The Memphis Grizzlies announced the hiring of assistant coach Sonia Raman on Friday.
Raman joins the NBA ranks after 12 seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she led the Engineers to back-to-back conference titles in 2018 and 2019. She is the winningest coach in the program’s history.
MIT participates in the NCAA’s Division III, the tier of mostly smaller colleges and universities that prohibit athletic scholarships and are seldom viewed as pathways to the professional ranks. The Cambridge school’s most prominent claim to sports fame has typically been the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the so-called Super Bowl of analytics made popular by Moneyball.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Sonia to the Memphis Grizzlies,” said Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins in a news release. “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.”
Raman was twice named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (Newmac) Coach of the Year.
“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 young core,” Raman said. “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, who graduated from the Boston College Law School in 2001, becomes the second female coach in Grizzlies history. Niele Ivey was an assistant coach in 2019-20 before accepting the head coaching position at her alma mater Notre Dame in April.
The Engineers went 91-45 over her final five seasons. She started coaching as an assistant at her alma mater, Tufts. She then spent six years as an assistant at Wellesley.