Williams Announces New Staff

May 23, 2014

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By Jenna Marina

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The women's basketball team will have a new set of assistant coaches when the Knights suit up for another season in November. Ken Griffin will serve as associate head coach while Tamisha Augustin and Joe Silvestri have been appointed as assistants on staff, UCF head coach Joi Williams announced Friday.

Ken Griffin
Griffin has spent time as an assistant at N.C. State, UNC Charlotte, South Carolina and most recently, West Virginia. Since joining the collegiate ranks in 2005, Griffin has been a key coaching figure in nine consecutive postseason appearances.

"I think UCF has a lot of untapped potential, and because of my relationship with Joi, this is an easy transition to make," Griffin said. "I've known her for years and I'm interested in helping her with her vision of building a consistent top-25 program. Of all the campuses that I've had the opportunity to work on, this is by far the prettiest of them all. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season."

In his lone season at West Virginia in 2013-14, Griffin helped guide the Mountaineers to their first conference regular season title since 1992, an appearance in the Big 12 Tournament title game and a bid as the No. 2 seed to the NCAA Tournament. The team compiled a program-record 30 wins during the year - a 13-game improvement from the year prior - and climbed as high as a school-record No. 5 in the national rankings.

Under his tutelage, senior Asya Bussie and sophomore Bria Holmes were both named to the All-Big 12 first team and were pinned with All-American Honorable Mention honors. He also witnessed Bussie's selection by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round of the WNBA Draft.

"I am thrilled that Ken made the decision to join our staff because I really feel like he has the total package," Williams said. "He is an experienced and very talented coach with a passion for learning and teaching the game of basketball. I know that he will play a huge role in the skill development of our players. He is also a proven and well-respected recruiter, which will also benefit us greatly in our quest to become a top-25 program."

While at N.C. State, Griffin played an integral role in the Wolfpack's back-to-back WNIT appearances. He also recruited and coached Markeisha Gatling, who went on to become an Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention and the No. 10 pick of the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky.

He spent four seasons as an assistant coach at UNC Charlotte, helping the 49ers to four consecutive postseason appearances: the WNIT in 2008, 2010 and the semifinal round in 2011 and an NCAA appearance in 2009 after winning the Atlantic-10 Conference title. During his time with UNC Charlotte, the program recorded an 86-47 overall record, including winning a school-record 27 games in 2010-11. He recruited and developed the 2012-13 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Jennifer Hailey, and also saw post player Amanda Dowe earn all-conference honors.

From 2005-07, Griffin served as an assistant coach at South Carolina. The Gamecocks won 35 games in those two seasons, and made two postseason WNIT appearances, advancing to the third round in 2007. In his first season he helped South Carolina win nine more games than the season before his arrival.

Griffin's work with the post players was key to the two-year improvement in Columbia. The Gamecocks set single-season school records for blocked shots, field goal percentage defense and scoring defense in 2005-06. He played a major role in helping forward Demetress Adams earn SEC All-Freshman team honors and an invite to the USA Basketball U-20 National Team tryouts in the summer of 2006. In the summer of 2012, two of his former players, Ilona Burgrova (Czech Republic) and Iva Sliskovic (Croatia), represented their countries at the London Olympic Games.

Griffin has been a well-known figure in recruiting circles for many years. Prior to joining the South Carolina coaching staff, he served as director of scouting for one year with the Southeast Roundball Journal. At the Journal, he was responsible for the evaluation of both regional and national talent for one of the nation's leading women's recruiting and scouting services. He also served as tournament director for national and regional showcase camps.

From 2003-05, he coordinated all basketball operations for Garden City Roundball, Inc. He was responsible for the daily activities of running a national travel-team program including recruiting, player evaluations, individual skill workouts and practices.

Before moving to the coordinator position, he spent four years as head coach of Garden City Roundball, Inc. He assisted in securing athletic scholarships for more than 25 players, including the development of a dozen high school All-Americans.

The Augusta, Ga., native graduated from Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C., with a degree in sociology-social work in 1994. Griffin has two sons, Maxamus and Nygel.

Tamisha Augustin
Augustin is an eight-year coaching veteran, most recently serving on VCU's sideline for the 2013-14 season. Prior to joining the Rams' coaching staff, she spent one year at Marshall where she signed a top-100 recruit. She will serve as UCF's recruiting coordinator.

"I am overjoyed to continue my career as a UCF Knight. The University of Central Florida is an exceptional place that will only continue to exemplify leadership and grow athletically," she said. "Coach Joi is a proven winner and we want that success to be contagious in the program. Her passion to win championships and decorated background is second to none! With energy, determination, and hard work, the future is very bright for UCF."

In her two years as an assistant at Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member South Carolina State from 2010-12, she helped tutor a pair of all-conference selections in Whitney Wiley (2011 Second Team All-MEAC) and Cabriel Duren (2012 MEAC All-Rookie), while also signing a JUCO All-American in Brittany Cochran.

Augustin has made several successful stops in the AAU and high school coaching circuit, as well. Most recently, she returned to her hometown of Hampton, Va., as the varsity girls' basketball coach at Bethel High School where she guided the Bruins to a 15-win season in 2008-09.

From 2006-08, Augustin served as head coach for the Georgia Metro Nike Travel Team, while also coaching boys' teams at Henry County (Ga.) High School in 2007-08 and at Love Joy (Ga.) High School from 2006-07. During her time as an AAU coach, she developed 12 athletes that went on to play Division I basketball.

"It didn't take long for me to realize that Tamisha would be a great addition to our basketball program, and our perimeter players will definitely benefit from her experience," Williams said. "She is also an outstanding communicator and relationship builder, and I have no doubt that she will lead our recruiting efforts to an exciting new level."

As a shooting guard at Alabama A&M from 2002-06, Augustin was a two-time All-SWAC selection and a four-year team captain. She averaged a team-best 10.1 points per game to go along with 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a freshman en route to earning all-conference accolades. After graduation, Augustin gained valuable international experience when she became the first American to play for professional club KSC-Szekszard (Hungary) during the 2008-09 season before an injury halted her playing career.

She received her bachelor's degree in biology from A&M in 2005 and went on to earn her master's in microbiology in 2007. Augustin continued her education in 2010, receiving a master's in education from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.

Joe Silvestri
Silvestri was promoted to assistant coach and will begin his fourth year with the program in 2014-15. The UCF grad was hired in the summer of 2012 as the director of program development after serving two years as a manager for the women's basketball team.

"As a proud alum, working at my alma mater is something that I never thought would happen when I first started working for Coach Joi, and now that I have that opportunity I couldn't be more excited," Silvestri said. "I'm honored and humbled to be in this position at such a young age. I will continue to bring enthusiasm and passion to this program every day along with my willingness to learn and absorb as much as I can from Coach Augustin and Coach Griffin."

Silvestri has performed a variety of tasks and roles since his involvement with the team, including assisting with practices, film, coordination of team travel, summer camps and on-campus recruiting events.

"I've had an opportunity to really watch Joe grow in this profession, and he has demonstrated loyalty and hard work day in and day out," Williams said. "He will bring tremendous energy to our staff, and I'm excited about the start of his coaching career."

Flanked by her new staff, Williams is set to begin her eighth season with the Knights come November. UCF will return four starters, including All-Freshman selection Zykira Lewis.



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