March 18, 2014

Nikki Jessee Resigns as Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Jessee led the Lions for three seasons and posted a 20-win season in 2013-14 

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University head women's basketball coach Nikki Jessee has announced her resignation, effective immediately. 

"I'd like to thank Dr. (Arthur) Kirk (President, Saint Leo University), Mr. (Fran) Reidy (Saint Leo Director of Athletics), and the Saint Leo University community for allowing me to be a part of the women's basketball program for the last three years," said Jessee. "It's been an incredible ride and one I will forever cherish moving forward." 

"We are disappointed Coach Jessee has decided to step away from coaching after leading the program to its first ever NCAA appearance," said Reidy. "We respect her wishes and need for an extended break at this time. We wish her, her husband Tom and daughter Rudi all the best going forward. We will start our search immediately for a coach who can build upon the winning season just completed." 

Jessee led Saint Leo to its best year in school history, this year, guiding the Lions to a 20-10 record – and a 9-7 record in the Sunshine State Conference – and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Saint Leo's 20 victories is a record for wins in a single season, and its nine conference wins were also the most league wins in a season. In addition, Saint Leo's 66.7 percent winning percentage in 2013-14 is the highest in program history. 

Just completing her third season at helm of the Lions' women's basketball program, Jessee posted a 41-44 overall record, and a 19-30 mark in the Sunshine State Conference during that stretch. Jessee is 111-125 for her career, in seven seasons as a head coach with stops at Martin Methodist College (2005-07) and Lynn University (2007-09). 

Saint Leo athletics is in the midst of its most successful run in program history with eight of the nine completed programs competing in NCAA post-season competition, and is currently 20th in the Learfield Director's Cup point standings in Division II. With all four winter sports scoring points this past weekend in NCAA post-season competition, the Lions will look to remain in the Top 25 when the next Cup standings are released later this month. 

For more on the Saint Leo University women's basketball team visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also be sure 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter and Instagram.