Alvin “Pooh” Williamson heads into his third season as an assistant coach at Texas Tech on Tubby Smith’s staff and begins his third decade of collegiate coaching in 2015-16. He was Smith’s first recruit at Tulsa and fueled the Golden Hurricane to back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 trips as a player.
Williamson has worked closely with Tech’s backcourt which includes Devaugntah Williams, who led the team in scoring and ranked second in assists a season ago. He also assists with scouting and recruiting. The Red Raiders have secured the program’s best recruiting classes in more than a decade under Smith.
Williamson has been a part of coaching staffs that have guided teams to seven NCAA Tournament appearances over the last 12 seasons. He has spent the last seven years in the Lone Star State which includes stops at Texas A&M, SMU, TCU and Texas Tech. Williamson also has coached at Washington State, Illinois State, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State.
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 ranked opponent, a 62-55 decision over No. 5 Kansas, on Feb. 6. Along with TCU’s move to the Big 12 came an added importance on being able to sway top national recruits as Williamson helped the Horned Frogs land the top early signing class in school history in November 2012 which featured three nationally-rated commits in Texas prep stars 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 straight at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament under former head coach Mark Turgeon from 2007-11. He helped the program compile a 97-40 overall record and at least 24 victories each season. 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), respectively, in the Big 12 Conference standings.
During his stint at Texas A&M, Williamson coached a trio of future NBA talents in Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan. Jordan was an All-NBA Third-Team and All-NBA Defensive First-Team selection in 2015. He has led the NBA in rebounding last two seasons and field goal percentage in each of the last three seasons.
Williamson followed Turgeon to College Station from Wichita State, where he helped the Shockers win a Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) 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 Golden Hurricane went 68-57 overall during his four seasons. TU won the 2002 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular season title, the 2003 WAC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament 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 years 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 collegiate coaching 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 the Golden Hurricanes’ back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 runs in 1994 and 1995. As TU’s point guard, he averaged 14.0 points per game in six career NCAA Tournament games, which ranks third in program history only behind Gary Collier and Shea Seals. Williamson started 63 games over his final two seasons en route to All-MVC First-Team and All-MVC Defensive-Team accolades. He posted a 12.8 points per game average as a senior and completed his career ranked No. 7 on the school’s career assists chart and No. 10 on the career steals list.
Williamson’s prep career at Beggs High School was highlighted by a pair of Oklahoma Class 2A state championships.
Williamson earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Tulsa in 1995. He and his wife, Rosemary, have two sons: Jamal and Joshua.
The Pooh Williamson File