This is how I roll.
09 Aug 2009 2 Comments
For as long as I can remember my brother has loved sports. When he was growing up he didn’t just play basketball in the front yard. He also was the announcer and crowd, but I don’t know many kids who weren’t the same way. For a while there, he wanted to be a sportscaster for ESPN until he got into coaching and seemed to find that being that close to the game of basketball was really where his heart was. Over the last decade or so he’s been a successful coach in girls/women’s basketball, and this week that turned into something more.
As his sister, I’m probably biased, but I think he’s brilliant. I think it’s taken way too long for other people in the game of basketball and sports in general to recognize the talent he has, but this week all those other people took a step in the right direction.
TAMPA -University of South Florida head women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez announced this afternoon the hiring of Andy Alwood as the program’s Director of Women’s Basketball Operations. Alwood replaces veteran Florida high school coach Cayll Smith who moved to Pittsburgh to pursue other opportunities.
“I am extremely happy about my position here at USF,” said Alwood. “I am looking forward to new opportunities at the collegiate level and what it has to offer. I have known Jose and Jeff (Associate Head Coach Jeff Osterman) for a long time and think that it will be a good atmosphere to work in.”
Alwood, who is a 1999 graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, has had an extremely successful career on the sidelines as a head coach in six short years. A native of Lakeland, Fla., but raised most of his life in Charlotte County, Alwood spent five years as head coach and assistant director of athletics at Charlotte High School where he led the Tarpons to a 97-46 (.648) record, including three straight 20-win seasons, three appearances in the District championship game, and two District titles.
This past season he served as head girl’s basketball coach at Gaither High School where the Cowgirls posted a 13-10 record. Alwood boast’s a career coaching record of 110-56 (.705).
No stranger to the USF women’s basketball team, since 2005 Alwood has served as the Director of the University of South Florida Girl’s Basketball Team Camp, widely considered as one of the best in the Southeast, and the Co-Director of the USF Girl’s Elite Camp.
“We are very fortunate to have Andy join our staff,” said Fernandez. “Andy in an extremely hard worker and will be a tremendous asset to our program. With him having been involved with our summer camps, he has a very good understanding of our organizational structure and the way our program runs.”
This past season, the Bulls posted a 27-10 record – the best in school history – and an 8-8 eighth place finish in the BIG EAST Conference. USF finished the year winning five consecutive games en route to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament postseason title – including three consecutive on the road. After a first round bye, the Bulls took care of Florida Gulf Coast (88-81 in overtime) on March 21 and Mississippi (74-57) on March 26, both coming at home. USF then hit the road, for 10 straight days, to defeat St. Bonaventure (80-66) on March 29, Boston College (82-65) on April 1 and Kansas (75-71) on April 4 in the title game.
The championship game with the Jayhawks was played in front of a USF, Kansas and Big 12 women’s basketball record crowd of 16,113 at historic Phog Allen Fieldhouse. It was also the eighth largest crowd to see a women’s basketball game in Division I this season.
Wait, there’s more.
Andy Alwood, who coached Gaither High’s girl’s basketball team last season, has been hired as director of women’s basketball operations at the University of South Florida.
Alwood, 35, was 13-10 last season at Gaither. He replaces Cayll Smith, USF’s former director of basketball operations.
Alwood also coached at Punta Gorda Charlotte for seven seasons, including five as a head coach.
“I’ve known Coach [Jose] Fernandez for quite a while,” Alwood said. “We had a lot of mutual friends and we’ve gotten along well. It seemed like a real natural fit. I’ve also known [assistant] Jeff Osterman for a while. It was a good opportunity to get into the college level.”
Alwood also has been USF’s team camp director the past four years.
And, one more: NCAA Transactions on ESPN
Needless to say, I’m one proud sister. Love you, bro!