The vacancy directing the Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball program has been filled with the appointment of Renee Jimenez, who had headed Cal State Monterey Bay the last five years.
She is the perfect choice. She took over an Otters program that was just transitioning to Division II and turned it into a contender pretty much over night. The team was 3-24 the year before she took over and won a conference title in her third year. Her record there was 97-46.
That was despite having the second-lowest budget of the 12 teams in the CCAA and one of the three of four worst facilities. It also isn’t an easy place in which to recruit players. Now put her in a place where she has a top-notch facility and a talent pool within a 30-40 mile radius that is second to none. The rest of the CCAA should be afraid, very afraid!
Her teams play hard, play together and play unselfishly. Their trademark has always been defense. I saw them play when they were here to play the Coyotes and Cal Poly Pomona but also covered them for the Monterey paper when Cal Poly hosted the women’s regional a few years back. I was impressed. They got to the semifinal without a player on the team averaging double figures. That says a lot.
Better yet is her 100% graduation rate.
It seemingly took about five minutes to fill the position. Well, it’s probably three weeks from the time the resignation of the former coach was announced to the appointment. That’s moving the process along pretty quickly, Athletic Director Kevin Hatcher knew who he wanted.
The pool of candidates was strong, featuring many with Division I experience but this was the perfect choice.