Husky Coaches Excited To Kick Off July Recruiting Period

June 24, 2010

SEATTLE - July is an intense month for basketball coaches. It's the time where they zip up the suitcases and say goodbye to friends and family as they prepare to hit the recruiting trail.

At Washington, Coach Tia Jackson and her staff of Loree Payne, Kyle Locke and Greg Nared will be on the road from July 6-31. There is a six-day break in the middle so the coaches can reconvene at Hec-Ed to discuss the talent they saw and which potential student-athletes best fit the Husky program.

Needs are identified after a postseason filled with individualized workouts, where Jackson and her assistants are able to define exactly what pieces are missing as they head towards the ever-decisive July recruiting period.

'We are energized about the foundation we have built with our existing players and have had one of the best spring seasons since I've been here at the University of Washington', Jackson said.

While on the road, Division I coaches are allowed to evaluate talent, but cannot have contact with potential student-athletes, families or their prep coaches.This time of the year is often stressful for coaches, given the time they are away from home. Not so at Washington, where the energetic staff is primed to start racking up some airline miles and make their evaluations.

'This is a fun time for us because recruiting is like finishing a puzzle. We have put together a great group of women to be the pioneers of this new era. And now we get to go out and complete the puzzle we started 3 years ago. A lot of the nation's best are showing interest in the University of Washington, including many here in our own state.'

And they have every right to take notice.

Jackson already had the reputation as an excellent recruiter while an assistant at Duke, and she's been able to make an impact bringing in talented student-athletes into the Husky family here in Seattle.

In the last three years, Jackson has signed five players ranked in the Top 75 nationally, including one as high as 18th in the country. Her team has shown steady improvement each year, leading into a postseason berth last season. And with an exciting schedule awaiting the Huskies next season, there is even more optimism building on Montlake.

'There is some excitement generating around our women's basketball program', AD Scott Woodward adds. 'With the way the Huskies finished up the regular season and the staff that Coach Jackson has assembled, we feel very confident about her and the direction she is taking our women's basketball program.'