Jessica Yonkers named Cornerstone University Women’s Basketball Coach

Director of Athletics Chip Huber announced Tuesday afternoon the hiring of Jessica Yonkers as the new Cornerstone Women’s Basketball head coach. Yonkers, a 2005 CU graduate, is the ninth head coach in program history and most recently served as the head varsity coach at Rockford High School from 2007-2017.

“Jess is a Cornerstone alum who loves the program and our university, said Huber. “She has experienced great success as a player and then as a coach, and we couldn’t be more excited for her to lead our program into the future. I believe she will fulfill our mission to prepare our student athlete graduates to be agents of hope and transformation in our world!”

Yonkers, who played at Cornerstone from 2001-2005 and helped the Golden Eagles to a NAIA DII National Runner-up finish as a freshman, spent the last 12 years on the sidelines at her high school alma mater, Rockford. There, she served as the junior varsity coach from 2005-2007 before stepping into the varsity role from 2007-2017. While at Rockford, she built a perennial power that featured a trip to the Class A state quarterfinals in 2010.

“My vision is to create a culture of trust built on intentional relationships that allows our teams to reach their full potentials, said Yonkers. “Our women’s basketball student-athletes will have the opportunity to grow and flourish as servant leaders, which will help prepare them to become influencers in our world for Christ. This commitment to building servant leaders, along with hard work and dedication, will allow us to be contenders in our conference and beyond.”

The Golden Eagles are fresh off a trip to the NAIA DII National Tournament after winning their first conference tournament championship since 2009. While the roster featured five seniors who have graduated, the future looks very strong with a core group of returners led by seniors Taylor Richards and Mya Udell.

“I am very grateful for my time as a student-athlete at CU, added Yonkers. I was able to compete at a high level while learning how to keep Christ central in every area of my life. Through basketball; I learned how to navigate adversity, to build relationships, to push myself beyond what I thought was possible and to become a servant leader.  I am so thankful for the relationships I developed while at CU; they are truly some of my life’s greatest treasures. I look forward to creating that same experience for our current and future women’s basketball student-athletes.”

The program will open up the 2018-19 season with a road contest at Trinity Christian College on October 24 before returning home to Mol Arena to face Grace College (Ind.) on October 27. CU will have 13 games inside Mol Arena and will also be traveling to California to play a pair of games at Westmont College before Christmas.

“We are very excited to have Jess as our women’s basketball coach, added Huber. “She is passionate about several things that matter deeply to us at Cornerstone. Number one, she resonates deeply with our mission of being a Christ-centered university in everything we do. Number two, she loves building relationships with and helping young women to grow in their academic, athletic, social, and spiritual pursuits as student-athletes. Number three, she loves the game of basketball, is passionate about teaching it, and will pursue success and excellence on the hardwood every day. Number four, she is deeply committed to serving as a role model and mentor to the girls in our women’s basketball program.”

Jessica currently resides in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband Jon and their four children. She earned her degree in Secondary Education in History and Mathematics at Cornerstone and went on to earn her Master’s Degree from Grand Valley State in Education and Educational Leadership.

Join Chip Huber and Jessica Yonkers on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook Live for a sit-down conversation to get to know the new face of the Golden Eagles. Click here to go directly to the Cornerstone Athletics page on Facebook.

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