Wake Forest tabs former William Byrd star as its new women's hoops coach
Jennifer Mitchell Hoover played her college ball at Wake Forest.
Jen Hoover has been named Wake Forest's new women's basketball coach. She played her high school ball at William Byrd. (May 9, 2012)
Wake Forest announced the hiring Wednesday. Hoover starred for the Demon Deacons from 1987 to 1991.
She was a three-time All-ACC selection and still holds the school record for career points 1,728) and rebounds (1,006).
Hoover comes to Wake Forest after spending one season as the coach at High Point where she led the Panthers to a 20-13 record.
Prior to her year at High Point, Hoover held assistant coaching jobs at Cal, Virginia and Memphis.
Hoover graduated from William Byrd in Vinton.
Here is the news release from Wake Forest:
Wake Forest Director of Athletics Ron Wellman has announced the hiring of Jennifer Hoover as Wake Forest head women's basketball coach. Hoover is the 10th women's basketball coach in school history.
"I am excited for the addition of Jen Hoover to our staff at Wake Forest," said Wellman. "She had a tremendous season at High Point last year and is a great basketball coach. Jen is in the Hall of Fame here at Wake Forest and knows what it takes to be successful. We expect fabulous results for our women's basketball program under her tutelage."
Hoover returns to Wake Forest where she starred for the Demon Deacons from 1987-91. She was a three-time All-ACC selection and still holds the school's career records for points (1,728) and rebounds (1,006). Hoover was a member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and a member of the South team that won the bronze medal at the 1989 Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City, Okla. She also led the Deacs to their only NCAA Tournament appearance in 1988. Hoover was inducted to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. She is one of just three women's basketball players in the Wake Forest Athletic Hall of Fame.
"To be able to return home and to achieve my dream job, it's an honor," Hoover said. "I am humbled by it and ready to hit the road running. I'm very thankful to Ron Wellman, Barbara Walker, Mike Buddie, all of the alumni and the Deacon Club members that have given me support. There is a lot of excitement here. Coach Petersen and his staff did a great job and we just want to build on that."
Hoover comes to Wake Forest after one season as the head coach at High Point University. In her first head coaching stint, Hoover guided the Panthers to a 20-13 record and just the school's second appearance in the WNIT. The 20 wins were tied for the most in a single season since High Point moved to Division I in 1999. Hoover was named the 2012 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year.
Hoover's assistant coaching career began in 1994 and includes stints at Cal, Virginia and Memphis. In three seasons as assistant at Cal, Hoover helped lead the Bears to a cumulative record of 69-36, its first-ever NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2009 and the 2010 Women's NIT Championship. Prior to Cal, Hoover was associate head coach at Memphis, helping the team to more wins in 2007-08 than the previous two seasons combined. She spent four seasons at the University of Virginia, the final two as recruiting coordinator.
A post player herself, Hoover has an impressive reputation for developing forwards at the highest level. Hoover was named one of the ACC's top-50 all-time players and is still the only Demon Deacon to surpass 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Among the post players Hoover coached at Cal were All-Americans Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton as well as All-Freshman selections DeNesha Stallworth and Gennifer Brandon.
At Cal, Hoover worked with all aspects of the program, including on-court coaching, recruiting and scouting and helped the Golden Bears to postseason appearances in all three of her seasons. She helped bring in back-to-back top 10 recruiting classes, including the No. 1 class in 2009.
Hoover went to Berkeley after spending the 2007-08 season as the associate head coach at Memphis and helped the Tigers make significant improvements in her one season.
After her first stint as an assistant coach at Memphis in 2002-03, Hoover spent four seasons at the University of Virginia and became the Cavaliers' recruiting coordinator for her final two years. She helped sign top-15 recruiting classes in 2005 and 2006 and helped the team to two 20-win seasons, an NCAA appearance and two WNIT berths. She helped Virginia ink junior college All-American center Aisha Mohammed and the 2006-07 ACC Rookie of the Year, Monica Wright. Wright also was a McDonald's All-American. While at Virginia, Hoover coached under Hall of Famer Debbie Ryan.
Hoover started her coaching career at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 1994-96, then became an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth for two seasons (1996-98). She then spent two seasons at East Carolina (1998-00) before moving on to James Madison (2000-02), where she helped the Dukes to the WNIT Final Four.
Hoover then made her first stop at Memphis in 2002-03, where she recruited and coached the Lady Tigers' post players. She also oversaw academics and the mentor program until she left in August of 2003 to join Ryan's staff at Virginia.
Following her collegiate playing career (1987-91), Hoover played professionally overseas for the Solna IF Basketball Team in Stockholm, Sweden, from 1991-92. She played the 1993 season with Athletes in Action on the USA Fall Exhibition Tour and the Australian spring tour before starting her coaching career.
Hoover married her husband, John, in 2001 and the two have one daughter, Maggie.