Clarksville, Ark.-University of the Ozarks will turn to a familiar face and a rising coach to lead the women's basketball program, it was announced by Athletics Director Jimmy Clark Wednesday (Feb. 21).
Former assistant coach Kourtni Williams was promoted to head coach after Carl Ramsey announced his retirement earlier this week. Williams, who served as an assistant coach from 2014-2017 under Ramsey, will be introduced at a press conference February 28.
"I am very excited to have one of Coach Ramsey's former assistants take over the program," said Clark. "She is no doubt a rising coach. She is highly thought of as a person and a recruiter within the coaching circles. Her working within our admission office the last year will be a great benefit. She has a great basketball background in that she was an All-America player at the NAIA level and coached at the NCAA Division III level. Her roots are in Northwest Arkansas, a prime recruiting area for Ozarks."
The Eagles qualified for the post-season in her first season as the assistant. During her time as the assistant, three players were named to the All-Conference Team and 19 players made the American Southwest Conference (ASC) All-Academic Team. Additionally, two players made the ASC All-Freshman Team.
"I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to lead these young ladies as the next head coach," said Williams. "I am excited for the future of the program. University of the Ozarks is a special place. Just in the four years I have been at Ozarks, there has been an immense amount of positive campus change."
Williams appreciates the university's commitment to quality education.
"I strongly believe in the mission and vision of the university," she said. "It provides an individualized education with a terrific campus community. Our student-athletes have great support from the administration, faculty and staff to accomplish both their academic and athletic goals. Student-athletes are students first, and athletes second."
Williams' coaching philosophy includes playing an up-temp style.
"I prefer to play an up-tempo style of play and create offense from our defense," she said. "But what we do will depend on our personnel. We want to play a style that best fits our team. I want the players to understand the importance of being prepared and the importance of playing with heart. Ultimately, the goal is to earn a spot in the conference tournament. In doing so, establishing a culture of success is a must. I want to be able to look back on the first year and see improvement."
During the 2014-15 season, Williams helped the Eagles lead the conference in defensive rebounding and were among the top-3 in three-pointers made per game. The following season, the Eagles were fourth in defensive field goal percentage, and in 2015-16, the Eagles ranked third in field goal percentage and first in defensive rebounds.
"She is a young all-around talented individual," said Clark. "She was an outstanding player herself and understands what it takes to reach that level."
A native of Fayetteville, Williams was an All-America player at Mid-America Christian University (Okla.) in 2011-2012. That season, she led the conference in scoring (17.2) and ranked third in rebounding (8.2). Williams was a member of the Daktronics NAIA Academic Team. She was an All-State player at Fayetteville High School.
She received her bachelor's degree in marketing from Mid-America Christian University in 2013. She is pursuing her master's degree in sport administration.