PIKEVILLE, Ky. – The new coach of women’s basketball at the University of Pikeville has excelled in every aspect of college athletics, from her time as a player, an assistant coach and as a head coach.
Joanna Bernabei-McNamee (pronounced Bern-uh-BEE Mac-Na-MEE), a native of Weirton, W.Va., was introduced to the media at a press conference on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the main campus. She is the seventh head coach in the history of the program which dates back to 1979 and is the second female to hold the position.
“Joanna has a career pedigree that is rivaled by few in women’s collegiate basketball,” said Dr. Reginald F. Overton, director of athletics at the University of Pikeville. “She and her family are first class and we look forward to having her join our Bear family and bring us back to national prominence.”
Joanna was a four-time all-conference selection at West Liberty University (W.Va.), where she was an All-American and the 1997 Player of the Year in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletics Conference. She pulled the rare feat of scoring 1,000 points and handing out 1,000 assists and holds the NCAA record of averaging 9.5 assists per game for a season. In four seasons at West Liberty, her teams compiled a record of 80-36.
After spending a year as a graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky, from which she earned a master’s degree in sports administration, she was the head coach for one season at West Virginia Wesleyan, where in the 1998-99 campaign she guided the Bobcats to an 18-9 record.
After stints as an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia University, she was hired at Maryland in 2003 and was on staff during the national championship season of 2006 when the Terrapins beat Duke 78-75 in overtime for the title and finished with a record of 34-4. Serving as the recruiting coordinator, she assisted in signing back-to-back top-five ranked recruiting classes and three ranking in the top 10.
In addition, she has coached four players who are currently in the WNBA.
Joanna is married to Joe McNamee. The couple has two sons, Luke, 6, and Caden, 5.