Jessee Tabs Jessica Cooley as Assistant Coach

Cooley Joins Jessee and Hart on the Lions' Bench

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo women's basketball coach, Nikki Jessee, has announced Jessica Cooley as the team's first assistant coach, it was announced Wednesday. Cooley joins the Lions as a recent graduate of Northwood University (FL) where she competed for four seasons under the tutelage of legendary basketball coach Rollie Massimino .

"We're excited to have Coach Cooley join our staff," said Jessee. "She is a great addition and brings experience as a collegiate player, as well as a high school and AAU coach."

Cooley's role will consist of coaching the team's guards, coordinating travel, fundraising efforts, film exchange, and community service projects.

As for her thoughts on joining the Green & Gold, Cooley said; "I am thrilled that Mr. Reidy has opened this door to allow me to continue my education at Saint Leo University (MBA), as well as effectively contribute to the overall vision of the women's basketball program under Coach Nikki Jessee."

Cooley brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the Lions. As a student-athlete for the Seahawks, the former guard put up impressive numbers during her four seasons as a member of the Northwood women's basketball team.

Winning four consecutive conference titles, including a berth in the NAIA National Tournament, Cooley's most impressive season came as a senior where she started 25 of 29 games and averaged just a tick under 10 points-per-contest. Her most outstanding statistic, however, came at the free throw line where she sank 81-of-93 attempts (87.1percent).

Cooley was the junior varsity coach at Wellington High School (2010) while also serving as the assistant coach Hoops City Finest AAU exposure team.

As a developing professional, the West Palm Beach, Fla. native has highlighted her career by working with ESPN760 AM, and was recently selected to attend the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's, "So You Want to Be a Coach" program held during the 2010 Women's Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.

"I carry a strong passion in helping to further develop these already talented athletes. I'm also eager to perform all necessary athletic tasks under the direction of such an experienced and proven head coach."

Cooley will begin her duties immediately.