WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics continues to evolve as WSSU Director of Athletics Etienne Thomas announces the promotion of LaTaya Hilliard-Gray to the position of Associate Director of Athletics. For the last two decades, Hilliard-Gray has been an integral part of the Department of Athletics and she has earned a position among the leadership of Rams athletics.
"I am excited to formally announce LaTaya's promotion as Association Director of Athletics as she adds the additional responsibilities of sports supervision to the administrative roles she currently holds as Senior Woman Administrator, SAAC advisor and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. LaTaya has served as our SWA which is the Senior most female in the operation of a Department of Athletics, for several years," said Winston-Salem State University Director of Athletics Etienne Thomas. "LaTaya brings incredible knowledge, expertise, and perspective to all facets of the administration of college athletics with an extreme attention to detail and a keen sense of the needs and opportunities available or that need to be created to ensure student-athletes have a great holistic collegiate experience and are prepared for the professional world, ensuring that the voices of her fellow colleagues are heard and in helping to move our department forward. Prior to my arrival, I tried to hire her away from WSSU in her capacity as Head Softball Coach, but since arriving here, I have had the opportunity to come to know how impactful of an administrator that she is and the great treasure that we have on our WSSU Athletics team and how she shows up every day as a GREAT Coach and Administrator."
The role as Associate Director of Athletics comes in addition to her duties as the designated Senior Woman Administrator and Softball Head Coach. It is another step in a great career of service to Rams Athletics. Hilliard-Gray has spent 20 years as a member of the WSSU Department of Athletics. She will continue to serve as the department's Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Advisor.
For two decades, Hilliard-Gray has been a constant figure in Rams Athletics. She began her career at WSSU in 2000 when she started out as an assistant coach on the Rams' softball and volleyball team before taking on the title of softball head coach in 2002. From there, she has had an historic coaching career with the program, leading it to 364 total victories along with five Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) softball championships. During her career, she has also served as the Rams' volleyball head coach on three occasions. She has led the Rams softball team to five appearances in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament, including an historic run in 2019 that saw the Rams upset the top-seeded West Virginia State Yellow Jackets in the opening round of the tournament. She has also earned several coaching honors including being named the CIAA Coach of the Year three times and earning the 2010 NCAA Division I Independent Coach of the Year award.
As impressive as her coaching career has been, Hilliard-Gray has also proven to be an administrative leader for the Rams as well. During her career, she has led several department initiatives, including community involvement and student-athlete life skills development. In addition to leading the department's community service efforts, she also organizes and facilitates professional development workshops, and educational training sessions. In 2014, she was designated as Senior Woman Administrator while also taking on the role as the department's Deputy Title IX Coordinator and advisor of WSSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Prior to joining the WSSU Department of Athletics, Hilliard-Gray completed an internship at the CIAA and gained insight into conference office management, ticket sales, and oversight of conference championship tournaments. She is a graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy and the NCAA/NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement. She is also a member of the Women's Leaders in College Sports, National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
Hilliard-Gray is a graduate of Hampton University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T State University.
For more information on the Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.