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The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

New Boss, Familiar Face: Curtis Named Women’s Basketball Coach

10-year Paladin coaching veteran Pierre Curtis got introduced as the new Women’s Basketball head coach in the Herring Suite at Timmons Arena.
Courtesy of Furman Athletics

Pierre Curtis has been appointed as the new head coach for the Furman Women’s Basketball Team, per the announcement by Jason Donnelly, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics.

Curtis, a Paladin women’s basketball coach with a 10-year tenure, will succeed Jackie Carson, who recently accepted a position with the Atlantic Coast Conference after 13 years at Furman. Curtis first served as an assistant coach under Carson’s leadership and, in 2019, was promoted to the associate head coach position.

With this appointment, Coach P becomes the eighth head coach in the program’s history, spanning nearly five decades.

“We are excited to have Pierre Curtis lead our women’s basketball program,” said Donnelly. “Over the past decade, Coach Curtis has played a critical role in the growth of our program and in the successes of our student-athletes, on and off the court.” Donnelly highlighted Coach P’s leadership, commitment to athletic and academic excellence, recruiting abilities as well as alignment with the values shared within Furman Athletics. “We look forward to supporting Coach Curtis as we build upon the strong foundation that has been established and elevate our women’s basketball program to even greater heights,” Donnelly added.

“I want to thank Jason Donnelly and President Davis for trusting me with this great opportunity,” Curtis said. “I am also very grateful to Jackie Carson for all she has done for me and Furman University. To have my first head coaching job be at a place where I have such affinity and connection is a dream come true.”

Later in his statement, Coach Curtis emphasized his objectives with the program: “I cannot wait to begin working with our team and building towards our goals of winning a conference championship and having NCAA Tournament success.”

During his tenure at Furman, Curtis has been involved in numerous aspects of the program, notably as the recruitment coordinator. His contributions to recruitment and player development have resulted in the signing and nurturing of 19 All-Southern Conference athletes. The consistent success behind the Paladin women’s basketball program has also been demonstrated by the 11 SoCon All-Freshman Team selections during Coach P’s time on staff.

The most acclaimed player recruited by Curtis was consensus SoCon Player of the Year Tierra Hodges ’22. Hodges paced the league in points and rebounds while leading the Paladins to 20 wins during their 2021-22 season. Following five years at Furman, Hodges signed a professional contract with Kouvottaret in Finland.

Other talented athletes who excelled under Coach P’s guidance include two-time All-SoCon forwards Brittany Hodges and Holli Wilkins, three-time All-SoCon guard and all-time assist leader Whitney Bunn, and career three-point field goal shooting leader Le’Jzae Davidson.

With Coach P’s help, the Furman Women’s Basketball Team has appeared in five postseason tournaments, including two WNIT appearances and two SoCon Tournament championship games.

Prior to Furman, Harrisonburg (VA) High School had Curtis’s home for two seasons, where he guided his squad to two regional playoff appearances. In addition, he stacked extensive summer camp experience with college summer camps and worked with the reputable Boo Williams AAU organization.

Before his coaching career, Curtis played Division I basketball at James Madison University, where he registered 1,237 points and concluded his collegiate career as the all-time leader in starts, assists, and steals. This remarkable performance attracted interest from overseas. Thus, Curtis was offered a professional contract in Germany for the 2010-11 season.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Curtis further led Denver East High School to a state championship and No. 12 national ranking as a two-year starter. This was followed by standout accolades such as all-state and Denver Player of the Year honors. He subsequently keyed Charis Prep School in Goldsboro, N.C. to a No. 14 national ranking, averaging 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds.

Leaving his accomplishments as a player and a coach aside, Coach P is known for maintaining meaningful relationships with his players on and off the court. He is poised to lead the Furman Women’s Basketball program and continue its tradition of success. We wish him the best of luck!

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About the Contributor
Deniz Sariaslan
Deniz Sariaslan, Managing Editor
A junior from Turkey, Deniz is a double major in Economics and Communication Studies. His interest in media goes a long way back to 2019, since when he has been working as an NBA-credentialed editor at Turkey’s largest social media network on basketball. Having served as The Paladin’s sports editor for the past two years, he has decided to step out of his comfort zone and embrace a new challenge. So here he is now, executing the Managing Editor role.
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