June 30, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. - Jennifer Hoover, a 14-year NCAA Division I coaching veteran whose stops have included Virginia and Memphis, has been named an assistant coach of the California women's basketball team, head coach Joanne Boyle announced Monday.
"I am excited to welcome Jennifer to the Cal family," Boyle said. "Jennifer has extensive experience in the business and brings a wealth of knowledge to our program. She has learned from some very well-respected head coaches and was recently named one of the ACC's all-time 50 greatest players. With her credentials of having been a great post player, and now having an established reputation as a great post coach, Jen will bring a level of knowledge and energy to an already established post group. She also has been very successful recruiting top players on the national scene, in particular during her time at Virginia. It is important to me to have the right fit for both my staff and the team, and I truly believe Jen is a wonderful person who will bring a lot to our team."
Hoover comes to Berkeley after spending the 2007-08 season as the associate head coach at Memphis. She also coached at Memphis in 2002-03.
"Coming to Cal is a great opportunity," Hoover said. "Joanne has an outstanding reputation and has accomplished a lot at Duke, Richmond and Cal. It is a golden opportunity to be on the staff of a team coming off an outstanding season and which is ranked as high as sixth in the preseason polls. It is a great chance to be part of a successful program that is doing things the right way. When I was looking at jobs, I realized there were only a handful of people I'd like to work for. To be able to work for a legend like Debbie Ryan (at Virginia) was a phenomenal experience. Now, to have a chance to work for Joanne, who I think is going to be a legend in her own right but is in the beginning part of that process, is an unbelievable opportunity. I'm also excited to be the post coach for an outstanding group of players, which includes All-Americans Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker, and a promising young post in Rama N'diaye."
After Hoover's first stint at Memphis, she joined the coaching staff at the University of Virginia as the director of basketball operations and was eventually promoted to an assistant coach. Hoover became the Cavaliers' recruiting coordinator and helped them finish the 2006-07 season with a 19-15 overall record, falling to eventual WNIT finalist Wisconsin in the quarterfinal round, 84-78.
Hoover, who also handled on-court coaching, scouting, player development and summer camps at Virginia, started her coaching career at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, working there from 1994-96 before becoming an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth for two seasons (1996-98). She then spent two seasons at East Carolina from 1998-00 before moving to James Madison, where she helped the Dukes to the WNIT Final Four.
Hoover, who played college basketball at Wake Forest under her maiden name of Jenny Mitchell, then made her first stop in Memphis in 2002-03, working on recruiting and coaching the Lady Tiger post players. She also oversaw academics and the mentor program before leaving in April of 2003 to join Ryan's staff at Virginia.
At Virginia, Hoover helped the ACC program to two 20-win seasons. The Cavaliers bounced back from a 13-16 record in her first season at UVa with an NCAA appearance in 2004-05 and back-to-back WNIT appearances the next two seasons. She also helped UVa ink junior college All-American center Aisha Mohammed and the 2006-07 ACC Rookie of the Year, Monica Wright. Wright was also a McDonald's All-American.
In her playing days, Hoover was a three-time All-ACC honoree at Wake Forest. The forward/center still holds the Wake Forest career mark in points (1,728) and rebounds (1,006) and is the only women's basketball player at Wake Forest to surpass both the 1,000-career point and rebounding mark. Also a member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, Hoover was named a Fast Break All-American during her junior and senior seasons and was a member of the South team that won the bronze medal at the 1989 Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City, Okla. She helped Wake Forest to the second round of the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
Following her collegiate playing career (1988-91), 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.
A native of Roanoke, Va., Hoover graduated from Wake Forest in 1991 with a degree in communications. In 2002, Hoover was named one of the Top 50 ACC women's basketball players, an in 2007, she was selected to the Wake Forest Athletic Hall of Fame.
Hoover and her husband John have one daughter, Maggie.
Hoover replaces Lindsay Gottlieb, who was named head coach at UC Santa Barbara in May.