Contact: Pamela Cox
Dir., Strategic Communications & Public Relations
Virginia Union University
(804) 342-5856 (o)
(804) 937-7936 (c)
(Richmond, VA) - Virginia Union University’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Community Wellness has launched a national search to replace former head women’s basketball coach AnnMarie Gilbert. Assistant Coach Danielle Dawson will serve as the team’s interim head coach until a new coach is named.
“Our women’s basketball program has enjoyed outstanding success, both academically and athletically, under Coach Gilbert’s leadership. I extend my thanks and appreciation for her many contributions,” said Director of Athletics Felicia Johnson.
“We wish Coach Gilbert all the best as she joins the Division I University of Detroit Mercy athletics program,” said Joe Taylor, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and Community Wellness at VUU. “We thank her for her valuable contributions to our athletics program.”
Danielle Dawson has served as Assistant Coach of the Lady Panthers since 2019. She has also been responsible for recruiting, player development, and scouting. Previously, she served as an assistant coach at Delaware State and Radford University.
“Our Lady Panthers have made history with back-to-back CIAA championships and NCAA DII championship appearances,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President & CEO of Virginia Union University. “I am excited to see the teams continued success under a new leader.”
The national search for the next Lady Panthers head coach will begin immediately. A search committee will be appointed and will include women's basketball player and captain Bianca Lockamy.
During Coach AnnMarie Gilbert’s five seasons at VUU, she guided the Lady Panther basketball program back to national prominence. The 2018 and 2019 CIAA championships were the first back-to-back titles for VUU since 1981 and 1982. 3 CIAA Championships. Gilbert won 135 of 153 games, lead the Lady Panthers to five straight NCAA appearances, a National Championship game appearance, and celebrated five straight 20-win seasons. She was named the CIAA Coach
of the Year in three of her five seasons at VUU and coached the CIAA Player of the Year for four straight years (Kiana Johnson, Lady Walker, Alexis Johnson and Shareka McNeill).
“We all know Coach Gilbert will continue a successful career,” said Coach Taylor. “We will always call her a Lady Panther.”
About VUU: Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education and center of excellence for the preparation of students and the development of leaders for tomorrow’s world. It was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. Virginia Union University offers a broad range of educational opportunities that advances liberal arts education, teaching, research, science, technology, continuing education, civic engagement, and international experiences. Visit https://www.vuu.edu/ for more information.