The University of Delaware will present its new women’s basketball coach during a Carpenter Center press conference late Tuesday morning.
But Sarah Jenkins really needs no introduction.
When previous coach Natasha Adair left Delaware to become Arizona State coach March 27, sentiment among UD players and others associated with the program naturally swung toward hiring Jenkins as her successor.
On Sunday that happened, Delaware officially announced Jenkins would become just the fifth head coach in the history of a program that recently concluded its 51st season with a trip to its fifth NCAA Tournament.
Jenkins had been on Adair’s Delaware staff from her arrival in the spring of 2017 through the 2020-21 season and recruited and coached most of the players on the 2021-22 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship team.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Sarah return to Delaware as the head coach of our women’s basketball program,” said UD athletic director Chrissi Rawak in Sunday’s announcement.
“She embodies our core values and believes in our mission. Sarah brings excellent experience and a commitment to developing young women on and off the court, a passion for the game of basketball, and knows how to win. I know we have found the right person to build upon our success on and off the court. “
Jenkins, a Bowie, Maryland native, was assistant coach of her first three Delaware seasons before being elevated to associate head coach in 2020-21. She then spent the 2021-22 season as an assistant coach at Penn State.
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That was the former Georgetown guard’s eighth season coaching at the college level following three years at Georgetown and four at Delaware. She’d coached at the high school level for eight years before that.
In Jenkins’ last season on the UD staff in 2020-21, the Blue Hens won the CAA regular-season title, reached the Final Four of the WNIT and finished 24-5. This past season Delaware went 24-8.
Delaware’s previous women’s basketball coaches have been Mary Ann Hitchens (1971-78); Joyce Perry (1978-1996); and Tina Martin (1996-2017), who is expected to continue as interim head coach at CAA rival UNC-Wilmington next season; and Adair.
Jenkins will have at least one major hole to fill, however, as two-time CAA Player of the Year Jasmine Dickey has declared for the WNBA draft, though she does have one season of eligibility left.
“I am beyond thrilled to return to Delaware and take over as the head coach of one of the top programs not only in the Colonial Athletic Association but in the region,” Jenkins said in the UD statement.
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