Saginaw Valley State University Director of Athletics John Decker has announced that Jennifer Pruett has been named head coach of the Women’s Basketball program. Pruett comes to Saginaw Valley after serving as an assistant coach at Division I St. Bonaventure University.
“I would like to thank John Decker, Angela Pohl, the search committee and everyone who took time to meet with me to discuss the future success of our women’s basketball program,” said Pruett. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to lead and mentor these young women. This team is driven in the classroom, represented by their team GPA of 3.5, and they are driven to win championships. They have a strong work ethic and are ready to see their hard work pay off.”
Pruett spent the past three seasons on the coaching staff at St. Bonaventure University, a Division I school that competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference. While helping lead the Bonnies, Pruett developed the team’s first All-Atlantic 10 Rookie Team member since the 2006-07 season. She coached another student-athlete to Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2016-17 and was instrumental in developing one of the most improved players in the league, increasing totals from 1.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg and .2 apg to figures of 10 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.2 apg. The team achieved well in the classroom as well, earning honors from the NCAA for its Academic Progress Rates and academic culture in the program.
“I want to thank my family and all who have supported me throughout this process,” added Pruett. “This will be an exciting year and I am eager to get on campus, meet our players and put together our staff. We will be committed to excellence in the classroom, in the community and on the court by creating a culture that our Cardinal fans will be proud of. I am truly honored and blessed to be the next head coach at Saginaw Valley State University.”
Saginaw Valley State Director of Athletics John Decker added his thoughts on the new head women’s basketball coach…
“We are delighted to have Coach Pruett joining our SVSU Athletics team,” stated Decker. “Jennifer is a native Michigander who knows our recruiting territory very well. She is a very hard worker and teacher as well. Those qualities, along with her enthusiasm and knowledge of the game, have created a great deal of optimism about the future for our women’s basketball program.”
Before coaching at St. Bonaventure, Pruett served as a collegiate coach for four years at Kent State, Longwood and Central Michigan. She spent the previous two years as a high school head coach at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School in Powhatan, Virginia, where she led her squad to a 38-20 record after taking over a team that finished 5-16 in the season prior to her arrival.
During her time at Kent State, she was in charge of recruiting Michigan, Indiana, Florida, parts of Virginia and Kentucky as well as northern Ohio and the Cincinnati area.
At Longwood, she worked with the team’s guards during the 2011-12 campaign while also serving as the team’s academic liaison. Pruett got her start in collegiate coaching as a volunteer assistant coach for Central Michigan in 2010-11.
That stint followed a three-year playing career at Ohio University, where Pruett was a three-year starter and team captain for two seasons. A 2008 Mid-American Conference All-Tournament team selection, Pruett was also an Academic All-MAC honoree and was the team’s representative on Ohio’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Pruett also played at Michigan State for the 2005-06 season. A native of St. Johns, Michigan, Pruett is a two-time graduate of Ohio University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Spanish education in 2009 and a graduate degree in coaching education in 2010. She was inducted into the St. Johns High School Hall of Fame in 2016, which was the inaugural class.
Pruett’s husband Brad is the head athletic trainer at St. Bonaventure University. They have a son, Jake, and daughter, Brynn.DII Saginaw Valley State