TUCSON, Ariz.- University of Arizona head women’s basketball coach Joan Bonvicini today announced the hiring of Toriano Towns as the new assistant coach for the program.
"I am extremely excited to join the Wildcat family," Towns said. "Tucson is a mecca for great college basketball and Coach Bonvicini is a living legend in our sport. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with an exceptional staff and some of the most talented athletes in the country."
Towns comes to the UA from Gonzaga, where he has served as an assistant for the past three seasons. He will work with the Wildcat post players, and will also be heavily involved in recruiting and scouting.
"We’re very excited to have Tori join our staff," Bonvicini said. "He has excellent experience and he’s an outstanding recruiter. He was instrumental in helping Gonzaga become one of the top teams in the West Coast Conference."
At Gonzaga, Towns was responsible for post player development as well as scouting and game preparation. He also served as the co-recruiting coordinator. While there, he helped orchestrate the second-best turnaround in West Coast Conference history as the team went from eighth to second place in just one year.
Last season, Gonzaga posted an 18-12 record and finished in second place in the WCC. The team advanced to its second-ever Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), where it lost to Oregon State in the first round.
The Bulldogs set numerous school records during Towns’ tenure, including best home record (25-4 over the last two seasons), most blocked shots in a season and attendance. Towns also coached five All-WCC performers.
Last season, Gonzaga led the WCC in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, rebounding margin and home attendance. In 2002-03, the Bulldogs led the league in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense.
A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Towns earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Mary’s College in 1998. A four-year starter and three-time team captain as a defensive back for the Gaels’ football team, Towns appears in the SMC record book for tackles, deflections and games started. The 1996-97 squad was one of the top five teams in SMC history and was ranked No. 14 by Sports Illustrated.
Towns’ ties to basketball coaching began during his senior year at Saint Mary’s when he broke his arm and was unable to compete in football. He began working with then-head coach Kelly Graves and the women’s basketball team. Graves was hired at Gonzaga in 2000 and later invited Towns to join his staff.
While at Gonzaga, Towns was pursuing a master’s degree in organizational leadership. He has an eight-year-old daughter, Arianna.