Sports Odds and Ends
Ashley Langford was a standout collegiate point guard at Tulane, scored over 1,000 points, and was inducted into the school’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2018. She finished second in games, starts, and minutes played, and tops in assists and assists per game in the Green Wave’s all-time history.
“No, I didn’t want to coach,” said Langford after her Stony Brook, New York club suffered its first defeat of the season, losing 67-54 at Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 26. The Seahawks were undefeated at 5-0 prior to Sunday’s contest against the Gophers at The Barn, the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
“My college coach said I would be really good at it,” explained Langford when asked if coaching was in her post-college plans. “I didn’t see that for me. I wanted to get my MBA and go work in corporate America. I got introduced to [coaching] as a GA at Auburn.
“I fell in love with the game and realized I could make a difference with young women. It took off from there,” added Langford, now in her third season at Stony Brook.
Hired in 2021, Langford previously had assistant coaching stints at Old Dominion, Navy, Bushnell, and Denver, and four seasons at James Madison, where she was elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach.
In its inaugural season in the CAA last season, Stony Brook finished 11-7 (18-13 overall). The team defeated two Power 5 opponents (Rutgers and Washington State)—the first time the school accomplished such a feat in the same season. The CAA coaches this season picked Stony Brook to finish second.
The 23-6 record in 2021-22 was the most by a first-year head coach in program history and fourth-most overall. The Seawolves earned a WNIT at large berth.
“I inherited a really good team, and we were really successful in my first year,” said Langford, who has nearly 70 percent of her games at Stony Brook, the highest winning percentage of any head coach in program history. “I think our culture has grown.”
Furthermore, Langford and her Seawolves coaching staff are all Black, the first PWI team since Rutgers last season that manned the visitors’ bench at The Barn.
“It’s important to give our people opportunities,” said Langford. “I was afforded an opportunity. Now that I am in this position, obviously, it is important for me to give back.”
But Langford stressed that it’s also important that her coaching staff is a good fit. “Regardless of race, they have to fit me, this program, and what I am trying to achieve,” she said.
Assistants Shireyll Moore and Rena Wakama, Associate Head Coach Steve Pogue, and Basketball Operations Coordinator Cherise Beynon “were the most qualified,” noted Langford.
“It is a great platform for me,” concluded the Seawolves HC. “I continue to represent us in the best way possible.”