Sonia Raman joined a growing list of women coaches in the NBA after the Memphis Grizzlies hired her as an assistant coach at the end of its 2020 season.
Raman was previously the women’s basketball program head coach and assistant director for compliance for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She replaces Niele Ivey, who left the Grizzlies after one season to become the head coach for the Notre Dame women’s basketball team. Raman is the 14th woman in NBA history to hold a coaching position
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff. I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started with Taylor, his staff, and the team’s emerging core,” Raman said in a statement. “I must also give a truly special thank you to MIT and the women I’ve had the honor of coaching for the past 12 years. I wish the program continued success.”
Raman began her intercollegiate coaching career as an assistant for Tufts University, her alma mater, before working as the top assistant coach at Wellesley College. MIT hired Raman as head coach in 2008, and she eclipsed numerous achievements and titles in her 12 seasons with the team.
On top of multiple New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards, Raman is MIT’s all-time winningest coach. She guided the Engineers to two NCAA Division 3 tournament berths, and back-to-back NEWMAC championship titles in 2018 and 2019, and a third straight conference tournament finals appearance in 2020.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Sonia to the Memphis Grizzlies,” Jenkins said in a statement. “She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game, as well as a strong passion for the game. She is going to be a great addition to our current coaching staff.”
Under Raman, her student-athletes won four NEWMAC Rookie of the Year awards and had four seniors play in the New England Women’s Basketball Association Senior Classic. Raman had 69 players honored with NEWMAC Academic All-Conference accolades, and the Engineers have had top-10 rankings on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 in 2011, 2017, and 2018.
Sonia “is very well-deserving of this and I know that she will do a great job in the NBA,” MIT Athletic Director Dr. G. Anthony Grant said in a news release. “Sonia has built our women’s basketball program into a perennial contender for the NEWMAC Championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament and I am appreciative of her dedication and commitment to our student-athletes in each of her roles. We wish Sonia the best in Memphis and look forward to following her continued success in the pros.”
Raman was a four-year player and captain for the Tufts women’s basketball team. She graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and earned a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 2001.
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