Raquel Atawo chosen for NCAA Women Coaches Academy Program

Coug coach will be apart of 20th anniversary of the Academy



WSU tennis head coach Raquel Atawo talks with WSU tennis player Yura Nakagawa during an NCAA tennis match against UCLA, Sunday, March 5, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

WSU women’s tennis coach Raquel Atawo is one of 102 coaches selected to be a part of the 20th anniversary of the Women Coaches Academy, a partnership with the NCAA that is meant to enhance the leadership and coaching skills of the participants.

The 102 participants in 2023 is a record for the Academy, with this year’s class being headlined by the speaker Dawn Staley. 

The head coach of University of South Carolina women’s basketball, Staley is a two-time national champion coach and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

“The NCAA is excited to partner with WeCOACH on the 2023 NCAA Women Coaches Academy programs, where some of the most talented collegiate women’s coaches will have the opportunity to elevate their leadership skills and hear the experiences of championship coaches,” said DeeDee Merritt, Director of NCAA Leadership Development. 

Participants focus on non-sport-specific concepts in an environment that fosters inclusion across the sports community.

The 2022–23 season was the second season with Atawo at the helm of the Cougars. In her first year, she went 8-15 and 2-8 in the Pac-12 Conference, and this season she went 7-15 and 0-10 in Conference. 

She has overseen several impressive players, with the duo of Maxine Murphy and Eva Alvarez Sande look to continue to improve and lead the Cougs to some of the best records in program history over the next few seasons. 

Before WSU, Atawo coached at California, Auburn and was an assistant at UC Davis. Before coaching, she was a standout player who played professionally for 15 years and her highest rankings were No. 10 in the world in doubles and No. 162 in singles. 

Atawo will look to expand her coaching prowess at the Academy and bring her newfound skills to the Palouse as she continues to build the tennis program up.