Joanna Tincher | Interim Head Coach
Joanna Tincher was named Interim Head Coach in August 2018 following the departure of Sean Page. She had previously been elevated to Assistant Head Coach in September 2017.
She returned to Newberry College as assistant women's basketball coach in the summer of 2016 after serving as an assistant coach at Wofford for the 2015-16 season. Tincher had previously served as assistant coach at Newberry for three seasons (2012-13 to 2014-15).
In 2016-17, Tincher's first season in her second stint with the program, Newberry clinched the No. 5 seed in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament and held an 18-9 overall record with a 14-8 mark in the conference.
The Wolves downed a pair of top-10 opponents at Eleazer Arena during the season, knocking off No. 7 and defending NCAA Tournament participant Limestone in the season's second game before handing No. 8 Lincoln Memorial its second loss on Feb. 11. The Wolves committed the fewest turnovers in the SAC, ranked 28th nationally in scoring defense, and saw Meg Essex finish the season 11th in Division II with 2.73 blocked shots per game.
Starting in the 2012-13 season, Tincher helped the Newberry program to winning seasons in all three years on staff, including a SAC championship and NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in 2015. As an assistant, Tincher played a crucial role in recruiting, scouting and game plan development while also devising and overseeing pre and post season workouts. She also helped ensure compliance and made team travel arrangements. She coached two All-Americans, two First-Team All-Conference Players, one Second-Team All-Conference Player and one All-Freshman Team player during her first stint at Newberry.
Tincher came to Newberry after serving as head women's basketball coach at Converse College in Spartanburg from 2008 to 2012. She was in charge of all coaching, recruiting, academic monitoring and budgeting for the Valkyries' program. She also oversaw Converse's intramural and fitness programs, managed student workers for the weight room and was the on-site game manager for the Valkyries' other sports. She organized and directed the third annual Girls Day on Converse's campus, designed to give over 300 girls from ages eight through 15 their own day on a college campus.
Tincher also has experience at the international professional level both as a player and coach. She played with the Italian team Nuoro Lokomotiv from October 2007 to July 2008, contributing to a team that was a national runner-up finish. She also helped coach the organization’s U15 and U18 teams, where she would run practices for the two teams.
Tincher started her coaching career at the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2004. She served as an assistant for the Chargers for three seasons, playing an instrumental role in recruiting, workout development, team clinics and camps and team travel arrangements.
Tincher was a four-year letterwinner at Francis Marion University as a forward/center, where she received the team’s Most Valuable Player Award her senior season. During that season, she averaged 10.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.7 steals while leading the team in rebounding. She was also part of Francis Marion’s 2001 run to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16. She played in 97 of her team’s 115 games during her four seasons.
Tincher graduated from Francis Marion in May 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish. She was also named to the 2001 PBC Presidential Honor Roll and 2002 FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll.
Cole Birchfield | Assistant Coach
Interim head women's basketball coach Joanna Tincher announced the hiring of Cole Birchfield as an assistant coach in September 2018.
"When I made a list of what I needed in an assistant I realized the person who checked all of the boxes was right next to me," Tincher stated.
"After speaking with [head men's basketball] Coach [Dave] Davis, who gave me some insight into how much initiative Cole had already displayed while working with his program, I knew he would be a great fit for our program. I am fortunate to have someone with Cole's integrity and work ethic alongside of me and inspiring this fantastic group of young women."
Tincher did not have to look far to find Birchfield, who had joined the men's basketball staff in June in a volunteer assistant role. The former Newberry player spent the summer working men's basketball camps at both Newberry and Alabama. His roles with the Newberry men's program centered on on-court coaching and recruiting before he shifted to his current role.
"I would first like to thank Coach Tincher for the opportunity to join her staff," Birchfield said." Getting to work alongside a person like Joanna in a place like Newberry is a blessing. I am extremely excited to be a part of the women's basketball staff here at Newberry College. This program has traditionally been very competitive within the South Atlantic Conference and I cannot wait to get started.
"I would also like to thank Coach Dave Davis for the chance to join his staff back in June as a volunteer assistant. His willingness to help me get my foot in the door in college coaching cannot be understated and I appreciate that greatly."
Birchfield spent last season on staff at Higdon, Alabama's North Sand Mountain High School. He served as an assistant coach with the varsity team while taking the head role with both the freshman and junior high teams. He was in charge of skill development, in-game substitutions, and helped to create scouting reports for the varsity program, where he helped head coach Cole Hicks engineer a 10-game turnaround from the previous season and an overall 11-10 record.
Prior to his coaching experience, Birchfield spent two years as a personal trainer, where he worked primarily with junior college basketball and softball players on strength, technique, footwork, and speed. He also spent five summers as a camp leader at Dade County High School's kid's camps and high school team camps both leading drills and refereeing games.
Birchfield played the 2013-14 season in Scarlet and Gray. He was the team's fourth-leading scorer as a true freshman, averaging 8.4 points per game and firing at a 40.2 percent clip from the field while playing in all 28 games. He attained his season high of 19 points in the regular season finale against Carson-Newman and reached double figures 10 times. He completed his career at Shorter, playing in 72 games and averaging 6.1 points per contest while shooting 41.0 percent.
Samara Hill | Student Assistant Coach