Unlike many first-time head coaches, Billi Godsey, who was introduced as the new leader of the Iona women's basketball team Tuesday, won't be asked to engineer a major turnaround.
Instead, Godsey, a former Virginia Tech assistant, has the good fortune of inheriting a Gaels team that went 20-13 last season and reached the Women's NIT Tournament. All five starters, including MAAC Player of the Year Damika Martinez and MAAC Rookie of the Year Joy Adams, are expected to return in 2013-14.
Godsey replaces Anthony Bozzella, who left in March to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, Seton Hall.
"With leaving a program, you want to leave it in better shape than when you arrived, and I think Tony Bozzella and his staff did a great job of doing that," Godsey said during her introductory news conference. "There's a really strong foundation here with this women's program. And I'm just really excited to continue to build with these girls ... on that foundation."
Before arriving at Virginia Tech in the 2011-12 season, Godsey served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Maryland-Baltimore County for three years and as an assistant coach and associate athletic director at Molloy College on Long Island for two seasons. She was on staffs that led teams to the WNIT tournament at UMBC and the NCAA Division II tournament at Molloy.
The Cheverly, Md., native played for Hofstra from 1999 to 2003.
"I'm just absolutely thrilled to be here, excited to move forward and to get to know all of the staff, all of the young ladies that are a part of this program and just everyone," Godsey said.
Incoming athletic director Rick Cole Jr., who was hired in April, said Godsey's strong character and emphasis on academics helped her land the job.
"I really found it difficult to find anyone who would say anything but glowing [remarks] about the character of Billi Godsey, about the woman she is, how she is with her student-athletes, how she is as a member of a team and a member of a staff," Cole said.