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Softball, women’s basketball add coaching depth and experience heading into 2021-22

Two new faces have joined the Cavaliers since the start of July

2018 Las Vegas Summer League - Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

There will be new faces on the sideline this fall (and spring) for the Virginia women’s basketball and softball teams as both announced new hires in July. Both new coaches are champions in their respective sports and welcome additions.

For basketball, head coach Tina Thompson is adding NBA veteran James Posey to the staff as an assistant coach. Posey played 12 years in the NBA, winning championships with the Heat (2006) and Celtics (2008). An alum of Xavier, Posey served as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2019.

“Coach Posey is what we call a purist,” Thomspon stated in Virginia’s official release. “He loves all aspects of the game and has played it at the highest level. He brings a championship mentality, a wealth of knowledge and a teaching spirit, with development being his specialty and passion. Our student-athletes will be blessed recipients of that knowledge. I am looking for him to step right in with his energy and expertise and have an instant impact. We are very much looking forward to welcoming Coach Posey to Wahoo Nation!”

Virginia started the 2020-21 season 0-5 before cancelling the remainder as a result of injuries and limitations within the coronavirus pandemic. One first year is joining the team — forward Annaliese Griffin — and the Hoos are adding five transfers. Griffin was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and standout player in her home state of Illinois. Corina Carter (New Mexico), McKenna Dale (Brown), Eleah Parker (Penn), Camryn Taylor (Marquette), and Taylor Valladay (Marquette) are all heading to Charlottesville via the transfer rule.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to join the coaching staff of the women’s basketball team at the University of Virginia. I look at this opportunity as a blessing as I get to be a part of a program with great history and work alongside great basketball minds with coach Thompson and staff,” Posey explained. “I’m looking forward to drawing from my years of playing and coaching experience to bring a positive contribution to the program. Let’s go Cavaliers!!!”

On the softball diamond, the Hoos are adding associate head coach Mike Roberts. He comes to Charlottesville from Louisiana, where he served in the same role for the last three seasons. Roberts will also be the pitching coach for the Cavaliers. Before Louisiana, Roberts helped both the University of Oregon and University of Washington softball teams reach the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

“We are beyond excited that Mike is making his way to Charlottesville,” Virginia head coach Joanna Hardin said in the press release announcing Roberts’ hire. “Based on his resume and proven success, it comes as no surprise that he was heavily sought after. Pitching is the name of the game and Mike will come in and make an immediate impact. After speaking with multiple colleagues, Mike’s character, integrity, professionalism and passion were common themes in addition to his pitching expertise. Not only will he bring a wealth of game knowledge to our program, but his values align with Virginia Softball; this was really important to me throughout the interview process. He rounds out our coaching staff perfectly.”

In addition to the new coach, the Cavaliers are welcoming the No. 31 class to Charlottesville this fall. Six new first years have signed with the Hoos, with four of them ranked in the top-50 nationally. This is a huge boost to a team that went 15-33 last season, and Virginia’s four top-50 commits are tied for most in the ACC.

“I am honored to join coach Joanna Hardin and the entire UVA softball family,” Roberts said. “I’m excited to get to the University of Virginia and get to work. Go Hoos!”