Wingate Faces

Wingate names Ann Hancock head women's basketball coach

Wingate University vice-president and director of athletics Steve Poston announces the appointment of Ann Hancock (’92) as head women’s basketball coach. Hancock is the fourth coach in Wingate’s storied women’s basketball history.

Most recently, Hancock spent two seasons as an assistant women’s basketball coach at East Carolina University. Prior to her time in Greenville, she was the head women’s basketball coach at UNC Wilmington for 10 seasons. Hancock was an assistant coach for eight seasons at UNC Chapel Hill, helping the Tar Heels win the 1994 NCAA Division I national championship. As a basketball student-athlete at Wingate, Hancock was all-conference and all-district for four seasons each.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome back Ann Hancock to Wingate University…a place where she enjoyed an outstanding academic and athletic career,” Poston says. “Ann played a significant role establishing the foundation of our women’s basketball program. Her coaching experience over the past years…has prepared her well for the challenges she will face as the head coach of our women’s basketball team.”

At East Carolina, Hancock assisted in all phases of the basketball program. She was involved in on-the-floor coaching, recruiting and scouting. Hancock was also engaged in student-athlete academic progress and summer camps.

While the head coach at UNC Wilmington, Hancock led the Seahawks to the most NCAA victories in school history and the most wins in any three consecutive year period. She was the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2003. The same season, she helped the Seahawks set a new attendance record. UNCW signed the most highly-touted recruiting class in school history in 2003.

Hancock helped Seahawk superstar Cherie Lea earn first team All-CAA honors two years in a row. She coached one NCAA I-AAA Strength and Conditioning Female Athlete of the Year, one CAA Defensive Player of the Year, two Strength and Conditioning All-Americans and two CAA Dean Ehlers Leadership Award winners during her UNC Wilmington tenure.

Hancock assisted in all phases of coaching for the 1994 NCAA Division I national champion UNC Tar Heels. She was heavily involved in recruiting; Hancock signed the numbers one, four, five, seven and 14th-ranked high school players as the program’s recruiting coordinator. She coached on the floor during practice, with specific work geared to the UNC perimeter players.

In addition, Hancock assisted with player development and prepared in-depth scouting reports on Tar Heel opponents. She coached WNBA players Sylvia Crawley, Marion Jones, Charlotte Smith and Tracy Reid. As a collegian, Smith was the ESPN National Player of the Year. Reid was the WNBA Rookie of the Year. Hancock mentored numerous All-Academic team selections.

“Wingate was special (to me) then and it is special (to me) now,” Hancock says. “The relationships and the special feeling you get when you come to the campus…are the same. When you put together the total package…the campus…the people…and the tremendous team returning for next year…it was an opportunity I could not turn down.”

In 2012, the Wingate women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16. In 34 senior college seasons, Wingate women’s basketball has 721 victories and 292 losses. Since joining the SAC in 1990, the Bulldogs have won 11 regular season titles and seven Food Lion SAC tournament crowns.

Wingate leads the SAC with 12 appearances in the NCAA Division II national tournament. The Bulldogs have an overall NCAA tourney record of 16-12 with Elite Eight appearances in 1995, 1996 and 2008. In 1988, Wingate compiled a 33-2 overall record en route to an appearance in the NAIA Final Four.

Hancock scored 2,195 points during a distinguished Wingate career (1989-92). As a senior, she led the Bulldogs in scoring with her 19.9 points per game. During her tenure, Wingate compiled a 103-23 overall record. The Bulldogs advanced to the NAIA national tournament each season. Hancock and her teammates won three conference and three district titles.

The 1992 NCAA Woman of the Year for North Carolina, Hancock earned a prestigious NCAA post-graduate scholarship. She was Wingate’s first-ever Academic All-America® selection in 1990. In addition to her basketball exploits, Hancock lettered in volleyball three years and softball one year for the Bulldogs. At Wingate’s 1992 commencement exercises, she won the Budd E. and Ethel K. Smith Cup. The Smith Cup is awarded annually to the graduating senior judged to have made an outstanding contribution through leadership of fellow students.

Hancock holds a Master of Arts degree in Sports Administration from UNC Chapel Hill. She earned a B.A. degree in English with a minor in Public Relations at Wingate, graduating magna cum laude. Hancock won the Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award and the South Atlantic Conference President’s Award in 1992. Hancock is the daughter of Tom and Lou Hancock of Elizabethtown, N.C.