From Court to Coach: Ashley Langford named Tulane Women’s Basketball head coach

portrait of Ashley Langford

Ashley Langford (BSM ’09) was named head coach of the Tulane women’s basketball team in April, making history as the first African American to lead the program.

Langford comes to the Green Wave from Stony Brook, where she served as women’s basketball head coach for three years, leading the Seawolves to a 69-24 record.

The appointment marks a return to McAlister and Freret for Langford. Prior to launching her coaching career, Langford was a standout point guard for the Green Wave from 2005-2009, and she remains the team’s all-time leader in assists, assists per game and minutes per game. 

“I spent four years here as a student-athlete, so to have the opportunity to come back and lead the program is a huge honor,” said Langford. “Tulane gave so much to me and was such a great experience that I feel like I owe the university. I want to carry on the tradition.”

In joining Tulane, Langford succeeds her former coach and mentor, the legendary Lisa Stockton, who led the Green Wave to more than 500 victories in a 30-year coaching career.

“To follow in the footsteps of the head coach who mentored me and really gave me my start in coaching and planted that seed, that’s a great responsibility and very exciting,” Langford said. 

As a player, Langford was Conference USA’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior in addition to being a three-time All-Conference selection. She was also a member of C-USA’s All-Freshman Team in 2006, earning Freshman All-America honors by the Women's Basketball News Service. She scored 1,047 points during her collegiate career and was inducted into the school’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

At Stony Brook, Langford became the fastest coach in program history to reach 50 wins and was one of 10 coaches in the nation to be selected for the mid-season watch list for the 2024 Kathy Delaney-Smith Mid-Major Coach of the Year Award.

Earlier this year, Langford was selected for the annual Advancement of Blacks in Sports (ABIS) Basketball Coaches Watch List for the third time in her career. ABIS showcases the standout Black men’s and women’s head, associate and assistant coaches across the NCAA.

That honor was especially meaningful for Langford, who recognizes the significance of her hiring.

“Being the first Black head coach of women’s basketball at Tulane is a great honor, and I don’t take that lightly,” Langford says. “Representation is important. Growing up, I had role models who were older Black women and I aspired to be like them. Today, I realize I have others looking at me, so I try to represent myself and the program in the best way possible.”

In interacting with her players, Langford said she makes it a point to acknowledge both the strides they’ve made and the challenges they still face.

“It’s important to talk about their struggles and how we work through those struggles in the workplace,” Langford says. “I think it’s nice because I’m able to relate to our players and give them real-life experiences that I’ve dealt with throughout my life. To me, having those authentic conversations makes a difference, and being comfortable enough to have those discussions makes that transition for them to the real world much easier.”

And with women’s basketball entering the mainstream, Langford says the timing couldn’t be better.

“Women’s basketball is hot right now, and with that visibility, we’re inspiring young girls who may want to be the next Dawn Staley,” Langford says. “Anytime we’re garnering attention for not only minorities but also for women’s basketball is a positive thing.”


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