Head Coach Anita Howard
Anita Howard serves as the head women's basketball coach for the Eagles, a position she has held since March of 2019. Howard comes to Statesboro from Columbus State University, where she has served as head coach of the Cougars for the past three seasons.
Howard became the eighth head coach in Georgia Southern women's basketball history and the first African American female head coach. In essence, she has returned home as Howard graduated from Armstrong State University in 2003, which consolidated with Georgia Southern in 2017.
In her three seasons prior to Georgia Southern, Howard led Columbus State to two NCAA Division II Championships appearances and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2016-17. Her overall record was 66-25 over the three seasons, including an outstanding 45-18 mark in Peach Belt Conference play.
Prior to Columbus State, Howard served as the head coach at Livingstone College for two seasons and Salem College for three seasons. She led Livingstone to a Top 5 national ranking and a record 23-game winning streak, while also turning around a Salem College program that won just four games before her arrival and directing the Spirits to 17- and 21-win seasons, earning Great South Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors. In seven seasons as a collegiate head coach, she has compiled a 145-55 overall record, for an outstanding .725 winning percentage.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Howard was a standout high school player at A.E. Beach High School in Savannah under the legendary Ronald Booker. She played collegiately for three seasons at Fort Valley State University, earning SIAC Defensive Player of the Year honors all three years. She then transferred to Armstrong State for the 2002-03 season, where she helped the Pirates compile a school-record 27-4 mark, capturing the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament title while leading the team to their first NCAA Championships appearance.
She graduated magna cum laude from Armstrong State in 2003 with her bachelor's degree in fine arts design. Beginning her coaching career in Savannah, she was the head coach at Savannah High before moving into the collegiate ranks as an assistant coach at Winston-Salem State, Shaw (N.C.) and St. Augustine's (N.C.) before beginning her head coaching career at Division III Salem College in 2012.
Howard and her husband, Theo, have three children: Jason, Thallan and Theo II.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT COACH HOWARD
“I was always impressed with Anita’s uncanny ability as a coach and thoroughly enjoyed working with her. She was an exemplary role model for the young women in her program and is as dedicated to preparing her players for success in life as she is success on the court. Georgia Southern is getting a good one.”
Commissioner, Peach Belt Conference
“Anita is one of the hardest working coaches in the business. She is one of those up & coming coaches looking to learn & grow every single day. Georgia Southern got a great one!”
Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Cincinnati
“This is a great hire for Georgia Southern. Coach Howard’s passion and leadership will be fundamental in the growth and success of the Women’s Basketball program, as well as the development that the players will experience both on and off the court.”
Georgia Southern alumnus, 11-year NBA veteran, former head coach of the Detroit Pistons & Philadelphia 76ers
“Georgia Southern made the Game Winning Three at the buzzer when they hired Anita! Anita brings class, energy, excitement and basketball knowledge to Statesboro! There is no doubt in my mind that she will not only make a positive impact to the community and with the young women, but also build a program that former, present, and future Eagles can be proud of!”
Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Ole Miss
“Georgia Southern made a tremendous hire in Anita Howard. You not only get an outstanding basketball coach but also someone who exudes excellence in the community, in her character, and knows what it takes to create long-lasting winning culture. Anita has the attitude of a champion, an infectious competitive spirit, and consistent unwavering leadership that is required to turn a program around.”
ESPN Basketball Analyst
“When I think of Anita Howard, winner is what comes to mind. A fierce competitor, Anita has proven at every level and stop on her coaching journey that she has what it takes to be successful. Her passion for the game is contagious and I know she will continue to lead student-athletes to greatness on and off the floor at Georgia Southern.”
Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Georgia
“I first met Anita when we were both serving the HoF for an Honors Court vote, along with Tom Kleinlein during my first year serving the HoF. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Anita grow as a coach, the privilege of speaking to her team, and the pride of having her join us on the Foundation Board in service to the state of Georgia’s athletes at the Ga Sports Hall of Fame. Anita is a tough and ethical coach with a keen mind, a quick wit, and a deep devotion to the development of her players. I’m excited to see what great things she and Georgia Southern WBB achieve together!”
Marianna Whitehurst, Foundation Board Member
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
“Georgia Southern has hired themselves a true gem in the world of Women’s Basketball. Anita’s energy and desire to be great will felt immediately in the program. I am truly excited and happy for her new adventure, she only strives to be excellent!”
Head Women's Basketball Coach, Auburn
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