Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn announced Tammi Reiss as the ninth women's basketball coach in program history, April 18, 2019 at The Ryan Center.
"From the first time I spoke with Tammi, I knew she was special. Her experience and success as a player at the highest levels of college and professional basketball are certainly terrific," Bjorn said. "What makes her even more special is the approach she takes in working with young women. I know she will be able to teach them the game of basketball, but she also will teach them leadership, accountability, teamwork and a commitment to excellence. I am just as excited as she is to have her get started as the new head coach for women's basketball at the University of Rhode Island."
With a strong reputation as a communicator, Reiss has a history of recruiting and player development. She comes to URI after spending the last four years as an assistant coach at Syracuse. During her time with the Orange, she worked closely with the guards and helped Syracuse to three straight NCAA Tournament second round appearances. She mentored the only players in program history to earn WBCA Division I Coaches All-America Honors in Alexis Peterson, Brittney Sykes, and Tiana Mangakahia. Peterson and Mangakahia also earned Associated Press All-America Honors. Both Peterson and Sykes were selected in the 2017 WNBA Draft and Sykes went on to earn 2017 WNBA All-Rookie Team honors.
In the last four years, Reiss helped Syracuse to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, owning a 7-4 record at the big dance. The Orange had 99 wins during her four-year span, including 45 conference victories. Following its run to the national championship game in 2016, the team was ranked No. 3 nationally in the final USA Today Coaches poll, its highest rank in program history.
Before Syracuse, Reiss spent time at Cal State Fullerton as the associate head coach. She served as the Titans' recruiting coordinator and was responsible for game and practice preparation, player development with emphasis on guard play, and conducted the offseason conditioning program.
From 2011-13, Reiss was an assistant coach at San Diego State, where she helped guide the Aztecs to two conference regular-season titles, the 2012 Mountain West Tournament crown, and one NCAA Tournament appearance. She mentored Courtney Clements, the 2012 Mountain West Player of the Year, and Chelsea Hopkins, who was named the 2012 Mountain West Newcomer of the Year and Mountain West Player of the Year in 2013.
Prior to working at San Diego State, Reiss served as an assistant coach for the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars and Utah Starzz. During her time in Utah, the Starzz advanced to the Western Conference final in 2002.
Reiss was an assistant coach at her alma mater, Virginia, from 1993-96. She helped guide the Cavaliers to two ACC regular-season titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the Elite Eight.
A former WNBA player and All-American at Virginia, Reiss brings an abundance of experience to the Rhode Island program. She was a four-year starter for the Cavaliers, earning All-American honors in 1992. She led the team to three ACC regular-season titles, two league tournament championships, and three Final Four appearances. Reiss earned All-Conference honors three times in her career and was named to the All-ACC Tournament Team twice. She ended her collegiate career ranked first in school history in 3-point field goals made (139) and 3-point field goal percentage (.416) and was second in points (1,842) and free throws made (437).
Reiss was the fifth overall pick in the 1997 WNBA Draft by the Starzz. She played two seasons for Utah, serving as team captain.
To add to her impressive athletic career, Reiss is also credited with multiple roles as an actress in movies Juwanna Mann and Double Teamed, as well as the TV series Sister, Sister.