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Texas Tech men's basketball head coach Tubby Smith has added Alvin "Pooh" Williamson as the first assistant coach to his Red Raider coaching staff.
"It is a real blessing to have Pooh here," said Smith. "Alvin has been the best thing to happen for us. He was the key to our success from 1991 to 1995 at Tulsa as a leader and as a student-athlete. He is so well respected as a coach. He is one of the best hires I have made in a long time.
"He is a point guard and former player that players relate too and that is so important when you are out there recruiting. He has the ability to be a floor coach, teacher and develop players and that stems from the fact the he was a player who had to work hard and earn everything he has gotten. Pooh enhances every aspect of our program."
It is a coming home of sorts, as Smith is reuniting with his point guard and his first recruit at the University of Tulsa, who led the Golden Hurricane to a pair of NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances.
Pooh Williamson comes to the South Plains after spending one season at TCU under head coach Trent Johnson.
Williamson has been a part of coaching staffs that have guided teams to seven NCAA Tournament bids in the last 11 years. In addition to his time at SMU (2011-12), he also has served stints at Texas A&M (2007-11), Wichita State (2005-07), Tulsa (2001-05), Tulane (2000-01), Illinois State (1998-00) and Washington State (1996-98). He received head coaching experience with Tulsa during the 2004-05 campaign, when he served as the team's interim head coach for the second half of the season.
Williamson aided in TCU's transition to the Big 12 Conference in his first year on campus in 2012-13, a season that saw the program record four wins over teams that advanced to postseason play. Included among the victories was the school's first-ever against a top-5 opponent, a 62-55 decision against No. 5 Kansas on Feb. 6.
Along with TCU's move to the Big 12 came an added importance of being able to sway top national recruits, a task Johnson's staff has embraced in its short time in Fort Worth. Williamson helped the Frogs land the top early signing class in school history in November, 2012 featuring three nationally-rated commits in Texas prep commits Karviar Shepherd, Brandon Parrish and Michael Williams. The class, ranked among the nation's top 25 by some outlets, included one signee listed among the nation's top-50 players (Shepherd) and another among the top-150 (Parrish).
Williamson was part of a highly successful run at Texas A&M that saw the Aggies earn four consecutive at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament under former head coach Mark Turgeon between 2007 and 2011. He helped the program compile a 97-40 overall record an at least 24 victories each season, while the Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round three times during the run. During the last two seasons, Texas A&M finished tied for second (11-5) and third (10-6) in the Big 12 Conference standings.
During his stint at Texas A&M, Williamson coached a pair of future NBA talents in Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan. Sloan attended Seagoville High School in Dallas.
Williamson followed Turgeon to College Station from Wichita State, where he helped the Shockers win a Missouri Valley Conference championship and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006.
Prior to his time on Turgeon's Wichita State staff, Williamson was an assistant coach at Tulsa for four years before serving as the Golden Hurricane's interim head coach midway through 2004-05 season. The Hurricane went 68-57 overall during his four seasons on campus, winning the 2002 WAC title and advancing to the NCAA second round twice. As the interim head coach, he posted his first career victory against New Mexico State (83-63) on Jan. 10, 2005, before finishing the season with a 7-15 record.
Williamson served as an assistant at Tulane for one season in 2000-01 following two seasons at Illinois State, where he tutored guards Victor Williams and Tarise Bryson, the MVC's Freshman and Newcomer of the Year, respectively. He earned his start in the college coaching world with two seasons at Washington State, where he was instrumental in the development of starting point guard Blake Pengally, who posted 120 assists as a freshman.
A four-year letterwinner at Tulsa, Williamson played in 118 career games and was one of the driving forces behind Tulsa's back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994 and 1995. As the Golden Hurricane's point guard, he averaged 38 minutes per game in six career NCAA Tournament contests. He started 63 games in his final two seasons and earned first-team All-MVC and all-defensive team honors after averaging 12.8 points as a senior in 1995. Williamson completed his Tulsa career ranked No. 7 on the school's career assists chart and No. 10 on the career steals list.
A native of Beggs, Okla., Williamson led Beggs High School to two Oklahoma Class 2A state championships. He earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Tulsa in 1995.
Williamson and his wife, Rosemary, have two sons, Jamal and Joshua.
ABOUT ALVIN "POOH" WILLIAMSON
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