May 1, 2012
AUBURN - Caroline McCombs and Adrian Walters have been named women's basketball assistant coaches, announced head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy on Tuesday. Walters comes to Auburn after coaching under Williams-Flournoy at Georgetown while McCombs comes to The Plains from Northwestern.
"I'm really excited about the coaching staff that I have put together so far," said Williams-Flournoy. "I feel that they are going to be a great asset to Auburn women's basketball as we begin a new era. I can't wait to get in the gym and get to work with them."
McCombs comes to Auburn after two seasons at Northwestern and 13 years coaching in the collegiate ranks. At Auburn, she will serve as the recruiting coordinator while also coaching the perimeter players.
"Caroline is a great addition to our staff, she's very well-known in the field of women's basketball and she has worked extremely hard," said Williams-Flournoy. "I wanted her abilities to recruit and her presence on the court to help us at Auburn. She is also a tireless recruiter with some great relationships in the South."
In her time as an assistant coach at Valparaiso, Pittsburgh and Northwestern, McCombs has helped lead teams to eight postseason appearances and four NCAA Tournaments, including two trips to the Sweet 16.
Most recently, McCombs coached for two seasons at Northwestern, assisting the Wildcats to a WNIT second round appearance in her first season. She held a similar position at Pittsburgh, heading up the Panthers recruiting efforts while overseeing the perimeter players and handling scouting and scheduling of opponents.
While at Pitt, McCombs helped coach the team to five-straight post-season appearances from 2005-10, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament with back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in 2008 and 2009. She also coached Shavonte Zellous, who went on to earn All-America honors and was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft.
Before going to Pitt, McCombs spent six seasons at then-Mid-Continent member Valparaiso, the first five as assistant coach and the last as associate head coach. During that time, she helped the Crusaders to five seasons of 18 or more wins, two conference championships and three postseason appearances, including back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2003 and 2004.
While at Valparaiso, she helped the team with its biggest turnaround, going from a 7-22 season in 2000-01 to a 26-7 mark in the 2001-02 season. The biggest single-season turnaround in the NCAA that season, the Crusaders capped it off with a conference championship and a trip to the WNIT Quarterfinals.
McCombs also made sure her teams at Valparaiso got their work done in the classroom. In addition to their work on the court, Valparaiso earned a spot among the WBCA Academic Top 25 teams from 1999-2004.
McCombs, a native of Medina, Ohio, graduated from Youngstown State in 1998 with a degree in dietetics. While attending Youngstown State, McCombs earned an impressive list of accomplishments for the Penguins' basketball team, including places on the Mid-Continent Conference Second Team in 1996 and 1998, and on the Mid-Continent All-Tournament Team three consecutive years from 1996-98.
She also left her mark in the record books at Youngstown State. At guard she started 112-of-115 career games and scored 1,577 career points, finishing her career as the school's sixth-leading scorer. McCombs is also among the school leaders with 146 career three-pointers, 493 assists, and 236 steals.
After McCombs graduated from Youngstown State, she played European professional women's basketball, competing in the Czech Basketball Federation and European Cup in 1998. She continued her education, receiving her master's degree from Valparaiso in 2001.
Adrian Walters comes to Auburn after spending last season at Georgetown with Williams-Flournoy. In his lone season with the Hoyas, he helped the team to a 23-9 record and a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. At Auburn, he will focus on player development, post players and scheduling.
"I am very excited to bring Adrian here with me to Auburn, he is a great addition to our staff," said Williams-Flournoy. "He has done a great job with player development in the past and his work ethic with the team is second to none. Adrian commitment and dedication to making our players better is amazing and I cannot wait to get on the floor with him."
Prior to his stint at Georgetown, Walters' career had mainly been in the men's game. He spent three seasons, from 2008-11, as associate head coach at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., heading up recruiting and player development while coaching the post players.
Walters made the move to El Camino after spending a season as associate head coach at Hampton, coaching the Pirates to an 18-12 record in his lone season. The Hampton job was his return to coaching after working in the financial industry for several years.
His first stint in coaching came right out of college as an assistant coach at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach before taking over for a season as head coach. He made the transition to Division I a year later as an assistant coach at Towson, helping the team to a 17-13 record and an East Coast Conference title.
From Towson, Walters made his want to Southern California for four seasons from 1992-96. The Trojans made the NIT in his first two years, including a run to the quarterfinals in his first season. After his stop at USC, Walters spent a season as assistant coach at Central Connecticut State.
Walters graduated with a bachelor's degree in social work from Saint Francis University (Pa.) in 1987. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Red Flash. He is also working on his master's of kinesiology from California State-Dominguez Hills. A native of Washington, D.C, Waters has two children, Adriana and Elias.