Jenkins named new SMC women’s basketball coach

Published 4:40 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Jay Jenkins, a Louisiana native, has been tabbed with replacing Jeanine Wasielweski as the Southwestern Michigan College women’s basketball coach the school announced Thursday afternoon.

Jenkins, who has been the coach at National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois, replaces Wasielweski, who resigned as head coach earlier this year to become an assistant coach at Rutgers University, has been coaching college basketball since 2014.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Coach Jenkins has agreed to lead SMC women’s basketball,” said Roadrunners Athletic Director Rodell Davis, Senior. “Jay is a man of high character and experience who will help us take this winning Roadrunners program to even higher levels.”

Jenkins played basketball at Concordia College in Selma, Alabama. After graduating from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2013, Jenkins continued at Liberty and earned a Master of Arts in Theology in 2015.

He started his coaching career in 2013 at Broadmoor High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also coached at Bethany Christian School in Baker, Louisiana, before restarting the men’s basketball team at Kansas Christian College in Overland Park, where he spent three years.

In 2017, he coached both the men’s and women’s teams at Lone Star College in Houston. For the last five seasons, Jenkins has been the head coach at Kaskaskia College, which is a member of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. During his tenure at Kaskaskia, he led the turnaround of the Blue Angels from a 5-23 team in 2018-19 into a winning 17-14 one last season.

Jenkins takes over a Roadrunner program that is heading into its second season after a 26-year absence on the court. Southwestern Michigan went 18-9, including 13-1 at the 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse and qualified for the Great Lakes District A Tournament, which is a national qualifier for the NJCAA tournament.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to continue building on the foundation SMC has established,” Jenkins said. “I would like to thank President [Dr. Joe] Odenwald, his administration, and AD Davis for believing in my vision to lead this great program. It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. SMC feels like home.”