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Few coaches have had an impact on a program the way that Ravon Justice has impacted the Bearkat Women’s Basketball program in her first two seasons in Huntsville.
In two years with the Kats, Justice has posted a 35-23 record, going 25-13 in Southland Conference play. That includes going 19-10 in the 2019-20 season and 14-6 against Southland competition. The 14 SLC victories and the 19 wins overall were both Division I records for the program.
In addition to the team success in 2019-20, the Kats also received some individual accolades as well with sophomore Amber Leggett finding her way onto both the all-SLC first team and the SLC All-Defensive team. Jaylonn Walker was named to the all-SLC second team for the second straight year, while Faith Cook became the second straight Bearkat to be named the SLC Newcomer of the Year.
SHSU had won just 40 games in the previous five seasons before Justice's arrival, and that quick turnaround did not gone unnoticed as she wa named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2019 following her first year with the program. She was named the program’s 10th head coach in it's 48-year history in the spring of 2018, following a successful two-year stretch at Prairie View A&M. that year she led Kats to a 16-13 record in her first year, including going 11-7 in SLC play.
The 16 wins were nine more than the Kats had put together in the previous two seasons combined, and the 12-win improvement was the third best of any program in the nation in 2018-19, but the best of any that was under the direction of a first-year head coach.
Justice is the first coach in Bearkat history to achieve a winning record in her first year with the program and came up just two wins shy of tying the program record for single-season victories.
In addition to helping the Kats to a 10-win improvement in league play, Justice helped three Bearkats – Jaylonn Walker, Lydia Baxter and Jenniffer Oramas – all pick up all-conference honors, the first postseason honors for any Bearkat since the 2015-16 season. Walker was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year, while Baxter was a third-team choice and Oramas getting an honorable mention nod.
Under Justice’s guidance, the Kats saw their scoring average jump up more than 18 points per game, eclipsing 100 points a pair of times. They also played an exciting brand of defense, ranking third in the league by forcing 22.7 turnovers per game.
Prior to joining SHSU, she helped resurrect and refocus the once prominent women’s basketball program at Prairie View A&M. In her first year, she had a school record five non-conference wins against teams from Conference USA, the Southland and the MEAC. Justice was able to lead the Panthers to an 11-2 home record in her first season along with coaching a second team all-SWAC selection and second team Box-To-Row All American selection in Alexus Parker.
In 2017-18, the Panthers posted a 12-6 SWAC record, a five-game improvement from the season before, and missed earning a share of the league title by one game. She led the team to the SWAC semifinals for the first time in three seasons.
Prior to coaching at PV, Justice was an assistant coach at the University of Houston. In Justice's first year at Houston in 2010-11, the Cougars enjoyed one of their finest seasons in program history, posting a 26-6 overall record and returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
With Justice's guidance, Houston point guard Porsche Landry earned Conference USA first team honors and became only the fourth player in Cougars' women's basketball history to tally more than 1,000 points and 300 assists during her career. Justice also made an immediate impact on the recruiting trail after taking over those duties following the 2010-11 season, as various recruiting services such as Dan Olson's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (No. 22) and ESPN HoopGurlz (No. 39) ranked the early six-player class that signed in November of 2011 among the nation's top-40 recruiting hauls.
Justice joined the University of Houston staff after five seasons as an assistant at Houston Baptist. Before helping the Huskies’ team transition from the NAIA to the NCAA's Division I classification, Justice was a part of the 2005-06 team that completed an undefeated run to the Red River Athletic Conference's regular season and tournament championships. HBU repeated as tournament champions the following season.
The Huskies also made two trips to the NAIA Division I tournament during Justice's tenure with the team, including a trip to the quarterfinals in 2007.
During her own collegiate playing career, Justice attended Nicholls for one year before transferring to Clarendon College. As a Lady Bulldog, she was named a junior college All-American in addition to receiving Western Junior College Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors.
Following her time at Clarendon, Justice played one season at Washington State before finishing her college career at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.
As a senior at USAO, Justice averaged 19.3 points per game and captured All-Sooner Athletic Conference honors. She tallied the third-most points (521) in a single season in school history during the 2003-04 campaign, while setting school records in free throws (133) and free-throw attempts (214).
Justice earned her bachelor's degree in sociology from USAO in 2004 and received her master's degree in liberal arts from Houston Baptist in 2009.