Adam Lancia has been named head coach of the University of Alabama women’s wheelchair basketball team.
Lancia previously coached the ASV-Bonn German First Division team from 2008-2011 and the Nova Scotia Flying Wheels first division team in Halifax from 2012-2015. He also has played for the Canadian National Team since 2001 and has won two gold medals and a silver medal as a player across three Paralympics Games since 2004.
“The timing of this opportunity is tremendous,” Lancia said. “From speaking with (assistant coach) Adam Kramer, he can’t say enough about the resources and how supportive the university is of our team and Alabama Adapted Athletics.”
Dr. Brent Hardin, director of UA Adapted Athletics, has followed Lancia’s career since his days as a college player at the University of Illinois, where Lancia helped lead the Illini to a national championship in 2003. He said Lancia’s extensive experiences at every level of wheelchair basketball will help UA continue its championship success.
“He is a cerebral teacher in the gym but also a fiery motivator that will hold our team accountable,” Hardin said. “I think our student athletes are really going to enjoy playing for Coach Lancia. We feel he is exactly the right coach for Alabama and we are confident he will help our players realize their full potential.”
Lancia takes over for Elisha Williams, who resigned at the end of the 2015-16 season. Williams won a national championship as a player and one as a coach, leading the Crimson Tide to its fourth women’s national championship in 2015.
UA went 15-12 overall and 10-10 in conference play last season. The Crimson Tide will welcome seven new players this season. Six of those players have international experience, Lancia said.
“Dynamic” is a term Lancia hopes becomes synonymous with UA’s play, a goal he hopes to reach by simulating the “chaotic” nature of wheelchair basketball in training. “We’re going from a good team last year to a deep, dynamic team next season. We’ll be able to throw many different looks at our competition.”
“When Brent asked me what my offensive and defensive philosophies are, I told him ‘my offensive strategy is to frustrate defenses, and my defensive strategy is to frustrate offenses,’” Lancia said. “I want my players to do whatever they can to make other teams work. We want to effectively counter what any team throws at us. There’s going to be fast play in transition, 3-point shooting, smaller lineups to counter taller, slower teams.
“We’re going to use that dynamic approach in how we train and organize practice. The game is chaotic, a mess, just crazy times, and practice has to replicate that to an extent.”