Utah State head coach Jerry Finkbeiner has announced the addition of Rod Jensen to the women’s basketball staff. Jensen comes out of a year of retirement to serve as an assistant coach for the Aggies.
“As far as living in Logan, Utah, I’m convinced it’s the nicest place on earth even over Disneyland. My wife’s really excited about that,” Jensen said. “As far as basketball goes, it’s a real privilege to work with coach Finkbeiner and his staff. I know how excited they are about this team, and after spending the last two weeks with them, I’m also excited.”
Jensen, who is known as a defensive-minded coach, will be in charge of the defensive game plan for the Aggies. Associate head coach Ben Finkbeiner, who previously was over the defense, will move over to head the offensive side of the game.
“We’re happy to have coach Rod Jensen on our staff,” J. Finkbeiner said. “Coach Jensen is well-known for his man-to-man defense. We’re going to make that an exclusive part of his job description with his on-the-floor coaching, along with his wealth of experience on the men’s and women’s side. Our defensive schemes won’t be a whole lot different than in years past, but his style of play tends to be pretty aggressive and a little bit of a high risk, high reward mentality which I really like.”
Prior to his retirement, Jensen was a women’s basketball assistant coach at Washington State from 2015-18 under head coach June Daugherty, serving on the same staff as current USU assistant Ashley Gill. He joined the women’s staff after 30 years of coaching on the men’s side.
Jensen had a one-year stint with the WSU men’s basketball team under former-head coach Ken Bone in 2013-14. Jensen originally came to WSU in June of 2013 as the director of player development and was promoted to assistant coach three months later. He stepped away from coaching during the 2014-15 season to spend time with his family.
Prior to arriving at Washington State, Jensen served as head coach at the College of Idaho from 2010-2013. In his final season with the Coyotes, Jensen led C of I to its first winning season in four years (15-14), its first home playoff game since 2007 and earned the program’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team, an 83-82 victory at Eastern Oregon in February of 2013.
Jensen has earned notoriety as a defensive coach, especially during his 19 years as a coach at Boise State University. From 1983-95, he was the top assistant to head coach, Bobby Dye, helping the Broncos rank among the top 15 in the NCAA Division I in scoring defense for four-straight seasons, winning Big Sky regular-season championships in 1988 and 1989, along with Big Sky Tournament titles in 1988, 1993, and 1994. BSU teams advanced to the National Invitational Tournament in 1987 and 1991, and the NCAA Tournament in 1988, 1993, and 1994.
In 1995, Jensen became the head coach at Boise State, compiling a 109-93 overall record in seven seasons at the helm while recording the third-most wins in BSU history. During his tenure, the Broncos ranked among the NCAA top 25 in scoring defense in 1998 and 1999, winning the 1999 Big West East Division Championship.
Jensen headed east in 2002, becoming an assistant coach for Pete Gillen at the University of Virginia, where he helped the Cavaliers to NIT appearances in 2003 and 2004, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in defensive field goal percentage. In 2005, he moved to UNC Greensboro, working for Mike Dement, where during his tenure, every player who exhausted their eligibility, graduated. He spent five years at UNCG, his final four as associate head coach.
A 1975 graduate of the University of Redlands in California, Jensen began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1980, serving as an assistant for two years, before spending one season at Penn State. Jensen and his wife Brenda have four grown children; daughters Kate, Emily and Nicole, and son Tucker.
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