Siena has extended women’s basketball head coach Ali Jaques’ contract through 2020. Jaques has rejuvenated Siena women’s basketball in her three years in Loudonville, culminating with a 22-win campaign in 2014-15 that marked the most wins for the program in a dozen years. The major elements of Jaques’ renewed deal are similar to the original terms.
“Ali is one of the best young head coaches in women’s basketball,” vice president and director of athletics John D’Argenio said. “She has proven successful at recruiting student athletes who are committed to a Siena education and to being part of a successful basketball program. We are happy to add additional years to her existing contract, and I look forward to continuing to work with her on moving Siena basketball forward.”
Jaques was introduced as the eighth head coach in program history on April 12, 2012. She led Siena to a 22-13 record in 2014-15, a 13-win improvement that tied for the second best in Division I. The Saints won 12 road games (tied for fourth nationally) and advanced to the finals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI), becoming the first MAAC school to win three games in a national postseason tournament.
“I am grateful and humbled that John D’Argenio, Brother Ed, and the Siena community are so supportive of me and the progress our program has made in the three years I’ve been here,” Jaques said. “Siena is a very special place. I’m extremely excited to continue to lead our team, and to take the next steps towards building a consistently successful program on the court and in the classroom. I’m lucky to be surrounded by great coaches, administrators, and student athletes. There’s no place else I’d rather be.”
Each of Jaques’ recruiting classes has made immediate major impacts. Over the past two seasons, Siena has boasted the MAAC’s Rookie of the Week 14 times and had four different awardees. This past season Margot Hetzke was the unanimous choice for MAAC Rookie of the Year after scoring 446 points, the third most by a Siena freshman ever.
Jaques has compiled a 44-53 (.454) overall record, including a 22-36 (.379) MAAC mark in her three years with half of those wins coming this past season. Despite being projected to finish 10th of 11 teams in last year’s MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll and forced to play with an active roster of just seven players for the final 30 games of the season, the Saints persevered to finish fifth in the conference with a 11-9 mark in posting an eight-win league improvement. For the third time in Jaques’ first three seasons, the Saints won their MAAC Tournament opener as the lower seeded team, knocking off Iona to reach the semifinals.
Siena returns five players who played in all 35 games last season and welcomes a highly touted recruiting class. Brianna Logan (medical red-shirt in 2014-15) is expected to return to the rotation after tearing the ACL in her right knee during the team’s first practice last season. Joella Gibson and Emmanuella Edoka are poised to make their Siena debuts after sitting out last season alongside George Mason transfer Denisha Petty-Evans.Ali Jacques Extension MAAC Siena