Marshall lands Fulks as new women’s basketball coach

Published 8:09 pm Friday, April 12, 2024


Associate Athletic Director of Strategic Communications

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears announced that Transylvania University head coach Juli Fulks has agreed to become the 9th head coach in the history of Marshall’s Women’s Basketball program.

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Fulks, a National Champion at the Division III level, comes to Marshall after being named the 2024 WBCA Division III National Coach of the Year following a 2023-24 season in which Transylvania finished 33-1 and advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four for the second straight season.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve Marshall University as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach,” Fulks said. “I would like to thank President Smith, Christian Spears and their entire leadership team for entrusting me and our future staff in leading the program. We will take immense pride in serving our athletes and mentoring their personal growth as students, leaders and future professionals. Go Herd!”

The Marshall University Board of Governors has scheduled a meeting for Friday afternoon. Pending the Board’s approval, a press conference to introduce Fulks will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in the Cam Henderson Center.

“You know, no one has a more significant impact on the student-athlete experience than their head coach, so the people we bring to Marshall have to be amazing and have to honor that opportunity,” Spears said. “Today, with the hiring of Juli Fulks, we are doing that once again. There is no doubt she is a winner – not many coaches have 400-plus wins – but what makes her so special is the culture she will create, the way she will engage with our student-athletes and the relationships she will form with them.”

Fulks is one of eight head coaches across all divisions of women’s basketball to eclipse the 400-win mark in 20 or fewer seasons.

That consistency of success went to another level over the last three seasons when Fulks compiled a 91-2 overall record and earned a 64-game winning streak during that stretch, which included a perfect 33-0 record and the 2022-23 Division III National Championship. The 64-game winning streak is the third-longest all-time winning streak in Div. III history.

In the 2023-24 season, Fulks again led Transylvania to the Div. III National Championship game after earning her 400th career victory in the NCAA Tournament win over Wisconsin-Whitewater.

While Fulks’ victories on the court stand out, her work off the court for her players is just as integral to their success after basketball.

One of the signature aspects of Fulks’ coaching legacy is the implementation of the Guest Coach Program, which offers her players the opportunity to interact with inspirational female business and community leaders who share their experiences in the world to promote courage, leadership and personal growth among the student-athletes.

Individuals whom Fulks brought in as part of the Guest Coach Program at Transylvania include CEOs, Presidents, Vice Presidents and other corporate leaders.

“Coach Juli Fulks steps into the spotlight as Marshall University’s new Women’s Basketball coach, carrying with her not just a playbook, but a legacy of profound leadership and transformative success,” said Marshall University President Brad D. Smith. “Her approach goes beyond the court; it’s about mentoring young athletes and linking them with professionals, nurturing their growth into poised and impactful leaders.”

Fulks’ success on and off the court is not by accident; instead, it is born of a combination of terrific schematics paired with a detailed analytics system that forms the perfect mechanism for success. The proof is in the performance with Transylvania reaching the 25-win mark in five of the last six years – the lone exception being the COVID-19 shortened season in 2020-21.

“Embracing a ‘Moneyball’ philosophy, she employs cutting-edge data analytics to sharpen strategy and decision-making while her focus on psychological resilience ensures her players are as mentally robust as they are physically formidable,” Smith said. “Coach Fulks isn’t just crafting a team; she’s shaping the future leaders of tomorrow.”

Fulks comes to Marshall with a career record of 400-143 – a winning percentage of 73.7 percent. In addition to winning the National Championship, Fulks also won six consecutive HCAC Conference Championships while going to three straight Elite Eights and two straight Final Fours while at Transylvania.

In the 2023-24 season, the analytics led Transylvania to the No. 1 scoring defense in Division III as the Pioneers allowed just 43.6 points per game – a mark that was the best across all NCAA Divisions.

Transylvania was also No. 2 nationally in scoring margin (+27.9 points per game) while ranking in the top-10 nationally in five other categories: 3-point percentage defense, field goal percentage defense, 3-pointers per game, assist-to-turnover ratio and fouls per game.

“Juli will bring enormous intellect and passion to our program, and I am simply thrilled for our current and future student-athletes who will have a remarkable experience while they represent The Herd under her leadership,” Spears said. “She will also be a colleague to our other Head Coaches and she will be a leader in our community and on campus.

“Juli is an inspired thinker who cares deeply, her basketball IQ is simply phenomenal, and her system and principles are noteworthy. I can’t wait to see what she develops here at Marshall with our Women’s Basketball program!”

The Dola, Ohio, native played at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she was a member of the 1997 team that reached the Final Four after capturing the Ohio Athletic Conference title.

Fulks also has her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from University of the Cumberlands.