Sam Houston State has named Ravon Justice as its 10th women’s basketball head coach in the 48-year history of the program. Justice joins the Bearkats after two successful seasons as the head coach at Prairie View A&M, her first two years as a head coach.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to coach at a prestigious university as Sam Houston State,” Justice said upon her hiring. “Being from Texas, I love recruiting Texas kids and being at Sam gives a great opportunity to do that, and to take a Texas team somewhere like I’ve had the opportunity to do at Prairie View.”
As a head coach at Prairie View A&M, she helped resurrect and refocus the once prominent women’s basketball program. In her first year, she had a school record five non-conference wins against teams from Conference USA, the Southland and the MEAC. Justice was able to lead the Panthers to an 11-2 home record in her first season along with coaching a second team all-SWAC selection and second team Box-To-Row All American selection in Alexus Parker.
“Prairie View is a great university with a great community and support, and in my two years there I’ve learned that if you do things the right way you can be successful,” Justice said. “I’m loyal to trusting the process of doing things the right way. You have to be patient with that process, one that also involves learning how to wake up and win every single day itself.”
This past season, the Panthers posted a 12-6 SWAC record, a five-game improvement from the season before, and missed earning a share of the league title by one game. She led the team to the SWAC semifinals for the first time in three seasons.
“We are very excited that Coach Justice is going to lead our program,” Director of Athletics Bobby Williams said. “Going through this process, the overwhelming support and positive comments about her as a person and a coach were extremely high-level. We look forward to her elevating women’s basketball program to the level that we all know it can reach.”
Prior to coaching at PV, Justice was an assistant coach at the University of Houston. In Justice’s first year at Houston in 2010-11, the Cougars enjoyed one of their finest seasons in program history, posting a 26-6 overall record and returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
With Justice’s guidance, Houston point guard Porsche Landry earned Conference USA first team honors and became only the fourth player in Cougars’ women’s basketball history to tally more than 1,000 points and 300 assists during her career. Justice also made an immediate impact on the recruiting trail after taking over those duties following the 2010-11 season, as various recruiting services such as Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (No. 22) and ESPN HoopGurlz (No. 39) ranked the early six-player class that signed in November of 2011 among the nation’s top-40 recruiting hauls.
Justice joined the University of Houston staff after five seasons as an assistant at Houston Baptist. Before helping the Huskies’ team transition from the NAIA to the NCAA’s Division I classification, Justice was a part of the 2005-06 team that completed an undefeated run to the Red River Athletic Conference’s regular season and tournament championships. HBU repeated as tournament champions the following season.
The Huskies also made two trips to the NAIA Division I tournament during Justice’s tenure with the team, including a trip to the quarterfinals in 2007.
During her own collegiate playing career, Justice attended Nicholls for one year before transferring to Clarendon College. As a Lady Bulldog, she was named a junior college All-American in addition to receiving Western Junior College Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors.
Following her time at Clarendon, Justice played one season at Washington State before finishing her college career at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.
As a senior at USAO, Justice averaged 19.3 points per game and captured All-Sooner Athletic Conference honors. She tallied the third-most points (521) in a single season in school history during the 2003-04 campaign, while setting school records in free throws (133) and free-throw attempts (214).
Justice earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from USAO in 2004 and received her master’s degree in liberal arts from Houston Baptist in 2009.