MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College Director of Athletics Wendell Staton announced Wednesday the hire of Ross Jolly to be the next head coach of Bobcat Women's Basketball.
"First, I want to thank Wendell Staton for giving me the opportunity to begin my head coaching career," said Jolly. "I also want to give a special thanks to Jamie Grodecki and the other members of the search committee for their role in the process. Georgia College is a top-notch institution, and the atmosphere Wendell and his staff have cultivated within the department is very special. On my interview, I truly fell in love with the environment on campus as well as the incredible facilities. I am also looking forward to working with student-athletes that have high expectations for themselves on and off the court. I am deeply humbled to have this opportunity and excited to get to work."
Jolly joins Bobcat Nation after spending the last three seasons as Assistant Women's Basketball Coach at Division I Radford University in Radford, Virginia.
"We are thrilled that Ross Jolly is leading Georgia College Women's Basketball program," said Staton. "During the interview process it became crystal clear to me that Ross aligns with our values, ethics, and culture. In fact, our culture is what attracted him to the position. As I contacted folks about Ross, literally the first thing every person talked about was his ethics and value system. This is the number one priority when I hire a new staff member and I was elated when he accepted the position."
"The first item under his own core values is the word 'integrity.' His view of the student-athlete experience is directly aligned with our culture, which focuses on being the best you can be academically, socially and athletically. I love that one his core values for the student-athlete experience is 'have fun as a student and an athlete.' Every direction I turned, I found direct alignment with our culture. I am excited for our future and the holistic student-athlete experience that will be embedded into our culture."
In his role with the Highlanders, Jolly served as the scouting coordinator. His other duties involved post-player development, recruiting and academics.
Radford put together one of the greatest campaigns in school history in 2018-19, going 26-6 overall and 17-1 in Big South play to clinch the regular season title and the top seed in the Big South Tournament. The Highlanders would go on to win the Big South Championship and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 23 years.
Jolly came to Radford following three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at North Greenville University. In his time with the Crusaders, Jolly coached five all-conference performers, including the 2015 Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year.
Prior to North Greenville, Jolly spent one season on the sidelines at Division I UNC Wilmington and a year at Tusculum College. He helped lead the Pioneers to a 17-11 record and an NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in 2012.
He becomes the seventh head coach in GC Women's Basketball history, filling the vacancy left by Maurice Smith's departure to Flagler College.
A native of Sparta, Tennessee, Jolly earned a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2011.
Jolly comes from a rich basketball family as his sister, Kellie Harper, is a three-time national champion at Tennessee under hall-of-fame coach Pat Summitt and was hired as the newest head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols in April. His brother, Brent, is a former assistant coach with the men's program at Chattanooga.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up- to-the- minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.