Chambers takes the helm of Xavier WBB

Along with assistants Kelly and Sanders, Chambers looks to revive women’s hoops

By Ethan Nichols, World News Editor

Xavier women’s basketball recently hired a new head coach, Billi Chambers, after parting ways with former Head Coach Melanie Moore.

“We are thrilled to announce Billi as the new leader of our women’s basketball program. Through our national search, she distinguished herself among our list of talented candidates,”   Vice President of Administration and Director of Athletics Greg Christopher said.

Chambers joins Xavier as the ninth head coach in the program’s history, after coaching at Iona University from 2013-2023, where she led the program to NCAA tournament appearances in 2016 and 2023.

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Coach Billi Chambers joins the Xavier women’s basketball lineage after a ten-year odyssey at Iona. In her time leading the Gaels, the program made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.

During her time with the Gaels, the team earned two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships (2013-2014, 2022-2023) and two conference tournament titles (2016 and 2023). Chambers had an overall record of 141-153 and a conference record of 102-85 with Iona.

 Chambers holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hofstra University (2003) and a master’s degree in psychology from Adelphi University (2005). She played in 79 games at Hofstra from 1999-03.

Before joining Iona in 2013, Chambers worked as an assistant coach for Virginia Tech from 2011-2013 and at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 2008-2011. 

“I am excited to be the new head women’s basketball coach at Xavier. Xavier plays in one of the premier college basketball conferences in the country and has a rich history of success… I can’t wait to coach in the Big East and compete for conference championships,” Chambers said.

Iona Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski praised Chambers for her efforts in New Rochelle, New York.

“Coach Chambers guided our program to new heights during her tenure, bringing home a pair of MAAC Championships, the first in school history. We are incredibly grateful to Coach Chambers for her leadership and dedication to our program and all she has done to elevate Iona women’s basketball to where it is now. We wish Coach Chambers the very best in this exciting new chapter as she moves on to a well-deserved opportunity in the Big East,” Glovaski said.

Following a dismal season in which the Muskies finished 7-23 and without an NCAA appearance in more than a decade, Chambers says she will “work relentlessly to restore this program to excellence both on and off the court.”

Moore served as head coach from 2019-2023, in which she compiled a 24-81 record (8-60 in the Big East). During her time as head coach, 16 players earned Academic All-Big East Honors. 

Since being hired on April 5, Chambers has procured the assistance of longtime accomplice Ashlee Kelly and Brianna Sanders, who joined the Chambers coaching parliament last season after spending five seasons at the University of Akron. 

Kelly had been been Chambers other half at Iona for the past 14 seasons, serving as associate head coach; she will envelop that very role at Xavier for the next season. The fourth highest scorer in Qunnipiac women’s basketball history, Kelly has served as a head coach at Mercy College in Youngstown, In addition to serving as head coach of the women’s basketball program from 2006-2009, Kelly served as assistant director of athletics for student services from 2006-2008.

Before joining forces with Chambers at Iona, Sanders was a key facet of Zips women’s basketball at the University of Akron from 2017-2022. 

Preceding her move to Akron was a stint at Chattanooga as director of basketball operations from 2014-2017; the Mocs qualified for the NCAA tournament three times in her four year reign, during which the program amassed a 74-23 record. As a player, Sanders suited up as an Ohio State Buckeye from 2009-2011; her playing career was cut short due to injury, but she evolved into a student assistant in Columbus.