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DeLisha Milton-Jones

Head Coach
DeLisha Milton-Jones, a 2022 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist with a decorated professional career in the WNBA and overseas and former head coach at Pepperdine University, was announced as the new head coach of the Old Dominion women’s basketball program by Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig on April 17, 2020. 
“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.
“Coach Milton-Jones had as good an interview with any committee I have ever witnessed. She will provide a seamless transition for a program on an upward trajectory towards national prominence. DeLisha will be an excellent role model for the young women in our program now and in the future. She will also connect instantly with all our women’s basketball constituents who make ODU women’s basketball the national brand that we are. I welcome DeLisha and her husband Roland to the Monarch family and cannot wait for the Hampton Roads community to get to know them both.”

Milton-Jones was part of an eight-person class that was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 11, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  She became the second Monarch coach in the Hall of Fame joining Marianne Stanley and joins former ODU standouts Inge Nissen, Nancy Lieberman, Ticha Penicheiro and Anne Donovan.   

Year three marked ODU's return to the Sun Belt Conference as the Monarchs went 22-12 overall and 12-6 in conference play in 2022-23. The team reached the semifinals of the 2023 Sun Belt Championship tournament as the No. 5 seed, falling to eventual champion and top seed James Madison, 70-64. Amari Young represented ODU on the All-Sun Belt Second Team as well as on the All-Tournament Team. The Monarchs put together a six-game win streak in non-conference action and another six-game run in conference play, securing Sun Belt series sweeps of Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Marshall. With a 13-2 (.867) record when playing at Chartway Arena, the Monarchs owned the best home record in the league and landed on's Mid-Major Top 25 poll four times during the season, ranking as high as No. 18 on December 20. Milton-Jones also earned her 50th win at ODU with the team's 73-70 win at Georgia State on January 21.

The offseason saw Milton-Jones add her seventh gold medal to her trophy case. An assistant coach with Team USA's U-19 squad, the team edged Spain 69-66 to win the FIBA U-19 Women's Basketball World Cup on July 23 in Madrid. Additionally, Brenda Fontana made her debut with Argentina's senior team as she represented her home country in the FIBA AmeriCup tournament, held in León, Mexico.

In her second season, the Monarchs finished with a 24-10 overall record and a Conference USA ledger of 12-6 in 2021-22.  ODU opened by splitting its first four games with a pair of wins at home, including a Power 5 win over SEC member Auburn.  The Monarchs then closed out 2021 with eight straight wins that saw them register another Power 5 win by knocking off Texas Tech in the Van Chancellor Classic en route to winning its bracket there.  That streak went to nine to start 2022 as they opened conference play winning at UTSA. ODU also scored a road win over eventual Conference USA Champion Charlotte in late January.
The Monarchs did close their C-USA tenure with a feat only accomplished by the first team in the C-USA as Iggy Allen and Ajah Wayne earned First Team All-C-USA honors.  The last time that was done was in 2013-14, the first year the Monarchs were members.  Allen was also a First Team All-VaSID choice as ODU ended its season in the second round of the WNIT after scoring a road win at Towson.

Milton-Jones guided the Monarchs to a 13-11 overall mark and a Conference USA Tournament Semifinals appearance in 2020-21. She notched her first win on the Monarchs’ bench on Dec. 3 with a 70-47 result over William & Mary in ODU’s home opener. Just three days later, she picked up another win over an in-state opponent – beating eventual Atlantic 10 champion VCU 81-76 in overtime. The Monarchs closed out the regular season with four wins in their last five games, including a 74-57 triumph on the road at C-USA Champions Middle Tennessee. Milton-Jones’ Monarchs carried that momentum with them to Frisco, Texas for the C-USA Tournament. ODU won three games in as many days, including a pair of overtime victories, to reach the semifinals as the No. 6 seed out of the east. ODU took Rice, the west’s top seed, to the brink before eventually falling 62-60. In all, the Monarchs were 7-2 in their final nine games.
Under the tutelage of Milton-Jones, three Monarchs earned significant accolades in 2020-21. Victoria Morris and Amari Young both placed on the all-conference second team. Young was also on the C-USA All-Defensive Team and the VaSID All-State Second Team. Wayne played her way on to the C-USA All-Tournament Team and the all-state second team. ODU also found success in the classroom in 2020-21 with nine players featured on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
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 finished 22-10, winning 12 more games than the previous year in one of the best turnarounds in the country. The Waves’ 22 victories in 2018-19 also marked the program’s most since 2002. Pepperdine earned a WNIT bid for the program’s first postseason tournament appearance, 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. With Milton-Jones on the bench, 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 to become the head coach at Mississippi State. Milton-Jones and McCray were both members of the USA team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics.
“My heart is filled with excitement as I step up to lead the women’s basketball program at Old Dominion,” said Milton-Jones. “I’m tasked with the responsibility of maintaining or superseding the exceptional work that is currently in place due to the relentless work of Nikki McCray and her staff. The history of this prestigious program is one that I’m intent on continuing with even more success. 
“To our women’s basketball alumni including Nancy Lieberman, Ticha Penicheiro, Clarisse Machanguana, Mery Andrade and the late Anne Donovan, it’s an honor to know that you have paved a path of excellence for future Monarchs,” Milton-Jones continued. “Thank you for your contributions, and your legacies will forever live on. I can’t wait to get to work with this phenomenal group of current players. Let’s go Monarchs!”
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 and 2007 and represented the U.S. Olympic Team in The Game at Radio City in 2004, an exhibition between the U.S. Olympic Team and a roster of WNBA stars that took the place of a traditional all-star game. In all, Milton-Jones played for Atlanta, New York, Washington and San Antonio, in addition to Los Angeles. Her 5,571 career points rank 16th 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 Donovan. 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 for 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 SEC Player of the Year and 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.