Tuesday, June 18, 2013

JMU coaching staff holds rare distinction

You can't deny that Kenny Brooks and his coaching staff bleed purple.

Jennifer Brown
Sarah Williams
JMU isn't just a job for Brooks, assistants Sean O'Regan, Jennifer Brown, Sarah Williams and Tim Clark, director of operations. The school is alma mater to each of them. That would be: Brooks: JMU '92; O'Regan: JMU '03; Brown: JMU '08; Clark JMU' 09; and Williams: JMU '10.

How rare is it to have your entire coaching staff be alums? We did the research and of 345 Division I schools, only one other holds the all-alma mater distinction. (We excluded Mississippi Valley State, which only has one assistant.) Montana has actually had an all-alma mater coaching staff for nearly two decades. And it's hard to quibble with the results - a couple months ago the Lady Griz captured their 20th Big Sky tournament title.
Sean O'Regan

So what does this tell us about JMU? For one, this is no steppingstone for these folks; it's their school. In addition to the loyalty that shows, ask any JMU assistant any question from where's the bathroom in Wine-Price Hall to how do I get better seats in the football stadium. You're sure to get the right answer.

Says Brooks, "It really is beneficial having everyone on staff familiar with every aspect of JMU and the women's basketball program. It was done by design, but not in the way you may think. All of my staff are talented, hard-working, deserving coaches who happen to be JMU alums. The benefits are if you cut any one of us, we all bleed purple and would go the extra mile for this university and the program. Also, the loyalty aspect is tremendous. In a profession where coaches  are often looking for their next move, I have a staff that is looking to make our program better. It also helps in recruiting because recruits and families look at the fact that we all love JMU enough to want to stay

Brooks and Montana's Robin Selvig are among the 42 Division I coaches currently leading their undergraduate alma mater. The complete list:

Alabama State - Freda Freeman-Jackson
Austin Peay - Carrie Daniels 
Cal State Bakersfield - Greg McCall 
Campbell - Wanda Watkins 
Central Connecticut State - Beryl Piper 
Colorado - Linda Lappe 
Creighton - Jim Flanery 
Detroit - Autumn Rademacher 
DePaul - Doug Bruno 
Eastern Kentucky - Chrissy Roberts
Florida - Amanda Butler
Furman - Jackie Carson
Grambling - Patricia Cage-Bibbs
Lipscomb - Greg Brown
Louisiana-Lafayette - Garry Brodhead
Louisiana Tech - Teresa Weatherspoon
Loyola - Joe Logan
Middle Tennessee State - Rick Insell
Mississippi Valley State - Elvis Robinson
Montana - Robin Selvig
Morgan State - Donald Beasley
Murray State - Rob Cross
New Orleans - Keeshawn Carter
North Carolina A&T - Tarrell Robinson
Oregon State - Scott Rueck
Purdue - Sharon Versyp
Rider - Lynn Milligan
Rice - Greg Williams
St. Joseph's - Cindy Griffin
Sam Houston - Brenda Welch-Nichols
Seton Hall - Anthony Bozzella
Southeastern Louisiana - Lori Davis Jones
Southern Miss - Joy Lee-McNelis
Tennessee - Holly Warlick
Texas Tech - Candi Whitaker
UC Davis - Jennifer Gross
USC - Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
UNLV - Kathy Oliver
Wake Forest: Jennifer Hoover
Wyoming: Joe Legerski
Xavier: Amy Waugh

In addition, Tennessee State's Larry Inman and Tennessee Tech's Jim Davis both received master's degrees from the schools where they are now head coaches.


  1. You forgot one...On her second year coaching at Wake Forest is Jennifer Hoover. She is also a hall of fame player from Wake Forest (1987-1991). Was WBCA Rookie Coach of the year in 2011 and was inducted into the ACC Legends Class.