Furman head women’s basketball coach Jackie Carson has announced that Jessica Kern has joined the Paladin staff as an assistant coach. Kern, who served as head coach at Lincoln (Pa) University the last four years, succeeds Julia Huddleston, who recently accepted the head coaching job at Lynn (Fla.) University. “We’re excited to add Jessica to our staff and a coach of her caliber at this point in the year,” said Carson in making the announcement. “She knows what it takes to win and will help further develop our winning culture here at Furman. We look forward to her assisting us in helping develop and lead our student-athletes.”
Kern is coming off a 2014-15 season that saw her capture Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Coach of the Year honors after leading her squad 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, where the Lady Lions fell to Virginia State. Two years ago she helped guide Lincoln to the program’s first win over a Division I opponent, a 94-86 triumph over Morgan State, and later directed her squad from a 16-point second half deficit to beat Winston-Salem State, 64-62, in CIAA Tournament action.
Taking over a Lincoln program in 2011 that had won just three games the previous season, Kern coached the Lady Lions to seven victories in her first year, 10 triumphs the following year, and to a 12-16 season in 2013-14 before posting the 22-9 mark last season. Before accepting the head coaching position at Lincoln, she served as an assistant coach and media specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee of Horizon League 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 University, 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.