Joanna Reitz Named Head Coach at West Georgia
CARROLLTON, Ga. – Utah assistant women's basketball coach Joanna Reitz has been named the head coach of the University of West Georgia, UWG announced on Tuesday. Reitz becomes the 12th head coach in program history for the Wolves.
"I am incredibly proud of Jo and excited for her head coaching position at the University of West Georgia," remarked head coach Lynne Roberts. "She has been an invaluable coach on our staff the past five years, and I'm so proud of her."
Reitz spent the last five years as an assistant coach for the Utes. In her role, she primarily worked with the perimeters players and played a key role in recruiting and scouting.
"I'm so excited and humbled to be named the next head coach at the University of West Georgia," Joanna Reitz stated. "I believe my experiences at both the NCAA Division I and II levels and the veteran coaches I have had the privilege to learn from have all prepared me well for this opportunity."
Reitz played an integral part in the development of freshmen Gianna Kneepkens and Jenna Johnson during the 2021-22 season. Following her freshman season, Kneepkens earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. She became only the second player in Pac-12 history to earn this honor. Following the Pac-12 Tournament, Kneepkens and Johnson were named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament team, the first time the Utes had anyone named to the team.
"Jo brings enthusiasm, an unwavering work ethic, and a passion for her players – she will be successful as a head coach," stated Roberts. "As disappointed as I am to lose her as an assistant coach here at the University of Utah, I am more excited to see her succeed in her next role and take her new program to the national scene. The University of West Georgia got a winner, and I can't wait to watch that program rise."
During the 2019-20 season, Reitz saw the Utes break the school record for three-pointers made in a season for the second year in a row as they ranked in the top-25 in the nation and third in the Pac-12 in shots made beyond the arc.
In 2018-19, Reitz was a part of the staff that saw the Utes reach as high as No. 14 in the AP Poll, finishing with a 20-win season for the first time in the Lynne Roberts era and finished with the most Pac-12 wins since the Utes joined the conference (9).
She was integral in developing shooting guard Kiana Moore from a threat off the bench to a regular starter. Moore went from averaging 5.5 points per game during non-conference play to 11.6 in Pac-12 play, finishing the season ranked in the top-10 in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage while earning a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defense honorable mention list.
In her first season at Utah, Reitz was a part of the coaching staff who took the Utes to its third straight post-season appearance and an 18-win season.
Reitz worked with two of the Pac-12's most explosive wing players in Daneesha Provo and Tori Williams, helping them to top-10 rankings in the league in three-pointers made per game. She coached Williams to a Pac-12 All-Freshman team selection while Provo finished in the top-20 in the conference in scoring.
"The decision to leave the University of Utah was a challenging one as it requires me to leave a head coach and family that I love and believe in, a team that will be a consistently top-25 program in the country, and a group of players that I loved working with and love as people," remarked Reitz. "Investing in our student-athletes, both on and off the court is what motivates me in this profession and what a gift it has been to watch the growth in our players here at the U. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity that Lynne gave me to join her staff five years ago and I'm proud of what our team has accomplished during that time. GO UTES!"
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