Pearson hired as Women’s Basketball Coach at Cal State San Marcos

The Cal State San Marcos women’s basketball team has a new leader as CSUSM Interim Director of Athletics Morod Shah named Jana Pearson as the third Cougar head coach in program history on Thursday.

“It is an honor and privilege to accept this offer to become the head coach at Cal State San Marcos,” Pearson said. “I would first like to thank Morod Shah, Todd Snedden, and the entire search committee for their sacrifice of time, diligence, and ultimately placing their trust in me to lead this program into our next chapter. It was clear from the moment I stepped onto campus that San Marcos is a special place with incredible employees who believe in helping their student-athletes find success in all areas of their lives both on and off the courts and fields.” 

Pearson comes to CSUSM from Westmont College where she was the Warriors’ assistant coach beginning in July 2021. In her three seasons at Westmont, Pearson helped the Warrior transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, finishing with a 64-25 record that included two Sweet 16 finishes. 

“We are very excited to welcome Jana Pearson to join our Cougar Family and be the next head coach of CSUSM Women’s Basketball,” Shah said. “Jana is an intentional coach who values the student-athlete experience and building a strong team culture. Her experience recruiting student-athletes in California to build a winning program makes her a great fit here at CSUSM, and I look forward to working alongside her.”

Prior to Westmont, Pearson was the assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado from July 2018 through June 2021. Pearson served as the post player coach that included the 2020-21 Big Sky Conference Player of the Year. She also oversaw academics, mental health, team building, community service and outreach, summer camps and clinics, graduate assistants, interns and scouting.

In four seasons at Vanguard, Pearson served as acting head coach in 40 games and helped the Lions to a 101-25 record with four NAIA National Tournament appearances that culminated in two Sweet 16s and one Final Four. She also led the team as acting head coach in international competition in Taiwan in the summer of 2017. In 2018, Pearson was named the WBCA NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year.

Pearson worked at Freed Hardeman University in Tennessee in her first full-time assistant coaching position from August 2010 to June 2014. During her time there, Pearson was part of a program that went 125-19 and made four NAIA National appearances, including a 2014 National Runner-Up title.

In her 14 years as an assistant coach, Pearson diligently recruited and coached four national players of the year, 18 All-Americans and over 80 scholar-athletes.

Pearson earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in December of 2007 from Harding University, where she was a member of the Harding women’s basketball team for four years. While serving as a graduate assistant, Pearson graduated with a Master of Science degree in Counseling in 2010.

“I would like to thank those who have mentored and prepared me for this next step – showing me not only what it takes to win but also how to come alongside individuals and push them to become the best versions of themselves,” Pearson said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring my experiences, life-long love for this game, and passion for mentoring and empowering young women to this campus. I look forward to building on the tremendous foundation that has already been laid. Let’s get to work!”

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