NORFOLK, V.A. (ODU ATHLETICS) –
DeLisha Milton-Jones, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and former head coach at Pepperdine University, has been selected as the new head coach of the Old Dominion women’s basketball program, as announced by Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig Friday afternoon.
Milton-Jones, who also had a decorated professional career in the WNBA and overseas, spent the past season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Syracuse University.
“I am very excited to announce DeLisha Milton-Jones as ODU’s new head women’s basketball coach,” said Selig. “DeLisha has experienced success at every level possible as a student-athlete, professional athlete, USA basketball team member and a coach. In addition, DeLisha has been a successful intercollegiate head women’s basketball coach so she knows firsthand what the job entails.
Milton-Jones has excelled at every stop of her basketball career. She started her college coaching career as an assistant at Pepperdine in 2016-17. After one season, she moved into the head coaching role and led the program to unprecedented success. In the 2017-18 season, she guided Pepperdine to 10 wins, the most at the Malibu school since 2012. In her second year, the Waves won 12 more games than the previous year by finishing 22-10, one of the best turnarounds in the country. The Waves 22 victories in 2018-19 also marked the program’s most wins since 2002. Pepperdine earned a WNIT bid, the program’s first postseason tournament, and then advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over St. Mary’s and Cal Baptist.
She left Pepperdine for the assistant coaching role at Syracuse following the 2019 WNIT run. Milton-Jones joined the staff of veteran head coach Quentin Hillsman. This past season, the Orange put together a 16-15 mark, highlighted by wins over No. 5 Louisville and No. 8 Florida State.
Milton-Jones is the eighth head coach in ODU’s storied women’s basketball history, replacing Nikki McCray-Penson, who left the role last week to become the head coach at Mississippi State. Milton and McCray were both members of the USA team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympic
Milton-Jones’s coaching career followed a long and successful professional and international basketball career. Drafted fourth in the 1999 WNBA draft, she played 17 years in the league, retiring from the WNBA in 2016 after setting the record for most games played in league history with 499, which was later broken by WNBA great Sue Bird. She helped lead the Los Angeles Sparks to back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2001 and 2002. She was selected to the WNBA All-Star team in 2000, 2004 and 2007. In all, Milton-Jones played for Atlanta, New York, Washington and San Antonio, in addition to Los Angeles. Her 5,571 career points still ranks ninth in WNBA history. She also made stops in Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, the Czech Republic and Russia to play professionally.
On the international stage, Milton-Jones helped the United States win Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2008. In the latter, she was coached by former ODU legend, Anne Donavan. She missed the 2004 Olympics with an injury. While playing for the national team, Milton-Jones also helped Team USA win FIBA Championships in 1998 and 2002.
Milton-Jones’s first venture into coaching came when she was named interim coach of the Los Angeles Stars midway through the 2005 American Basketball Association. She became just the second woman to coach a men’s professional basketball team.
Milton-Jones, who played four years for Carol Ross at Florida, had one of the most remarkable college careers at Florida, capped off her senior year when she was named the 1997 Wade Trophy Winner, the 1997 Honda Award Winner, the 1997 SEC Player of the Year, a First Team All-American selection amongst other highly-touted accolades. She scored 1,858 points during her career, helping the Gators to four straight NCAA tournament appearances. Ironically, her final collegiate game was a 53-51 loss to Old Dominion in the 1997 NCAA Elite Eight. She was named to the Florida Gator Hall of Fame in 2007.
Milton-Jones takes over a program with a storied history that has returned to the national spotlight in recent years. The Monarchs’ 1,084 wins ranks top-10 in the NCAA all-time wins category. ODU also owns three national championships, 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, 17 conference championships and 55 All-Americans.
The Monarchs graduate just two seniors in Taylor Edwards and Ashley Scott, returning 11 players and three starters from its back-to-back 20-win seasons. The Monarchs wrapped up the 2019-20 season ranked 15th in the nation in scoring defense and field goal defense. Also returning is offensive sharpshooter Victoria Morris, who registered her 1,000th career point in the Monarchs final regular season game. Along with Morris, ODU will return two other Monarchs that averaged double-figures last season in Amari Young and Ajah Wayne. Both Young and Wayne were All-Conference USA honorees, and Aziah Hudson was the C-USA Sixth Player of the Year.
The Delisha Milton-Jones Profile
Hometown: Riceboro, Ga.
College: Florida, 1993-1997
Birthday: September 11, 1974
2020-present: Old Dominion (Head Coach
2019-2020: Syracuse (Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator)
2017-2019: Pepperdine (Head Coach)
2016-2017: Pepperdine (Assistant Coach)
WNBA Playing Caree
- Fourth overall pick in 1999
- Played 17 years with five teams (Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics, San Antonio Silver Stars, New York Liberty, Atlanta Dream)
- Three-time WNBA All-Star
USA Basketball Career
- Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2000, 2008)
- FIBA Bronze Medalist (2006)
- FIBA World Champions (1998, 2002)
- USA National Team Member (1998, 2002, 2006-08)
Collegiate Playing Career
- 1997 SEC Player of the Year
- 1997 Wade Trophy Winner
- 1997 Honda Sports Award Winner
- 1997 First Team All-America (AP, Kodak, Basketball Times)
- Two-time First Team All-SEC (1996,1997)
- Competed in four NCAA Tournaments
- Advanced to the Elite Eight (1997)