TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State athletic director Ron Prettyman has announced the promotion of Joey Wells to head coach of the ISU women’s basketball program on Wednesday evening. Wells becomes the seventh head coach in program history, effective immediately.
“It is with great excitement that I announce the promotion of Joey Wells to the position of head women’s basketball coach at Indiana State University,” Prettyman said. “Coach Wells has been a driving force in the recent resurgence and success of the program. After spending the last week with the team and coaches in Costa Rica, it is evident that Coach Wells has his finger on the pulse of this program. He is respected by not only the student-athletes but fellow coaches, supporters of the program and staff.”
Wells, who spent the last season as associate head coach, has spent the last two years at Indiana State. He helped guide the Sycamores to a 2014 Missouri Valley Conference regular season finish and 20-12 record overall. ISU finished 14-4 in conference action en route to earning the No. 1 seed in the MVC Tournament. ISU also made its second-straight appearance in the WNIT in 2013-14.
“I am thrilled to be the next head coach of the Indiana State Sycamores,” Wells said “I would like to thank President Dan Bradley, Athletics Director Ron Prettyman and senior woman administrator Angie Lansing for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank Teri Moren for bringing me to ISU two seasons ago. I can’t wait to get back to Terre Haute and hit the ground running for the 2014-15 season with the talented roster we have built here at Indiana State.”
As the team’s defensive coordinator, Wells has improved the Sycamores improve in a variety of categories in just two seasons. Since his arrival, Wells has helped ISU post positive turnover margins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007 and 2008. He also elevated the Sycamores in the MVC standings in opponent points per game, field goal percentage defense and defensive rebound percentage. In 2014, ISU led the league in opponent field goal percentage (.380), ranked second in opponent points per game (60.0) and second in turnover margin (+2.0).
In the past two seasons, ISU has held 15 opponents to 50 points or less under Wells’ direction and finished second in the MVC in opponent points per game in both seasons.
In his first season in 2012-13, Wells helped guide the Sycamores to an 18-win season and a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2005-06. Indiana State posted an 18-13 record in 2012-13, advancing to the Postseason WNT. ISU’s 18 wins were their most since 2006-07 and the team’s 10-8 record within the Missouri Valley Conference was ISU’s best since 2008-09.
Defense was key to Indiana State’s success in 2012-13, as the Sycamores set a program record for the fewest points allowed per game for a single season. Indiana State held 10 opponents to less than 50 points in a game while their opponents averaged 55.5 points per game for the season.
Wells came Indiana State after spending the past five seasons on the coaching staff at Lamar University. He helped the Cardinals to a Southland Conference championship in 2010 while the team averaged 21 wins per season in his time on the staff. In 2011, Wells was named a Top 25 Mid-Major Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach by CollegeInsider.com.
Prior to coming to Lamar, Wells served as an assistant coach for Division II Missouri Western from 2004-07. The team averaged 23 wins over his final two seasons there, including a 30-4 mark in 2006-2007.
Wells is a 1996 graduate of Fresno Pacific University, having earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He and his wife, Tina, reside in Terre Haute and have three grown children – Tanner (wife Jennifer), Alex and Carlie. The couple also has a two-year-old granddaughter, Brylee.
Details of Wells’ contract will be available once the team, along with athletic director Ron Prettyman, return to Terre Haute.