Mississippi Valley State has named Jessica Kern as its fourth head women’s basketball coach in the program’s history. Director of Athletics Dianthia-Ford Kee made the announcement Monday morning. Kern takes over at MVSU after spending last season as an assistant coach at Furman University, where she helped guide the Paladins to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament. She succeeds Elvis Robinson, whose contract was not renewed.
Prior to her arrival at Furman, Kern took over a Lincoln University program in 2011 that had won just three games the year before. During the 2014-15 season, she was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Coach of the Year after leading her team to a 22-9 record and a share of the CIAA Northern Division title. The 22 wins marked a school record and carried Lincoln to a CIAA Tournament championship game appearance.
Before accepting the head coaching position at Lincoln, she served as an assistant coach and media specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the 2010-11 campaign, immediately following a two-year stint (2008-10) as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Kern attended Penn State, where she served as a basketball team captain for two years and twice earned All-Big 10 and Academic All-Big honors while also competing in track & field. After graduating in 2002 with a degree in journalism, she began a successful seven-year professional basketball career that would take her to Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, and Poland.