Former FGCU women’s basketball captain Jenna Cobb has been named the program’s new assistant coach, head coach Karl Smesko announced Tuesday. Cobb, a two-year letterwinner with the Eagles from 2013-15 after transferring from Butler, spent last season as the team’s coordinator of operations.
In her new role, Cobb’s responsibilities will include scouting of opponents, game preparation, player development and recruiting.
“Jenna has all the qualities to be an excellent coach,” commented Smesko, a seven-time Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year. “She is smart, works hard and has a great understanding of basketball. It is enjoyable working with others who have an affinity for our university and our program. Jenna has that.”
Cobb replaces Nicki Collen, who in April accepted an assistant position with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun after two seasons on the Eagles’ sideline. Cobb joins an all-FGCU women’s basketball alumni staff and will be working alongside associate head coach Chelsea Banbury (formerly Dermyer; 2006-08), assistant coach Chelsea Lyles (2008-10) and video coordinator Joyce Iamstrong (2011-13).
“I am very grateful to coach Smesko for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to continue to learn from him,” said Cobb. “FGCU is a special place to me, and I am excited to give a greater contribution on the floor with a program that has given me so much the last four years.”
After spending her freshman and sophomore seasons at Butler, Cobb transferred to FGCU and finished her career with the Eagles by scoring 571 points (8.4 ppg), grabbing 247 rebounds, issuing 166 steals and recording 112 steals in 68 games, 59 of which were starts.
As a senior in 2014-15, Cobb helped lead FGCU to its first Division-I NCAA Tournament win as the 7th-seeded Eagles defeated 10th-seeded Oklahoma State, 75-67. Cobb started and played 35 minutes in that contest, scoring 10 points and adding three rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Green and Blue finished with a 31-3 mark in 2014-15, which was a D-I program record for victories until this past season when Cobb – from the sidelines – aided in a record-setting 33-6 campaign.
In her first season with FGCU in 2013-14, Cobb was named the ASUN Tournament MVP after scoring 41 total points in the semifinals and final, helping lead the team to the NCAA Tournament as a captain.
FGCU will enter 2016-17 as winners of six-straight ASUN regular-season championships after compiling its fourth perfect league season in five years in 2015-16. Led by the 2016 espnW Mid-Major Coach of the Year Smesko, last year’s team finished its historic season with a league mark of 14-0. The club won a program-record five games in the WNIT – including at home over Michigan in the semifinals in front of a standing-room-only program record 4,633 fans – before falling just short in the final game at South Dakota.
The Eagles lost eight seniors to graduation off that team, but return one of the nation’s best shooters in Taylor Gradinjan (Cudahy, Wisc./Cudahy High School). In addition to Gradinjan and four others who saw playing time during 2015-16, transfer China Dow (Louisville, Ky./Christian Academy of Louisville/Middle Tennessee State) becomes eligible for the start of next season and is expected to make an immediate impact for the Green and Blue, who recently completed an eight-player incoming class.Assistant DI FGCU