Pillow’s coaching debut set with FAMU women’s basketball schedule release

Women’s basketball coach Shalon Pillow (right) joined other FAMU coaches when the move to the SWAC was announced.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

Special to the Outlook

Within about two months, the wait for the debut of Shalon Pillow as head coach of the FAMU women’s basketball team will be over.

Never mind it’s on the road Pillow’s coaching debut is much anticipated. She takes the Rattlers to Troy, Ala., to face Troy State University on Nov. 11. 

“I’m really excited and looking forward to my first game as the Florida A&M women’s basketball head coach,” said Pillow.  

Pillow’s coaching debut was delayed when COVID-19 forced the program to opt out of competition.

The non-conference schedule for the Rattlers is a hectic one. They will open the season with five other road games in addition to the one at Troy. The road trips include a stop in Pillow’s home state of Ohio. 

But first the Troy game will be followed by a game at Tulsa on Nov. 17. From that point it will be Memphis (Nov. 20), Ohio (Nov. 29), Dayton (Nov. 30), and Jacksonville (Dec. 4). 

The Rattlers play their first game at home on Dec. 11 at the Lawson Center, where they’ll face Texas A&M International University. 

That will be followed by another road trip to Atlanta for games against Georgia State and Conway in the Coastal Carolina tournament.  

“We’re looking forward to traveling to Memphis and Tulsa. Also, I am excited to head to my home state to play Dayton and Ohio. Furthermore, the Coastal Carolina tournament will be a great opportunity to play in back-to-back games for some tournament experience.” 

The Rattlers will conclude non-conference play with a home game against North Florida on Dec. 30. 

This being the Rattlers’ first season in the SWAC, Pillow is eager for the conference matchups.

“We’re extremely excited about our first season in the SWAC,” Pillow said. “The competition is top tier and that’s why we play the game.” 

The FAMU men and women will face opponents from the same school during conference. The teams open conference play in Daytona Beach against rival Bethune-Cookman. 

After a trip to Daytona Beach, the Rattlers return home for consecutive home games against Southern and Grambling State. Following those two games, Rattler fans will still have the opportunity to watch their team seven more times in the Lawson Center, highlighted by a home contest against 2021 SWAC champion Jackson State on Jan. 24. A return date against the Wildcats is also on tap for March 5.

The Rattlers’ remaining conference games on the road are at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Jan. 15), Mississippi Valley State (Jan. 17), Alabama A&M (Jan. 29), Alabama State (Jan. 31), Jackson State (Feb. 12), Alcorn State (Feb. 14), Grambling State (Feb. 26), and Southern (Feb. 28). 

The SWAC Championship tournament will take place in Birmingham, Ala. on March 9-12.