However, she said she could not pass up the “elite Auburn University” and the Auburn community.
“The Auburn family is all that attracted me to Auburn University—a place where my family can grow and develop into wonderful people, the opportunity to work with a wonderful athletic director in Jay Jacobs and just to be a part of a wonderful community that loves women’s basketball,” she said.
During her eight-year tenure at Georgetown, Williams-Flournoy led the Hoyas to an overall record of 143–104 and three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2010–12.
The Penn State graduate was instrumental in the success of Georgetown’s program, but she said she couldn’t resist the opportunities at Auburn.
“I built Georgetown. We became one of the winningest programs in Georgetown history, but it wasn’t a hard decision when Auburn University opened up,” Williams-Flournoy said. “I knew that this was a great opportunity for me and my family, and what better place to be than at Auburn University? Just look at this arena. It’s unbelievable what we can do with women’s basketball in here.”
Williams-Flournoy said there wasn’t much to offer recruits facilities-wise at Georgetown.
“At the prestigious Georgetown University, we sold getting your degree from Georgetown University,” Williams-Flournoy said. “It wasn’t the building that we could sell because there wasn’t much of a building to sell.
“Now my job just got a little easier because now I not only can sell getting your degree from Auburn University, I can also sell playing in the SEC and then to come and play in this arena and to walk around and see the facilities that are being built around here.”
Her first tour of Auburn Arena was given by Auburn players, and the new coach was shocked at the potential the venue gives Auburn in the recruiting process.
“When I walked through the locker room last night the girls gave me the grand tour and I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is unbelievable,’” Williams-Flournoy said. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘I just walked into a gold mine,’ and then just the construction that’s going on, so more building and more building. That’s just more notches to put into my recruiting bonus to sell, so I don’t think it’s going to be hard to sell Auburn University and the facilities and the people here at Auburn.”
Auburn University Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said the search committee wanted a coach that could not only win, but develop her players the “Auburn way.”
“Not only has she had the proven success on the court by her unprecedented success at Georgetown, she took a program at Georgetown and left it far better than she found it,” Jacobs said. “Not only that, all but one of her student-athletes have graduated in her eight years at Georgetown.
“Our criteria was somewhat this way: someone that not only can win, but do it the right way, but also develop our young ladies the Auburn way, and someone whose values matched up with those of the Auburn and the Auburn Creed.”
Williams-Flournoy said she would run a system at Auburn that would put as much pressure on the opposing team as possible throughout each game.
“My coaching style, my style of play, is very simple,”
she said. “We want to play tenacious defense for 40 minutes. We want to cause havoc as much as we can, and in doing that we want to force teams to turn the ball over as many times as we can, and I know that that’s how it works because it has been successful for me.”
Former Auburn coach Nell Fortner spoke with Williams-Flournoy after her hiring and bragged about the Auburn community.
“She knew that it would be a great place for me to bring my family and she just kept going on and on and on about the community, and that’s great because I will be in the community, my team will be in the community, my coaches will be in the community, my family will be in the community, and if we can do that then we can get you into this arena right now.”
Auburn returns its four leading scorers from a team that finished 13–17 overall and 5–11 in the SEC.
Williams-Flournoy is Auburn University’s sixth women’s coach.