Jessie Ivey Named Toledo Basketball Associate Head Coach

Jessie Ivey has been hired as associate head coach on The University of Toledo women’s basketball coaching staff, head coach Tricia Cullop announced today. 

Ivey comes to Toledo after two seasons as head coach at NCAA Division II member Tiffin University. 

“I welcome Jessie’s head coaching experience, knowledge of the MAC, exceptional people skills and incredible work ethic,” said Cullop, a three-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honoree. “Jessie will be able to hit the ground running recruiting, as she is widely known and well-respected in our region. She has a great mind for the game and will be an outstanding mentor for our players. I’m thrilled to announce Jessie as our new associate head coach.”

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work alongside a proven winner and a phenomenal leader in Coach Cullop,” Ivey said. “Toledo has a storied tradition of success on the court as well as dedication to the holistic development of their student-athletes. I look forward to working within such an amazing culture and staff.”

Ivey added, “I would like to say thank you to Tiffin University for an incredible two years. I will forever be grateful for the amazing student-athletes I had the privilege to coach, my colleagues, and the administration.”

In 2019-20, Ivey increased the Dragons’ win total, finishing seventh in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) standings and gave TU its first conference tournament berth since 2012. Their post-season berth was clinched via a historical upset, as the Dragons took down No. 17 Kentucky Wesleyan in double overtime to also give them their first-ever win over a nationally ranked team. Similar to Ivey’s first year, Tiffin finished the season very strong, winning six of its final eight regular-season games.

The Dragons set a couple DII-era program records in 2019-20, pulling down 1,112 team rebounds, while Savanah Richards equaled the mark for three-pointers made in a game with seven. In the GMAC rankings, Tiffin finished second in rebounding (40.3 per game), first in offensive rebounding (12.7 per game), and third in blocks (2.90 per game). Tiffin also garnered its first all-conference performer since 2012-13, as Aarion Nichols received second-team honors. One of the best all-around players in the conference, Nichols was the only GMAC player in the Top 12 in scoring (T-10th, 14.6), overall rebounding (6th, 7.4), assists (T-5th, 3.2) and steals (T-12th, 1.6). 

In her first year at Tiffin, Ivey guided a youthful squad to an 11-17 overall ledger. The Dragons ended the season by winning their final four games, including road triumphs at Alderson Broaddus and Davis & Elkins. Ivey’s first Tiffin team bettered its overall win total by two games from the previous season, and the Dragons’ 8-14 league mark was a three-game improvement from 2017-18. The 11 victories marked the first time since the 2012-13 season that Tiffin had recorded double-digit win totals.

Under Ivey’s direction, Tiffin’s scoring output also dramatically increased, going from 58.9 points per game the previous season to an average of 70.8 ppg in 2018-19. The Dragons eclipsed seven single-season school records that had been established since transitioning to the NCAA Division II level. Ivey’s up-tempo offensive philosophy generated Tiffin records for points in a game (108), field goals made (731), points per game (70.8), total points (1,983), and 3-pointers made in a game (14). The Dragons also set new marks for total rebounds (1,045) and overall field-goal percentage (41.2 percent) in 2018-19.

Individually, three Tiffin players — Jasmine Watts, Allie Miller, and Ali Schirmer — set individual school records during Ivey’s first year at the helm. Watts shot a school record 66.9 percent from the field and she also led the GMAC in blocked shots with 41 (1.6 bpg). Miller finished as the Dragons’ all-time leader in career field-goal percentage (.417), while Schirmer converted 86.9 percent from the charity stripe during her career to rank No. 1 all time in that category.

A proven recruiter who is committed to producing champions on the court and in the classroom, Ivey’s first Tiffin squad placed all 13 members on the GMAC All-Academic Team. In addition, Tiffin sported the nation’s top grade-point average among Division II programs (3.809 GPA) and ranked No. 2 overall for all divisions in 2018-19. The Dragons then backed up with another top-five national finish in 2019-20, finishing tied for fourth in team GPA (3.779) on the DII list. 

Prior to working at Tiffin, Ivey spent two seasons as an assistant coach at MAC member Bowling Green. One of her primary responsibilities at BGSU was the development of post players, and the Falcons emerged as one of the nation’s top rebounding teams. The Falcons finished No. 38 in the NCAA in rebounds per game (41.3) in 2016-17, and they ranked No. 49 in total rebounds (1,281). Individually, Abby Siefker grabbed more than 100 offensive rebounds in 2016-17 under Ivey’s tutelage, the first time that had occurred at Bowling Green since 2010.

A native of Jay, Fla., Ivey graduated from the University of West Florida, where she earned four letters on the hardwood from 2005-10. Ivey finished her career with 381 points, 81 three-pointers, 100 assists and 51 steals over 96 games. She started 28 games as a senior for the Argos, averaging 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 23.0 minutes. For her career, she shot 30.4 percent from three-point land and 82.5 percent from the free-throw line.

After graduation, Ivey joined the West Florida staff as a graduate assistant, serving in that role for two years before being promoted to assistant coach. The Argos posted a 62-51 record during her four years with the program, winning the 2014 Gulf South Conference championship and making two NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. Ivey helped oversee the development of the UWF program, taking a 6-21 team and molding it into a unit that won 56 games during her final three seasons. The improvement was immediate as UWF posted a 19-11 mark in 2013-14, won the GSC Tournament championship for the first time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The Argos finished with a 20-9 record in 2014-15 and advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals. Ivey recruited and developed multiple impact players for UWF, including the GSC Player of the Year, 10 All-GSC selections, two GSC Freshman of the Year recipients, one All-Region honoree, two 1,000-point scorers, as well as UWF’s career rebounding, blocked shots and assists leaders. During her tenure at UWF, the Argos also defeated nine opponents ranked in the NCAA Division II Top 25 poll.

In 2016, Ivey received national recognition by being awarded the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Assistant Coach of the Year. That award is presented to the recipient who has demonstrated commitment to the program, to their student-athletes and head coach, their impact coaching on the court, mentorship and impact on other coaches, as well as their professional manner and attitude.

Ivey was also named to the WBCA’s inaugural Thirty Under 30 honoree list. She participated in the WBCA’s 2015 Center for Coaching Excellence in Atlanta., Ga., and also participated in the Assistant Coaches Leadership Workshop in Quantico, Va.

A graduate of Jay High School in 2005, Ivey ranks third in school history with 1,616 career points. She graduated from UWF in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a minor in sports psychology. Ivey later earned a master’s degree in exercise science from UWF in 2012.