High Point University's Jennifer Hoover has accepted the position of head women's basketball coach at Wake Forest University, her alma mater, it was announced on Wednesday. Hoover led the Panthers to a 20-13 record and the team's second-ever appearance in the Women's NIT this season. HPU will begin the search for a successor immediately.
"We are thankful for the job Jennifer did here, leading our women's basketball team to one of its bests seasons in 2011-12," said HPU Athletic Director Craig Keilitz. "The team's performance this year - getting 20 wins and making it to the WNIT - further showed the level that High Point University will compete at on a regular basis. We wish her the best at her alma mater."
"One of the unfortunate side effects of bringing great people into our athletic department is that sometimes they will be pursued by other schools when they have success. We hate to be losing a coach like Jennifer Hoover after one year but we'll immediately start the search for a replacement who can continue to lead us at a high level."
High Point's 20 wins tied the program's Div. I record and the Panthers set new Div. I single-season records for both scoring and rebounding. HPU won a program-best 13 Big South games. The Panthers got wins over VCU and Pittsburgh as well as the team's first road win over Liberty since 2007. Hoover was named the Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year by the WBCA following the season.
High Point returns two of its three All-Conference players for next year - second-team selections Erin Reynolds and Cheyenne Parker. Parker was also named Big South Defensive Player of the Year. Reynolds ranked second on the team with 15.9 points per game and led the team in both assists (4.3 apg) and steals (2.7 spg). Parker set new Big South single-season records in total rebounds (403) and blocked shots (121). The center finished fourth in the nation with 12.2 rebounds per game and fifth with 3.7 blocks per game. Parker averaged 13.0 points and had 19 double-doubles.
High Point has signed four recruits to National Letters of Intent for next season and will also welcome sophomore Stacia Robertson, who sat out last season after transferring from South Dakota. In her one season at South Dakota, Robertson averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game and was named honorable mention All-Great West.
The Panthers are losing one of their all-time best players to graduation, first-team All-Big South selection Shamia Brown. Brown led the Panthers and set a new HPU Div. I single-season record with 16.2 points per game and also grabbed 6.8 rebounds per game in 2011-12.
Hoover came to High Point University from Cal-Berkley, where she worked for three seasons as an assistant under current Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. Hoover had also previously worked as an assistant at six other schools, including Memphis and Virginia. As a player, Hoover led Wake Forest to its only NCAA Tournament appearance in 1988 and remains the school's all-time scoring and rebounding leader.
The women's basketball program has been one of HPU's most successful teams since the school transitioned to Div. I in 1999-2000. The Panthers have finished fourth or better in the Big South in each of the past 12 seasons, finishing in the top two five times.