Natasha Adair (pronounced AY-dare) was named and introduced as the seventh all-time women’s basketball head coach at the College of Charleston on Tuesday.
Adair, 39, follows in the footsteps of former coaching greats at the College in current Tennessee Director of Women’s Athletics Joan Cronan (1974-76), the program’s all-time winningest coach Nancy Wilson (two tenures from 1976-84 and 2003-12), Cougar Hall of Famer Scooter Barnette (1984-94), Kathy McCaskill-Rhein (1994-98) and Melissa Slone (1998-2003).
“I first want to thank President George Benson and our Athletics Director Joe Hull for this amazing opportunity to head their women’s basketball program here at the College of Charleston,” Adair said. “The College of Charleston is rich in history. I feel like the support for one another is unwavering and the vision for success is crystal clear. This is a dream come true and I am eager to hit the ground running as I prepare for success at the College.”
Adair spent the last eight years as an assistant to women’s basketball head coach Mike Petersen at Wake Forest University. She was promoted to associate head coach in 2007 and helped guide the Demon Deacons to four postseason tournament appearances including the program’s second 20-win campaign (20-14) and a run to the NIT Second Round this past season.
Adair is known as one of the best in the business, not only when it comes to recruiting, but she has shown the ability to develop and mentor some of the top post players in the country.
As the recruiting coordinator for the Deacons, Adair successfully recruited a number of top-rated players in the country and was part of the winningest women’s basketball staff in Wake Forest history coaching the winningest senior class (72 career wins) from 2009-12.
Prior to Wake Forest, she served as an assistant coach for six years at Georgetown University. Similar to her position with the Deacons, Adair was primarily responsible for the Georgetown post players. She was instrumental in the development of Georgetown All-American, WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA champion Rebekkah Brunson, who was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Sacramento Monarchs.
In her 14 years combined in the ACC and BIG EAST, she has developed and mentored 12 players who went on to play at the professional level.
A native of Washington, D.C., Adair played two seasons at Pensacola Junior College, before transferring to the University of South Florida under head coach Trudi Lacey, who is now the general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. She still holds the school single-season rebounding record and graduated with a degree in communications in 1994.
A former high school All-American and a top recruit in the country with interest from UConn, Syracuse, Georgetown and USF in 1989-90, Adair (nee Barnes) was inducted into the Albert Einstein High School Hall of Fame in November of 2011. She and her husband, Aaron, are the proud parents of two children, son, Aaron Michael (14), and daughter Allyssa Michelle (6).
NATASHA ADAIR’S COACHING DOSSIER
1998-2004 (Six Seasons) – Assistant Coach, Georgetown – 92-85 (.520) – Four WNIT Appearances
2004-2007 (Three Seasons) – Assistant Coach, Wake Forest
2007-2012 (Five Seasons) – Associate Head Coach, Wake Forest – 125-123 (.504) – Four WNIT Appearances
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT COACH ADAIR
“I’ve known Natasha for a very long time. Natasha will be a great head coach at the College of Charleston. She has always built great relationships with her players and she is very knowledgeable of the game. She is a tireless worker who is always looking to improve. She was recruited by several schools in high school including UConn, but Natasha chose to come to South Florida to make her mark and that is a great attribute of hers. Not only was she able to help us turn around our program at USF as a player, she was able to do the same at Wake Forest as a coach. I anticipate great things happening for the College of Charleston.” – WNBA Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Trudi Lacey who coached Adair at USF
“Natasha is an outstanding coach and an even better person. She did a phenomenal job for us here at Wake Forest University and I have no question that she will do great things at the College of Charleston.” – Wake Forest Women’s Basketball Head Coach Mike Petersen
“The College of Charleston has made a great choice with the hire of Natasha Adair. CofC has a lot going for it – a great facility and campus in one of the country’s best cities and an administration that has made a commitment to success. Natasha is the right person to capitalize on all the advantages Charleston holds and take the Cougars to the top of the Southern Conference.” – Connecticut Women’s Basketball Head Coach Geno Auriemma who recruited Adair in high school as one of the top prospects in the country in 1990
“I am excited about the news and the fact that Coach Barnes, as I know her, is getting this wonderful opportunity to head her own program. She was one of the most influential coaches I’ve had and was a key reason for my success on the collegiate level and a huge contributor to my growth and success as a professional athlete and woman. The College of Charleston is lucky to have her.” – Former Georgetown All-American, WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA champion Rebekkah Brunson
“Natasha has always been a very driven, passionate individual and I know her leadership and drive from her playing days will translate to success as a head coach. She has a tireless work ethic and will do great things within her new program. She is a tremendous hire for the College of Charleston.” – Illinois State Women’s Basketball Head Coach Stephanie Glance who coached Adair at USF as an assistant coach under Trudi Lacey
“Natasha Adair has positioned herself for an opportunity to be a head coach. She has proven she can recruit, prepare a team and game adjust. Those experiences, along with her work ethic and enthusiasm, will bring positive energy to The College. We’ve also added a great family to our community.” – ESPN Women’s College Basketball Analyst and Mt. Pleasant resident Debbie Antonelli
“Natasha and I worked together for two years at Wake Forest. In that short amount of time, I gained a colleague, a mentor, and a friend. She does everything with honor, dignity and class and truly puts her stamp on all of the things she does. Her report with the players is admirable. She was not only their coach, she was a mentor and mother figure. The post players at Wake Forest transitioned into dominant players and focal points of our team due to her tutelage. Looking at her track record of players she has coached and how she has helped them develop, not only into fine players, but extraordinary women, you can see that Coach Adair is one-of-a-kind. College of Charleston has hired a jewel in this business. They have hired a woman that is dedicated to winning championships and making a difference in her players’ lives.” – Duke Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach Candice Jackson
“Coach A is a true role model and leader to young women. Basketball is certainly an important dimension, but developing their leadership skills and preparing them for the future are of the utmost importance to her. This defines how she carries herself and how she runs her program. Wake Forest has experienced incredible team success during her tenure, especially at the four and five positions. Much of this success is attributed to her superior X’s and O’s knowledge. My daughter, Mykala, was one of the “bigs” on the team and Coach A was a major factor in developing this impressive talent in the tough ACC arena. We are certainly going to miss her day-to-day presence with the program, however, her influence is so far reaching that it transcends any school or geographical boundaries. She is a coach that truly cares about her student-athletes as a person first, a student next and then a player and member of a team. She will develop each role with unparalleled commitment! This is why current and former players gravitate to her nurturing style. As a parent, I felt very comfortable and at ease with my daughter under her tutelage.” – AT&T Vice President of Sales (Southeast Region) Marvy Moore and Mother of Wake Forest Junior Forward Mykala Walker
“When the College of Charleston named Natasha Adair as their head women’s basketball coach, they got the total package – a teacher, leader, motivator, role model, wife, mother, friend and great coach. She will inevitably bring out the best in those around her. Congratulations.” – Felicia Hall Allen, Felicia Hall Allen & Associates, Consultant & Sports Management Agent, Former NIKE & WNBA Team Executive