Looking to move quickly in filling the void left at head coach of the women’s basketball team, Ken Ricker will take over the reins at Jamestown Community College.
JCC athletic and recreation director George Sisson made the announcement Monday afternoon. “We’re excited about Ken joining the JCC family,” said Sisson. “Ken has accumulated a lot of success in building programs at the high school level grouped with his experience at the AAU level as well.”
Ricker was announced as head coach just under a month removed from former head coach Travis Wells stepping down. “We had a good pool of candidates this year,” said Sisson. “Everyone we interviewed had their strengths and weaknesses but at the end of the day, Ken checked the most boxes and has shown he instills what it is to be a Jayhawk.”
A 28-year coaching career, Ricker will be coming back to JCC where he first start as an assistant coach of the men’s basketball team from 1992-94 under head coach Ken Carrillo. From there, the next two seasons Ricker was an assistant boys’ basketball coach at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Ariz.
Ricker made his way back to New York, taking over at Jamestown High School from 2004-10. During his time at JHS, Ricker founded the Jamestown Elite AAU team while being a head coach from 2007-20.
In 2012, Ricker came back to JHS where he was the junior varsity basketball coach, posting a season-record of 19-1. The following season, Ricker was a volunteer assistant coach at Fredonia State. His last stop before returning to JCC was at Dunkirk High School where he was the head coach of the varsity girls’ basketball team the past two seasons.
Under his guidance, Ricker was a two-time Post-Journal Coach of the Year and a four-time ECIC Coach of the Year. At his time at JHS, Ricker coached six All-State selections including Buffalo News Player of the Year, Erinne Cunningham. Ricker also had 19 players at JHS go on to play collegiate basketball, including eight players that received scholarship at NAIA and NCAA Division II institutions.
When asked about transitioning from the high school ranks to the collegiate level, Ricker said that his previous experiences have prepped him for this. “Having experience at the AAU level will help when it comes to recruiting student-athletes,” said Ricker. “Having built the AAU program here, we are well known in in the Southerntier and in Western New York where we have player seeking us out to play. I believe that will help especially in transitioning into my first-year.”
Even though Ricker will be in his first season at the helm, his expectations will be high. “I expect us to compete right away,” said Ricker. “We’re going to work hard, play fast and be consistent across the board.” Ricker will compete by bringing in some of the best talent that this area has to offer. We need to keep the local talent here at JCC and show everybody what JCC has to offer. Along with our up-tempo play, we will be helping our sophomores to get where they want to go, whatever that may be.”
The Jayhawks are coming off a 10-16 season where they went 2-6 in Region III action. JCC’s season ended after a semifinal’s loss to Niagara County Community College. Ricker knows that Region III is a tough region to play in but is up for the challenge. “This is a tough league to play in,” said Ricker. “NCCC was at the top this season after Monroe Community College was there the previous two seasons. NCCC has recruit a lot of players from my AAU program. We need to keep those student-athletes local and here at JCC.”
“We here at JCC were happy he was available and we are excited to get going for the upcoming season,” said Sisson.Jamestown CC Juco