Sweat to retire as NSU women's basketball coach
February 1, 2007
NORFOLK, Va. — The last coach to lead an HBCU women's basketball team to a national championship is hanging up his whistle. Norfolk State women’s basketball coach James Sweat announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2006-07 basketball season.
“During my 19 years of service to Norfolk State, I hope that I have been an asset to the athletics department and the university,” Sweat said. “I hope that I have made a positive impact on the faculty and staff and especially the fine student-athletes I have had the chance to interact with. I wish the program success in the future and I will continue to support them in any way I can.”
“Coach Sweat has had a stellar career as a coach on the collegiate level,” Norfolk State University Athletics Director Marty Miller said. “He brought much success to our program during his tenure, and we’ll miss having him here at NSU.”
Sweat has coached the NSU women’s basketball team since 1988-89. He has compiled a record of 343-210 in 19 seasons leading the Spartans and an overall record of 526-254 spanning 26 seasons on the college level.
While NSU was in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Sweat’s teams made five NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional appearances and won five CIAA titles. The Spartan women won the South Atlantic Regional championship in 1991, and earned a berth in the 1991 NCAA Division II Final Four. The Spartans won a school-record 33 games that year.
Sweat has been successful during NSU’s tenure in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). NSU has reached the MEAC Tournament championship game on three occasions under coach Sweat (2000, 2002, 2005), winning the title in 2002 and earning the school’s first-ever NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament appearance.
Sweat also had an impressive career at Hampton University from 1981-88, compiling a 183-44 record. He led the Lady Pirates to two CIAA titles, two Virginia Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (VAIAW) state titles and the 1988 NCAA Division II national championship.