Naomi Graves G'85 will enter her 29th season as the head coach of the women's basketball program and assistant professor of physical education at Springfield College during the 2019-20 academic year. Under the watchful eye of Graves, Springfield College women's basketball is regarded as one of the best in New England, as she has directed her squads to an impressive 434-318 record (.577 winning percentage).
Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 16 post-season bids, including six berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Graves’ squads have also won six NEWMAC Championships, while she has been honored with three NEWMAC Coach of the Year Awards.
Most recently, Graves became the 36th head coach in the history of Division III women's basketball to reach the 500-career win milestone, as the Pride defeated Clark, 68-58, in its regular-season finale in 2019.
Graves has always been a teacher of the game of basketball. Since 2001, she has served as the director of the Springfield Basketball School, impacting thousands of youth in the community through her summer camp. Additionally, Graves and her staff has spent the last two summers traveling internationally to Hong Kong, where they spread the goodwill of basketball through camps and clinics in Asia.
Graves received her bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Rhode Island in 1982. She was captain of the basketball team and scored 1,862 career points (second best in school history) while receiving URI Female Athlete of the Year honors as a senior. Graves was named to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) All-American team as a senior, and was an All-New England selection in each of her four years with the Rams. She was inducted into the URI Athletics Hall of Fame on October 20, 1995.
On March 11, 2015, Graves was honored by the Atlantic-10 Conference from her playing days with URI, as she was recognized for her continued success and contribution to the sport of basketball, and was honored in the "Legends Class of 2015".
Graves served one year as an assistant basketball coach at URI before attending graduate school at Springfield College, where she earned her master’s degree in physical education in 1985. Graves has also served as president of the Women’s Basketball Association in 1986 and was a member of the ECAC Selection Committee for three years. Graves is a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, and was the District 1 representative for the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year committee. She was and continues to be a member of the New England Women's Basketball Coaches Association (NEWBA).
A native of Williamsburg, Mass., Graves ranks among the state’s all-time basketball greats. As a senior at Hampshire Regional High School, she averaged 23 points and 17 rebounds and was named a high school All-American. Graves led her squad to four state championships and earned an unprecedented three MVP Awards at the Western Massachusetts State Tournament. Graves was the Western Massachusetts scoring leader with 2,137 career points until former Southwick High star (and UConn All-American) Rebecca Lobo broke her record.
- Became just the third Division III women's basketball coach to receive the WBCA's Carol Eckman Award, given annually to a coach that exemplifies spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose.
- Has led Springfield College to six NEWMAC Championships, most recently in 2014, while she has been named NEWMAC Coach of the Year three times during her career.
- Guided Springfield College to its fourth NEWMAC Regular-Season Championship during the 2014-15 season, the fourth in program history and first since 2005-06.
- Has had 26 student-athletes garner NEWMAC All-Conference honors, including four NEWMAC Women's Basketball Athlete of the Year awards.
- Most recently, Graves guided point guard Alex Goslin to NEWMAC Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Year honors following the 2018-19 season.
- Reached the NCAA Division III Tournament's Elite Eight in 2004-05, a season in which the Pride finished the year with a school record 25 wins.
- Received the Judy Sweet Award in 2008, given annually at the NCAA Women Coaches Academy in Denver, Colo. for a coach who’s spirit and willingness to live her story with integrity and perspective for her own and other’s personal and professional success.
|Grave's Career Coaching Record|
|Totals||502||401||.556 Winning %|