March is Women’s History Month and The HBCU Podcast is celebrating with the “Phenomenal Woman” series. The series features episodes dedicated to highlighting women who have made great strides in their respective career fields to achieve great success.
On this episode, we speak with Selina Kohn. She’s a graduate of Albany State University. She made history as the first woman to serve as Director of Athletics at Paine College. Selina has a storied career in athletics as an athlete, coach, and athletic administrator. During this episode, we talk about her successful career, her invitation to try out for the Olympic women’s basketball team and her encounter with the legendary Pat Summitt.
Selina B. Kohn was named the director of athletics at Paine College in August 2014. Prior to being named director of athletics, Kohn served as the associate director of athletics and the senior woman administrator (SWA). She is also the former head volleyball and women’s basketball coach for the Lady Lions.
In 2014, Kohn was honored at the NCAA Convention as one of two former Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) student-athletes selected to be part of the 49-member NCAA Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team. The award celebrated not only Kohn’s dominance as a Division II student-athlete at Albany State University but also her continuing legacy as a coach and administrator within the Division II ranks. In 2010 while coaching volleyball, two of her student-athletes were selected as SIAC All-Conference Players – Victoria Claytor as SIAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year and Fernisha McMillian as first team Libero.
Kohn is no stranger to championships, in the 2005 season, her team compiled an impressive 35-4 overall record and earned the regular season championship, and a 2nd place finish in the SIAC Tournament. The team also finished in first place in the NCAA statistical standings in Division II for hitting percentage.
“Our young ladies have created a tradition of success both on and off the court,” states Kohn. “My job is to continue that tradition of Paine College student-athletes winning in the classroom and on the court. Our goal continues to be for the volleyball program to be one that both the Paine College and Augusta, GA community will be proud of!”
Not only is she known for coaching volleyball, Kohn is also known for coaching basketball. During the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons, Coach Kohn guided the Lady Lions to a back-to-back SIAC Basketball Championships with two trips to the NCAA Tournament.
At the end of the 2006 academic year, Kohn made the decision to relinquish her responsibilities as head women’s basketball coach to move into administration and become the associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator for Paine College Athletics, representing the College at SIAC and NCAA events. Kohn transitioned into a full-time administrator role in 2012 when she also relinquished her volleyball coaching duties.
Kohn is a native of Thomasville, Georgia. She is a graduate of Central High School where she participated on the Women’s Softball, Basketball and Track Teams. After graduating from Central High School, Kohn attended Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1994.
While attending Albany State University, she won the SIAC Conference Championship in 1990, and after completing her eligibility, she served as the Assistant Coach for the Lady Rams and helped lead them to two SIAC Basketball Championships in 1996 and 1999. While playing for the Lady Rams, Kohn had a record-setting collegiate career. As a Lady Ram, Kohn set five NCAA Division II Assist Records, received the Albany State Basketball Most Valuable Player Award three times, selected to the SIAC All-Conference Team, received the Albany State Director of Athletics Award, named the ESPN Black College Female Player-of-the-Year (1991-1992) and in 1993 received an invitation to try-out for the USA Olympic Basketball Team (Colorado Springs). In 1993, Coach Kohn was named the NCAA Division II Woman-of-the-Year for Albany State University, as well as “A Legend in My Own Time” by Southside Middle School in Albany, Georgia (1989-1993).
Since coaching the Lady Lions Volleyball and Basketball Teams, several Paine College student-athletes have been recognized, not only within the SIAC Conference, but have distinguished themselves and received national recognition by other organizations. Through her hard work and dedication, Coach Kohn produced at least one All-Conference Basketball Player, as well as placing members on the SIAC All-Tournament Team, 2001-2003 and 2004-2006. Kohn had players that have received national distinguished honors.
The following is a list of outstanding achievements of Paine College Athletes: In 1999, Charlene Rutland received the HBCU Speed Stick Scholar-Athlete Award and the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award. In 2002, Tiffany Isaac received the Speed Stick HBCU Eddie Robinson Sports Woman-of-the-Year Scholar-Athlete Award. In 2006, Kisha Lucette received the NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award and became the first female in Paine College history to have a jersey retired. Kisha Lucette also received the SIAC Basketball Tournament Most Valuable Player Award two times. On April 26, 2006, both Lucette’s Volleyball and Basketball Jersey retired. Kisha Lucette and Germaletta Dyson received the SIAC Volleyball Player-of-the-Year Award. Several of Kohn’s former players have been inducted into the Paine College Hall-of-Fame.
In addition to her players receiving numerous honors and awards, Kohn had the honor of being named the SIAC Women’s Basketball Coach-of-the-Year (2001 and 2005), being named SIAC Tournament Coach (2005 and 2006), and receiving the SIAC Volleyball Coach-of-the-Year, 2005. Adding to Kohn’s honors are being featured in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Finest and being inducted into the Paine College Hall of Fame 2011. Also in 2011, Kohn was inducted into the Thomasville-Thomas County Sports Hall-of-Fame.
Accomplishments Since Becoming Director of Athletics (2014): ·
- Established the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Graduate Award
- Established the Male/Female Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year Awards
- Launched Complete Rebranding of Athletics Program
- Launched Paine College Athletics First On-Line Apparel Store
- Re-launched Paine College Athletics Website
- Attended the NCAA Women’s Coaching Academy, 2005
- Dimension II Coaches Academy, 2007
- National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administration Institute for Administrative Advancement (NACWAA/HERS), 2008
- National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administration Leadership Enhancement Institute (NACWAA/LEI), 2009
- NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males and Females, 2010
- NCAA Division II Athletic Directors Association Women and Minorities Mentoring Program, 2014 Executive Leaders Summit, 2015