After serving as the head coach of the synchronized swimming team for 14 years at Canisius, Wright returns to assist her daughter for the 2014 season, and will serve as the interim head coach while head coach Jill Wright is on maternity leave.
In her 14 seasons at the helm of the program, Joanne began a club program with two swimmers in 1992 and turned it into one of the nation's best programs almost immediately. Canisius started pulling in national honors in its inaugural season and the success has kept coming for Wright and the Griffs. Their first season of success at the club level was rewarded with varsity status in 1993.
With a more complete squad, Wright led the Griffs into their second season and continued to make national waves. She organized the first meet hosted by Canisius College, taking first place in every event.
Wright began the Griffs' current streak of 16-straight ECAC Championships in 1998, and won eight-straight before turning the program over her daughter. Wright also led Canisius to as high as third place at the U.S. Collegiate Nationals on five seperate occasions.
Wright graduated in 1971 from Erie Community College and began her career with the Ken-Ton Sync-Kippettes. After competing for the Town of Tonawanda Aquettes from 1962-72, she returned and began her coaching tenure, bringing the club to their level of national prominence that they hold today. Additionally, Wright has coached 10 United States Olympic Festival East teams and led the Empire State Western Region team to an undefeated team gold medal record. Her synchronized swimming experience does not stop at the coaching level. Wright is a nationally recognized official for FINA and has represented the United States for the National Team in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Wright has also volunteered as the Chairperson for the Niagara Association and East Zone Officials for many years. She was the recipient of the U.S. Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year in 1997. Joanne and her husband, William, reside in the Town of Tonawanda. They are the parents of Jill, a 2003 Canisius graduate and two-time synchronized swimming All-American, Mathew and Dale.