The Converse College Valkyries athletic program has new coaches to lead its basketball and volleyball teams to new heights. Joanna Tincher is the new Valkyries basketball coach and Heather Sulkowski will lead the volleyball Valkyries.
Tincher, who comes to Converse directly from a professional basketball tour in Italy, is eager to instill her passion for the game and charge up the program with her energy as a player.
“She always knew she wanted to coach…she let me know that the first day we met on the court,” said Janna Magette, Tincher’s former coach from Francis Marion University who is now the Assistant Women’s Coach at the University of Florida. “Joanna will always be one step ahead and no one will work harder to utilize every resource and find the players who are the right fit for Converse,” said Magette. “I am sure she will bring hard work and a passion for the game to the program."
Tincher, an Indiana native, carried out her collegiate playing career at Francis Marion University. After graduating with a degree in Psychology, she then accepted a position as the Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where Head Coach Jeff Keller mentored her for three years. “I’m sure she will work hard and make the school proud,” said Keller. “She’ll be good at motivating the players and transferring her energy and passion for the game to the athletes. It will be easy for her to relate to her players since she has played professionally so recently.”
Coach Tincher, who is ready to get off the road after her tour in Italy, is also itching to get on the court with her team. “I’m excited to join the Valkyries staff and I anticipate lots of hard work and growth in the near future. It will be great to take this developing program and continue to lead them to successful Conference Carolinas performance,” said Tincher.
Joy Couch, Converse Athletic Director, asserted “We are confident that Joanna will continue to lead our program in the right direction. It is refreshing to see her youthful passion for basketball.”
The Valkyrie basketball season kicks off this November at the Tusculum Tip-off Classic in Greenville, Tennessee.
Heather Sulkowski comes to Converse from Limestone College, another Conference Carolinas member institution, where she served as an Assistant Coach to Tim Loesch last season.
Prior to Limestone, Sulkowski coached for five years at Peace College, a small women’s institution in Raleigh, North Carolina. While coaching at Peace, she led the team into the USA South Athletic Conference as the only women’s college in the league and after three years achieved a fourth place standing out of the eight volleyball programs in the entire conference. Her other duties there included senior women’s administration, sports information and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee supervision.
“As an alumna and former coach at a women’s college, I am very familiar with the wonderful education and lifetime benefits that come from attending a single gender instituti