awards banquet takes place June 26 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.