Fever Hires New Assistant Coach Jim Lewis

News Release | February 22, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS – A former head coach and assistant coach in the Women’s National Basketball Association, and a 37-year coaching veteran overall, Jim Lewis has been named an assistant coach with the Indiana Fever. Lewis’ hiring completes the staff of Indiana’s first-year coach Lin Dunn.

Currently the head girls’ basketball coach at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., where he will continue coaching during the winter months, Lewis leads one of the top prep teams in the nation. Including international competition with USA Basketball, he has enjoyed success at every level of basketball. He was the head women’s coach at Fordham University for six seasons (2001-06), and at George Mason University for 14 (1984-98). He began his career as an assistant coach with men’s programs at Tennessee State, Gannon College, Duke and Tulane.

"I am very impressed with Jim's experience in the women's game,” said Dunn, “not only in the WNBA but in USA Basketball, as well. He will be a great asset to our individual player development, especially with our posts. Add to that his wonderful positive attitude, and you have a winner!"

Prior to guiding the T.C. Williams program in his hometown, Lewis spent a part of the 2006 summer as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx, after retiring from Fordham in March. Counting his six years with the Rams and 14 at George Mason, Lewis notched a 257-295 record in 20 years as a collegiate head coach.

Prior to coaching at Fordham, Lewis served as the first head coach of the WNBA Washington Mystics, in 1997 and 1998. Prior to his stretch with the Mystics, he compiled a 201-177 record over 14 seasons as the winningest head coach, men's or women's, in George Mason history. At George Mason, Lewis led the Patriots to eight winning seasons, including an appearance in the 1997 Preseason WNIT.

Lewis began his coaching career as a graduate assistant men’s basketball coach at Tennessee State (1969-70), which finished as the NCAA Division II runner-up. He then served as an assistant men's coach at Gannon College (1970-71), and moved on to Duke (1972-76) where he served for five years in the same capacity. He was the assistant men's coach at Tulane (1977-81) for five years before becoming the head boys' basketball coach at South Lakes High School (Fairfax, Va.), where his teams compiled a 59-15 record over three years and advanced each year in postseason play.

In 1984, Lewis became the first Division I head women's basketball coach at George Mason University, where he remained until 1997 to become the first coach of the Mystics. During his tenure with the Patriots, he helped USA Basketball to four medals while assisting on coaching staffs at the 1994 Jones Cup (gold), 1995 World University Games (silver), 1997 Junior World Championships (gold) and 1997 USA International Invitational (gold).

One of the USA players on the ’97 FIBA Junior World Championships team was current Fever star Tamika Catchings.

Before his coaching career, Lewis was a four-year basketball letterwinner at West Virginia University, competing in two NCAA Tournaments and one NIT, and earning his degree in journalism. During the 2004-05 season, his 1964-65 freshman class was honored at West Virginia for breaking the color barrier at the university. Following graduation, he began his graduate work at the University of Detroit and went on to earn his master's degree in physical education at Tennessee State.

Led by WNBA All-Stars Catchings, Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown, the Indiana Fever begins its ninth WNBA season by hosting the Washington Mystics on Saturday, May 17 (7:00 p.m.). Indiana bids for its first WNBA Finals appearance this summer, after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in two of the past three seasons. Season tickets are available at FeverBasketball.com, or by calling (317) 917-2500.