RALEIGH – Wolfpack women's basketball alumna Ashley Williams (Class of 2017) will make her return to Raleigh as an assistant coach on NC State's staff, as announced by head coach Wes Moore on Wednesday.
"We're excited about bringing Ashley back home to NC State," said Moore. "I've enjoyed watching from afar as she has developed and excelled in her coaching career. She was a great student in the classroom and of the game as a Wolfpack player, and I know she will help foster these same qualities in our student-athletes now. Ashley is also a hard worker who is passionate about the game and will bring a lot of energy to the court every day. Having a former player on your staff that is familiar with your system and way of doing things is always an asset, and coming from a program and coach at Indiana that I have great respect for is only a plus. We're excited to have Ashley back with the Pack as we prepare to continue the success and momentum we have enjoyed the past several years."
Williams joins the Wolfpack staff after spending the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana, which is where she also completed a two-year graduate manager stint (2017-19) immediately following her graduation from NC State.
"I could not be more excited to be back home at NC State," said Williams. "This place has held a special place in my heart for a very long time, and I am thrilled to return to the sidelines in Reynolds Coliseum. Coach Moore is a proven winner, and I can't wait to get to work on his staff. It's a dream come true to be back running with the Pack!"
Over the last two seasons, Williams helped the Hoosiers to some of the best results in program history. In 2020-21, her first year as an assistant coach at Indiana, the team reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history, went 21-6 overall and finished second in the Big Ten for the highest regular-season finish in school history. Williams was a part of the team's second-straight NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2021-22 as the team posted a 24-9 record. She helped lead the Hoosiers to the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship game, their first such appearance in 20 years, and their highest-ever NCAA Tournament seed.
During Williams' time at Indiana, the Hoosiers were ranked in the Top 25 every week, including rising as high as No. 4 in the Associated Press poll this past season. She was instrumental in helping develop IU's guards, including the program's leading scorers in Grace Berger and Ali Patberg, who both earned All Big-Ten honors each of the last two seasons.
Perhaps most impressively, Williams was recognized as one of the WBCA's Thirty Under 30 honorees in 2020-21. She was honored among the nation's top up-and-coming women's basketball coaches under the age of 30 for exemplifying her involvement in community service, mentorship and impact on others, professional manner and attitude and professional association involvement.
After earning her master's degree in athletic administration from Indiana in the spring of 2019, Williams officially began her full-time coaching career as an assistant at Furman for the 2019-20 season. In her year with the Paladins, the program earned a fourth-place league finish, and Williams played a significant role in recruiting, scouting and in the development of Furman's guards. She most notably worked with Le'Jzae Davidson, who finished her career with the Paladins as the program's third all-time leading scorer, and Tierra Hodges, a SoCon First Team selection.
As a player, Williams enjoyed a well-rounded career at NC State during which she wrote her name into the program record book and was also heavily recognized for her accomplishments off the court.
She played in 117 games during her four years with the Wolfpack and earned the starting nod in 61 of those outings over her last two seasons on the team. Williams ended her NC State career ranked fourth in program history in career three-point percentage (.376) and sixth in career three pointers made (168). As a senior in 2016-17, Williams averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a starting guard on an NC State squad that advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
A native of Cary, N.C., Williams graduated from NC State in 2017 with a degree in industrial engineering. She was named the 2016 Kay Yow Scholar Athlete of the Year and was also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and a three-time All-ACC Academic Team member.