All-Time Wins Leader Joe Tartamella Leads A Veteran Women’s Basketball Roster

St. John’s Women’s Basketball head coach Joe Tartamella is primed for a new challenge.

Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

After becoming the program’s winningest head coach with 182 wins under his belt, Joe Tartamella is readying for his 11th season as head coach of the Women’s Basketball team in a new way.

I think the last two seasons have been challenging, and I think this one is one of the more important seasons,” Tartamella said at St. John’s media day. “But it also feels more normal, as normal as it has been since 2019. It’s more normal from the [COVID-19] standpoint and from the standpoint of our roster.”

With a majority of his players being seniors and grad students, it will be a much different dynamic from years prior. The team also suffered key losses with Leilanie Correa, a blow for Tartamella, but the coach remains hopeful of his current team. “I believe our veteran status is going to shine and I’m super excited to get started.”

Along with being an older, more experienced team, Tartamella boasts six newcomers and seven returnees from last season. “It’s going to take some time to build them up together,” Tartamella said. “But from what we’re seeing, we feel a lot better about where we are today than where we were a year ago.”

Tartamella is ready to use his older and more seasoned players in order to rise in the ranks of the Big East. Ole Miss transfer Mimi Reid, has come back to New York for her final season of collegiate play. Tartamella talks very highly of Reid and knows that she will be pushing the entire team to a new level of play. 

Mimi has been our foundation since she got here. She knows how to win, wants to win and wants to guard,” Tartamella said. “All the stuff that’s hard is what she wants to do. It has been a huge breath of fresh air, and has helped our team — especially the younger ones”

In her time at Ole Miss, the guard started 29 of 32 games played and carried the team in assists. Her skills led her to be ranked in the top 10 for assists in the SEC. 

Fifth-year guard Kadaja Bailey is stepping into a leadership role this season, and Tartamella has seen firsthand how her game has improved year after year. Coming into her final season, Tartamella is proud of the player she has become over the past four years and is excited about what she has to offer this season.

She provides so many things for our team. She gives [us] everything in all areas,” Tartamella said. “She’s an elite finisher in transition. I’m really proud of her because she has matured a lot from the end of last season to the beginning of this season.”

This season the team will not only be playing at their home arena, but will participate in the first-ever women’s college basketball game at the UBS Arena in Elmont, N. Y. against UConn. 

The Women’s Basketball home-opener is set for Nov. 7 against Monmouth at 1 p.m. in Carnesecca Arena.