Love named Head WBB Coach at D3 Whitworth

After a national search, Whitworth University has promoted Kenny Love to become the school’s next women’s basketball head coach, according to Pirate Director of Athletics Tim Demant.

Love, who is a former Whitworth player, has been an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team since 2017.  He has been Damion Jablonski‘s top assistant since Jablonski was promoted to head coach prior to the 2019-20 season.

“Coach Love really impressed our committee during the interview process,” Demant said.  “While we knew of his strong basketball IQ, great relational skills and proven leadership ability, forcing him to put aside his ever present humility, we saw just how strong a candidate he was for this position.”

Love has been involved in all aspects of the men’s team operation, including scouting, recruiting, budget management, conditioning and summer camp organization.

“As the coach who recruited Kenny Love to Whitworth as a player, and who also hired him as a top assistant coach on our men’s staff, I can attest that Kenny has done nothing but add value to this community,” Jablonski said.  “There is no doubt that Kenny is ready to lead our women’s program towards great success, and I’m excited that I get to cheer him on in his new role from one office over.”

Whitworth’s men have three NCAA Division III tournament appearances and a record of 102-26 during Love’s five seasons as an assistant coach.

Love was a three-year first team All-Northwest Conference honoree during his playing career at Whitworth.  He was a third team All-American and the NWC Player of the Year following his sophomore campaign in 2015.  The Pirates advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament during each of his four seasons.

“From the time Coach Love stepped on to campus as a player and then as an assistant coach, he has played a significant role in helping his teams win,” Demant said.  “I am looking forward to seeing him do the same with our women’s basketball program.”

Love takes over a team that finished 10-15 overall and 5-11 in the NWC in 2021-22 under previous head coach Joial Griffith, who resigned in March following four seasons leading the Pirate women.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity to help this talented group come together and chase their potential, while leading the program back to competing among the top teams in our conference,” Love said.

Love will transition into the women’s role immediately.

“The first step is fostering relationships with each of the current players in the program to gain a clear sense of their goals and the opportunities they see for growth, not only individually, but for the program as a whole,” Love said.  “I know how important an environment of trust is, especially with a new coach in a program, and starting to develop that connection is a key focus.  We will also continue to round out our roster for the upcoming season with some exciting newcomers.”

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