Roosevelt University director of intercollegiate athletics John Jaramillo announced on Thursday, August 8 that he has hired Drury (Mo.) assistant coach and former Judson student-athlete Emily Ragsdale as the next head coach of the Roosevelt women’s basketball team.
Ragsdale, a native of Ottawa, Ill. and former prep standout at Ottawa Township High School, will begin her new position at Roosevelt on August 19.
She succeeds Keisha Newell, who left to become the head girls basketball coach and assistant athletic director at Chicago’s Mother McAuley High School, and becomes the third head coach in program history after Newell (2015-19) and Robyn Scherr-Wells (2010-2015).
“We are excited to have Emily Ragsdale join the Roosevelt University community and the Roosevelt Athletics family,” Jaramillo said. “Emily brings a great mix of experience as an assistant coach for one of the most successful programs at the NCAA Division II level, a savvy recruiter with strong ties and connections in the Chicagoland area and the Midwest, a former student-athlete in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, and a person who showed a high level of care, character, creativity and connection to the experience of our student-athletes.
“I look forward to Emily taking on the challenge of her first college head coaching position here and making her mark at Roosevelt University.”
“I would like to thank John Jaramillo and Roosevelt Athletics for giving me this incredible opportunity,” Ragsdale said. “Words cannot express how eager I am to get to campus and get started. Chicago is home for me. I cannot wait to be back and have the chance to coach in the CCAC.
“I would also like to thank Molly Miller and the Lady Panther program for three unforgettable years,” Ragsdale continued. “I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to work under Coach Miller because it has shown me firsthand what it takes to build and sustain a championship-caliber program. I am excited to build on those experiences as I get started at Roosevelt!”
Ragsdale comes to Roosevelt after spending the past three years on Miller’s staff at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. The Panthers won Great Lakes Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles and advanced to NCAA Tournaments in each of Ragsdale’s three seasons as an assistant, and this past season Ragsdale helped Drury go 35-1 and advance all the way to the NCAA Division II Final Four.
The Panthers spent a whopping 95 consecutive weeks ranked in the Top 25, good for an NCAA Division II record, while spending 33 straight weeks ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams. Along with a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 runs and three 30-win seasons to go with the 2019 Final Four, Ragsdale helped Drury achieve a three-year mark of 96-7.
Earlier this year Ragsdale was named a Thirty Under 30 honoree by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The award and program recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under across a variety of levels of the game.
Prior to joining Miller’s staff at Drury, Ragsdale spent a season for Aurora University and helped the Spartans improve to 17-11 during her year on the sidelines after the NCAA Division III program went 8-18 the season before her arrival.
In four years as a collegiate coach, Ragsdale’s teams have combined for a 113-18 record for an astounding .862 winning percentage.
Ragsdale also brings coaching experience from the club circuit after serving as head coach of the Lombard-based Illinois Lady Lightning from 2015 through 2016.
A four-year starter and three-year team captain at fellow CCAC member Judson University, Ragsdale left with school records for career offensive rebounds and career blocked shots during her time as an Eagle from 2011-15. She ranked fifth in the nation in blocked shots in 2012, a year in which she finished as an All-CCAC Second Team selection. Ragsdale was also a two-time Academic All-CCAC honoree.
Ragsdale holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sport Science with a concentration in Sports Administration from Judson. She earned a Master of Education with a concentration in Online Education in 2018 from Drury.