The Florida A&M women’s basketball program gained a huge addition when it announced Thursday that Shalon Pillow is the new head coach.
One month after the firing of head coach Kevin Lynum, who held the position less than 12 months, FAMU athletics confirmed her hiring. It did not provide Pillow’s annual salary.
Pillow, an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State University for the past five years, has had a lot of success during her career. Over the past 15 years, Pillow has made six NCAA appearances, three elite eight appearances, along with two championship titles and five top 20 recruiting classes.
Pillow’s accomplishments don’t stop there. During her collegiate career, Pillow played for Tennessee under the legendary Hall of Famer Pat Summitt, from 1998-2002. During her time at Tennessee, Pillow played in 108 games, helping the Vols advance to four NCAA Championship Tournaments, two Final Fours appearances and four SEC Championships.
Pillow has accomplished a lot throughout her playing and coaching careers, but is it enough to lift the Rattlers out of the doldrums?
Over the last five seasons, the Rattlers haven’t accumulated much success. Last season FAMU finished 6-21, ranking 9th in the MEAC.
The Rattlers have not had a winning season since 2015, when LeDawn Gibson was the head coach. Since 2018 the Rattlers have had three different head coaches run their program. Pillow makes the third.
Although Pillow has no HBCU credentials under her belt, many are excited to see what she does for the FAMU program.
“We are excited about the direction of our women’s basketball program under Coach Pillow’s leadership,” FAMU athletic director Kortne Gosha said in a release.
Pillow is known for her outstanding ways of developing skill and fundamentals.
“Her natural pedigree as a student-athlete and coaching at the highest level of women’s basketball stood out immediately,” Gosha added.
Pillow is determined to take on this role and plans to improve a team that has been struggling to win games and draw fans. Pillow said this opportunity was too good to pass up.
“I’m honored and blessed to be the next head coach at Florida A&M. I’ve been preparing for this opportunity my entire life. I look forward to leading this program to success that will stand long after I retire,” Pillow said ion a release.
This will be Pillow’s first time serving as a head coach.
The official schedule for the 2020-2021 season has not been released. However, the Rattlers will look forward to tipping off their season in hope of making a drastic change.