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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Dawn Thornton to take over at Alabama A&M

It was quite the Saturday for Dawn Thornton in the world of women’s basketball in the SWAC. In the course of one hour Arkansas Pine Bluff announced her resignation as head coach, and Alabama A&M announced her as its new head coach.

Thornton was introduced as the new head coach at AAMU on Saturday afternoon at a press conference in Huntsville. Her husband, Cedric Thornton, was recently hired at AAMU to join Connell Maynor’s football staff after leaving Grambling at the end of the season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Dawn Thornton to the Alabama A&M University family as our new head women’s basketball coach,” Director of Athletics Dr. Paul A. Bryant said. “Coach Thornton’s remarkable record of success, both within the SWAC and against formidable out-of-conference opponents, speaks volumes about her prowess and strategic acumen in the realm of collegiate basketball. Her leadership qualities, combined with a deep understanding of the game, make her the ideal candidate to elevate our program. 
“We are eagerly anticipating the energy, expertise, and excellence she will bring to our team, and we are confident that under her guidance, A&M women’s basketball will achieve new heights of success. The future is bright for our program with Coach Thornton at the helm.”

While at UAPB Thornton led the Lady Lions to the conference championship in 2023 for the first time since joining the SWAC Conference. During the past season, UAPB set new records for overall wins, including a historic win over Arkansas and SMU in the same year.  

Thornton had a very deep roster in place at UAPB when the season ended after a semifinal loss to Jackson State at the SWAC Tournament. Zaay Green was an All-SWAC first team selection with Maya Peat and Coriah Beck earning second team honors. Beck didn’t finish the season because of an injury and entered the transfer portal after the season as did Maya Peat. There will be a lot of attention now on Green’s decision, who announced after the tournament she would play her extra Covid season. Thornton has long touted Green as a WNBA prospect.

Thornton describes herself as the “Diva Coach” because of her fashionable choices along the sidelines. She famously changed outfits at halftime of each game she coached at this year’s SWAC Tournament.

Thornton takes the place of Margaret Richards who left AAMU after eight seasons back in March.

Dawn Thornton to take over at Alabama A&M

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