On June 3, 2016, Columbus State University Director of Athletics Todd Reeser introduced Savannah native Anita Griffin Howard as the third head coach of the CSU women’s basketball program.
Howard comes to Columbus State after a pair of winning seasons at NCAA Division II Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. Howard guided the Lady Blue Bears to a 41-14 record achieving a top-five ranking for the first time in program history. In 2014-15, Howard led Livingstone to a 26-2 overall mark, including winning 23 consecutive games to set the longest winning streak in HBCU history.
Before Livingstone, Howard coached at Division III Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C. for two seasons. In her first season, Howard turned around Salem leading the Spirits to a 13-win improvement from the season prior and a 17-11 overall record. She was named the Great South Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for her efforts. Just a year later, Howard won Salem’s first GSAC Championship with a 22-5 record sending the Spirits to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Overall, Howard’s career coaching record is 79-30, a .724 winning percentage, in four seasons.
Prior to her head coaching stints, Howard was an assistant coach at Winston-Salem State University, Shaw University and Saint Augustine’s University.
In college, she played three seasons (1998- 2001) at Fort Valley State University helping FVSU to two Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles. She was named the SIAC’s Defensive Player of the Year in all three seasons while also earning a spot on the Dean’s List twice. Howard wrapped up her playing days at Armstrong State University where she continued her success. Howard helped the Pirates to their first ever Peach Belt Conference title in 2003 with a 27-3 record. She graduated from Armstrong Magna Cum Laude in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts design.
Howard started her coaching career at Savannah
High School, serving as the assistant girls’ varsity basketball coach and the head girls’ junior varsity coach from 2004-06. She helped lead Savannah High to its first Region 3-AAAAA state playoff appearance in 25 years. In addition to her high school coaching duties, Howard was the head coach of the Peach State Elite travel team where she instructed several all-state players during her AAU and Elite Team coaching tenure.
Howard graduated from A.E. Beach High School where she played her high school basketball under head coach Ronald Booker. She helped to lead Beach to four region 3-AAAA Championships and four state playoff appearances en route to earning Defensive Player of the Year honors three times. In addition to being named the Defensive Player of the Year she was named the 1998 Georgia High School Athletic Association Player of the Year and was honored with an appearance in the Georgia Coaches Association North/South All- Star Game.
Howard was inducted into the Beach High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Howard is married to Theo Howard.. They have three children – Jason, Thallan and Theo II.