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Jen Hoover joins Kentucky women’s basketball program

Hoover is the all-time winningest coach in Wake Forest women’s basketball history.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 09 Women’s - Wake Forest at Florida State Photo by David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats women’s basketball program has hired Jen Hoover as an assistant coach, the school announced Monday.

Hoover is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame and is the Demon Deacons’ all-time winningest head coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jen Hoover to the Big Blue Nation as an assistant coach,” said Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy in a press release. “She has 20 years of experience in Division I coaching, 11 in which she was a head coach. Jen brings a wealth of knowledge, a competitive spirit and a contagious energy to the Bluegrass. These are vital attributes that will make an immediate impact on our program. Jen’s coaching philosophy on and off the court align with our core values at Kentucky. She is excited to get to work, and she will hit the recruiting trails later on this summer.”

Hoover spent 10 years as the Wake Forest women’s basketball head coach, winning 142 games to become the winningest coach in program history. In her tenure at Wake Forest from 2012-22, she led the Demon Deacons to four postseason appearances, including an NCAA Tournament berth in 2020-21.

“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to join this elite-level program at the University of Kentucky,” said Hoover in a press release. “From the moment Coach Elzy and I began conversations about this position, I could feel the passion and energy she has for her players, and I could see her vision for the program, which is to win championships both on and off the court. The Kentucky women’s basketball program has proven to be one of the best in the country and I am looking forward to being a part of this special family.”

Under Hoover, Wake Forest had back-to-back All-ACC First Team selections in Ivana Raca in 2021 and Jewel Spear in 2022. They also produced two WNBA Draft picks under Hoover.

Prior to her Wake Forest tenure, Hoover spent one year as the head coach at High Point in 2011-12, earning a 20-13 record and 13-5 mark in Big South play. The 20 wins tied for the most in a single season since High Point moved to Division I in 1999.

Hoover was later named the 2012 Spalding Maggie Dixion Division I Rookie Coach of the Year after the season.

Hoover’s assistant coaching career began in 1994 and included stops at California, Virginia, Memphis, James Madison, East Carolina, VCU, and Missouri-Kansas City.

“I can’t wait to get to work with Coach Elzy, the incredible staff at Kentucky, and the players who have a clear vision of their goals and have set high standards in order to achieve those goals,” said Hoover. “A huge thanks to Coach Elzy for allowing me to be a part of the Wildcat family! Go Cats!”

Go here for more info on Hoover.