Whitworth athletic director Tim Demant announced the hiring of Joail Griffith as head women's basketball coach. Griffth, who spent last season as an assistant to Pat Manning at Willliams, replaces Helen Higgs who retired in April as the university's winningest and longest-serving women's basketball coach.
"It is no small task to take over a program from someone as well established as Helen Higgs," Griffith said in Whitworth's release.
"They are big shoes to fill! I think it's important to get to know the returning and incoming players, start to build a culture that is relationship- and commitment-driven and start recruiting future Pirates."
Whitworth expects to returns 11 players from a roster that went 10-15, 5-11 in the NWC last season.
Griffith's hire marks a return to the West Coast for the Southern California native. She played two seasons at Division II Concordia-Irvine and then worked as a graduate assistant at her alma mater. After two seasons as an assistant coach in California's high school and community college ranks, Griffith spent two seasons as an assistant to Pat Dowling at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and then one at Williams.
"I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge and thank Pat Manning and Kristen Dowling for helping prepare me over the last three years to take this monumental step of being a head coach," she said.
"Joial's passion for the game, her thoughtfulness in relationships and her commitment to developing the entire student-athlete set her apart from an incredibly deep applicant pool," Demant said in the school's release.