Jeri Jacobson was itching to get back into coaching, so she did.
Jacobson, who spent last season as the director of basketball operations at North Dakota, was added to the Idaho women’s basketball coaching staff July 1.
“I missed (coaching )an awful lot,” Jacobson said. “This position came open and it was ideal for me and kind of what I’m looking for and then when I came on my interview, it was even more what I’m looking for. The program is exactly the type of program I want to be a part of. The coaching staff I just kind of meshed really well with right off the bat. It really just worked out absolutely perfectly for me, so I’m pretty blessed.”
Jacobson’s duties as the director of basketball operations at North Dakota included arranging the team’s travel and community service commitments and helping to organize summer basketball camps.
Even though Jacobson arranged certain team activities, she wasn’t a coach. So she said it was difficult not being able to offer advice when she wanted.
“It was definitely hard,” Jacobson said. “I’m very vocal. I like to talk a lot when I’m coaching whether it’s on the bench in games or stuff like that or in practice, and so it was really hard to ring myself in and not say things because there’s a lot of things that I saw and I wanted to say but I couldn’t. So it was definitely a challenge but one that was a very good learning experience for me.”
Jacobson spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Upper Iowa — where she also played for two seasons — before taking the position at North Dakota.
Jacobson said that Upper Iowa doesn’t have a lot of assistant coaches since it is a small, private Division II school.
“In fact, the head coach only had one (assistant) and he was kind of the recruiting coordinator,” Jacobson said. “And so she had me be her main assistant and I had a lot of experience in every aspect of coaching that you can think of, from running practices to running workouts, all sorts of stuff. I got a lot of experience when I was a grad assistant for a couple years.”
Besides her desire to coach, the Riverton, Wyoming native said Idaho was a good choice for her because she wanted to head back west to be closer to her family. She said she has family in Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
While Jacobson is changing schools, she is not changing conferences. North Dakota and Idaho are members of the Big Sky Conference, so she is familiar with the teams in the conference and how they like to operate on the basketball court.
“Having that experience in the Big Sky really is going to help a lot this year,” Jacobson said. “I’m familiar with the teams we play. I’m familiar with the style of play.”
As for goals while coaching at Idaho, Jacobson said she wants to win Big Sky championships and head back to the NCAA tournament.
“I guess my main goal is that we improve as a team and really do some damage in the Big Sky this year,” Jacobson said. “We’ve had one year of Big Sky experience under our belts and kind of know what to expect and what kind of teams we’re going to be facing. So the ultimate goal is to get back into winning championships and getting to the NCAA tournament again and then I just want to contribute in any way that I can – sharing my knowledge of the game with the players, sharing my intensity, my passion for the game, really just contributing any way that I can to help us reach that goal of winning a championship and then continuing to win championships years after that.”
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CabezaGarrett