Virginia Women take on “Grind now, shine later” motto with new coach

‘There’s an enthusiasm and passion for what we’re doing.’

Virginia Women's basketball team at ACC Tip-Off in Charlotte (WSLS)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – “I tell them everyday--progress is the process,” said Virginia first-year coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton. The veteran coach enters her first season leading the Cavaliers program--something she considers an honor and blessing.

“To me it’s one of the best academic and athletic institutions in the country and the icing on the cake is I’m home,” Agugua-Hamilton said. The Herndon native brings a wealth of experience and success at the division one level. She most recently served as head coach at Missouri State where she led the program to multiple NCAA Women’s Tournaments during her tenure.

Her passion to be a head coach in her home state has invoked a renewed sense of energy in a UVa program that tallied just five wins during the 2021-2022 season. The level of “buy in” is at an all-time high.

“It’s been a blessing,” said Cavaliers forward Camryn Taylor. “Building that relationship with me and the team gave us confidence in knowing she has our back. “It’s definitely just a great environment to be in.”

Coach Mox isn’t the only one hoping to make an impact in her home state. Sam Brunelle transferred to Virginia after spending her first three seasons with Notre Dame.

“Coming back to UVa, growing up a fan, being a ball girl—all those things. I saw what UVa used to be and being able to be a piece in getting that back to what it used to be is important to me,” Brunelle said. “I believe our team is full of leaders. I’m hoping I can bring a lot of the success I had at Notre Dame and knowing what that takes--the process, the grind, accountability. Accountability is huge, if you don’t have it you will not be great, will not be successful and that’s why it took three years for me to figure that out at Notre Dame. "

“There’s an enthusiasm and passion for what we’re doing,” said Coach Mox. “I always say grind now, shine later because I always focus on the work.”

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.