Charleston, IL – Debbie Black had never been a collegiate head coach before, but as Eastern Illinois searched for a new women's basketball coach, there was an impressive fact about her.
She has been a part of 34 consecutive winning seasons as both a player and an assistant coach.
Eastern Illinois introduced Black as its new head coach on Thursday. She will try to build on a team that last season finished 20-12, won its second Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship and beat Missouri in the first round of the WNIT to record the program's first postseason victory.
Most recently, Black was part of a successful run at Ohio State under head coach Jim Foster as the Buckeyes won six Big Ten Conference championships in eight seasons. The program made seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with Black as a member of the staff, including advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009 and 2011.
Black's ties to Foster go back to her playing days at St. Joseph's University, where she helped lead the Hawks to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Black played more than 18 seasons at the professional level, including in the WNBL, ABL and WNBA. She was named the 2001 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year while playing for the Miami Sol.
"I don't know of anybody better prepared for the opportunity to be a head coach," Foster said. "She has played and coached at every level and had nothing but success. I'm sure that Eastern Illinois is about to find that out."