CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Before Amaka Agugua-Hamilton ever accepted the job at Virginia or even took the phone call from UVA Director of Athletics Carla Williams, she knew who would be by her side.

"I knew I was taking them before," Agugua-Hamilton said.
 
Coach Mox and her assistant coaches Alysiah Bond, Tori Jankoska and CJ Jones are enjoying a calmer December after their first month of the season saw the Cavaliers play 11 games. A whirlwind year which started at Missouri State and ended with the same coaching staff helping lead UVA women's basketball to an unbeaten record in non-conference play for the third time in program history.
 
During her three seasons at Missouri State, Coach Mox fielded several calls for other head coaching opportunities, all along knowing the same coaching staff she had for two of the three seasons would be her first hires.
 
"If people are calling you, talking about jobs you got to have some kind of thought process of who you're bringing, what you need on your staff, what are the next steps," she said, "So well before I decided to come to Virginia I knew I was going to bring them."
 
A 15 hour car drive away back at Missouri State Bond, Jankoska and Jones helped Coach Mox to two NCAA Tournament trips and now were along for the ride to UVA.
 
"She FaceTimed me and she was like 'what do you think about Virginia?" Jankoska said, who is the lone original member of Coach Mox's first coaching staff at Missouri State, "And honestly the first, I was just overwhelmed for her."
 
Any nerves or trepidation over the move to Virginia were over-matched by joy for Agugua-Hamilton getting the opportunity to coach in her home state.
 
"We were really excited for her because I know how much this state meant for her," Jones said, "How much coming home meant for her, her family."
 
"Just joy for her because she was very intentional that if she made a move it was going to have to make a lot of sense," Bond said, "Knowing it was something she wanted not just myself, but all of us to do, the excitement just went through the roof, but it was on a primary level for her because this is home for her."
 
Coach Mox's coaching staff was not just an easy decision, it was decades in the making.
 
At Michigan State Coach Mox was an assistant coach for Tori, who would finish as a four-time All-Big Ten selection and the Spartans' all-time leading scorer. Over the years as an assistant, she met both Bond and Jones on the recruiting trail, not necessarily a pleasant sight for Jones.
 
"Not well because she was a great recruiter," Jones said, "I remember being in gyms in Baltimore and her swooping in and her presence, her aura and her getting the job done."
 
Those decade long relationships helped Coach Mox and her staff hit the ground running at Virginia when they first arrived on Grounds in April.
 
"Energy was cool," Jones said, "We all came in with an energy of let's get this thing going, let's hit the ground running, let's go work and Tori and I and Alysiah, we got out and try to find new places to eat, all the different restaurants, you can never go hungry in Charlottesville."
 
"We all know what the brand was about," Jankoska said, "So just building on that and having the same understanding, I think it's been very helpful."
 
The early days of establishing their brand with a struggling Virginia women's basketball program, which has not had a winning record since the 2017-18 season, Coach Mox was dealing with living in temporary housing for three months. While her personal life was hectic, Agugua-Hamilton said professionally everything was smooth with the help of her staff.
 
"If you're fortunate enough to find people that you can go wall to wall with, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., walk out and still want to go spend time with them that is the kind of group," Bond said, "If you can help it, that's what you would choose."
 
Wins have come quickly on the court with the program's best start to a season in three decades, in the rankings with Virginia cracking the USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time since 2010, and on the recruiting trail with the arrival of Notre Dame transfer Sam Brunelle and signing local top recruits Kymora Johnson and Sam Brunelle.
 
"There's a lot of let's go, a lot of high-fives and jumping around and screaming for sure," Coach Mox said, "We celebrate all the small victories, like we tell our players stay present enjoy the journey, we try to do that too as just people and being a part of this staff."
 
Those small victories have come off the court as well, with the coaching staff seeing their culture of family travel the 15 hours from Missouri State to UVA with them.
 
"We understand that it's going to be work and we understand that it's going to be a grind, but it's just enjoying every day, not looking too far down the road, enjoying this day, prepare for this game and bring all of our energy into that."
 
Coach Mox has built her programs on phrases like 'Culture Wins' and 'Grind Now, Shine Later', which point to a coaching staff just getting started.
 
"It's kind of the unknown, yes we're grateful for the start we've gotten off to, but there's not satisfaction with that," Bond said, "I think when you see how hard this group works on a daily basis, you know that everyone has potential to continue to grow."
 
Even as road bumps come, like Virginia's first loss of the season on the road to Duke, Coach Mox and the coaching staff are focused on the entire ride.
 
"The journey honestly," Coach Mox said, "I always say I want to win, I'm competitive, but I want to make and create lasting memories with people because that's what matters."