The coach with the second highest winning percentage in school history and second most career coaching wins, Steve Williamson returns for his twelveth season as head women’s basketball coach at Iowa Wesleyan University.
Williamson owns a 216-126 career record in his twelve seasons and ranks second in school history in wins, only behind legendary coach Olan Ruble, who won 274 games from 1943-65.
During the 2014-2015 season, the team earned its second consecutive bid to the USCAA National Championship. The Tigers finished second in SLIAC standings and finsihed the season with a 19-7 overall record.
In 2013-2014, the team earned a bid to the USCAA National Championship, and finished as the SLIAC regular season conference champions.
He led the Tigers to six straight 20-win seasons in his first seven years at IWU, five NAIA Division II National Tournament berths, three Midwest Collegiate Conference regular season championships, four MCC Tournament titles, as well as five straight trips to the championship game of the MCC tourney from 2006-10.
In 2010-11, the Tigers finished 22-9 and tied for second in the MCC regular season. Despite an injury limiting 2010 First Team All-American Jessi Beachey to just 15 games and less than 10 minutes a game, IWU stayed in the national rankings the entire season, ascending as high as 12th, the highest ranking in school history. The Tigers defeated several ranked teams, including a 25-point win over then #5 ranked Cornerstone (Mich.) to win the Cornerstone Christmas Classic. IWU extended its streak of 20-win seasons to six, the first time in school history that feat has been accomplished.
In 2009-10 the Tigers reached new heights, winning a school-record 27 games and advancing to the Elite 8 of the NAIA Division II tourney for the first time in school history. IWU furnished its first-ever NAIA D-II First Team All-American in Beachey and finished 27-8 last year, sweeping the MCC regular season and tournament championships for the second straight year. Wesleyan went 15-1 in league play and won the conference tournament, earning its highest ever seed (#3 in eight-team bracket) in school history. The Tigers then defeated Walsh (Ohio) and Jamestown (N.D.) to advance to the national quarterfinals, where they would eventually bow to eventual national champion Northwestern (Iowa). The outstanding season also was capped with a near sweep of the MCC’s top awards. Beachey was named Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, and three Tigers (Beachey, Anna Jones, Melanie McCreight) were named first team all-conference. Williamson also was named MCC Coach of the Year for the second straight year and the third time in his career.
In 2008-09 the Tigers also captured the conference regular season and tournament championships. Iowa Wesleyan finished 22-10 overall, 14-2 in league, and defeated Mount Mercy in the league championship game to earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II national tourney. IWU then gave a scare to higher-seeded Concordia (Ore.) University in the first round at nationals, holding a nine-point lead with less than two minutes left in regulation before falling by two points in overtime.
In 2007-08 the Tigers just missed out on winning their third straight MCC tourney title after championships in 2005-06 and 2006-07. IWU still finished with a 20-9 overall record, the program’s third straight 20-win season. That followed a 2006-07 year when the Tigers finished tied for third in the MCC and went 18-10 overall in the regular season. IWC got hot in the postseason, though, winning the MCC Tournament championship for the second consecutive year and defeating Menlo (Calif.) College in the first round of the NAIA Division II National Tournament, becoming the lowest seeded team to advance to the Sweet 16. The Tigers finally saw their season end in the next round in a 67-61 loss to Taylor (Ind.) University. The team finished with a 22-11 record and for the second straight season featured an NAIA All-America and MCC Newcomer of the Year, along with placing two players on the All-MCC First Team.
Williamson’s 2005-06 Tigers snapped a string of 19 consecutive losing seasons and qualified for the NAIA Division II national tourney, the program’s first national tournament appearance since 1970. IWU claimed its first-ever conference championship with a 13-1 mark in the then-named Midwest Classic Conference and also captured the MCC Tournament title. The Tigers finished 25-8 overall, and sported a perfect 14-0 record at Ruble Arena, and the Tigers earned their first national ranking in 2005-06, finishing 25th in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll. Williamson was named MCC Coach of the Year and the Tigers also fielded the MCC Player and Newcomer of the Year.
Williamson, a 2000 IWU graduate and former player under Tiger head men’s basketball coach Alan Magnani, replaced Seychelle Mahoney at the helm of the women’s program for the 2004-05 season. In his first campaign, he guided the Tigers to a 10-22 record -- a six-win improvement from the season before -- and a sixth-place finish in the MCC.
A native of Ruthven, Iowa, Williamson transferred to IWU from Iowa Lakes Community College after earning his Associates Degree and Coaching Endorsement. He was a two-year letterwinner for the IWC men’s basketball team from 1998-2000 and served as a team captain his senior year.
Williamson was a student assistant, intern assistant, recruiting coordinator and head junior varsity men’s basketball coach for the Tiger men from 2000-04, all under Magnani. Williamson became a full-time assistant for four years after graduation. During his final season with the men’s squad in 2003-04, the Tigers won the MCC Tournament championship and earned a berth in the NAIA Division II National Tournament. Williamson was named the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2002-03 season.
Williamson’s wife Courtney is employed at Access Energy in Mount Pleasant. The couple has three children: daughter Madison, 14, son Chase, 12, and daughter Taylor, 5.
Former Iowa Wesleyan College women's basketball All-American Anna (Jones) Zander is in her fourth year as the assistant coach of the IWU women's basketball team.
Zander was a two-time All-American at Iowa Wesleyan during a four-year career that made her one of the greatest players in the school's long and distinguished history of playing women's basketball. She was just the second player in school history to receive NAIA Division II First Team All-American honors, and was a three-time First Team All-Midwest Collegiate Conference selection. She finished her career as the school's all-time leader in assists and steals and also ranks fourth in school history in scoring and fifth in rebounding. She also was a member of three Tiger teams to advance to the NAIA Division II National Tournament, and as a sophomore was a starter on IWU's record setting team that finished 27-8 and advanced to the Elite 8 at nationals.
Zander is a native of Cornell, Ill., and is a 2012 graduate of Iowa Wesleyan with a degree in Exercise Science. She is also the Sports Information Director for the athletic department and now resides in Mount Pleasant.
Aimee Iverson joins the Iowa Wesleyan women’s basketball coaching staff as a student assistant this season. Iverson played for the Tigers last year in her final year of eligibility. She played in 19 games and started 14 after missing most of the first half of the season due to an injury. Iverson averaged 29.8 minutes per game as the team’s point guard. She dished out 79 assists on the season and averaged 3.4 rebounds per game.
Prior to joining the Tigers, Iverson spent a year at Missouri Baptist University and played two years of junior college basketball at Parkland Community College. In her only season with Missouri Baptist, Iverson played in 27 games and averaged 6.6 points per game. She averaged 3.22 assists per game and 3.19 rebounds per game during the 2014-15 season. While at Parkland, she started 31 of 34 games and averaged 8.1 points per game. Iverson also finished the season with 3.9 assists per game and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Aimee is a native of Sherrard, Illinois and currently resides in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. She is completing her Bachelors of Science Degree in Exercise Science and Wellness at Iowa Wesleyan University.