|Jill Pace (formerly Henrikson) has been to the NCAA tournament four times as a player and three times as a coach. Pomona-Pitzer hasn't been there since 2002.
Bowdoin athletics file photo
After playing and coaching in New England, Jill Pace is headed to Southern California where she’ll be the next head coach at Pomona-Pitzer.
Pace goes to Claremont, Calif. after working as an assistant under Carla Berube at Tufts for two seasons during which the Jumbos went 58-7 with two Final Four appearances. She replaces Kathy Connell who retired in March after 20 seasons at Pomona-Pitzer.
“We are thrilled to have Jill become a Sagehen,” said Director of Athletics Lesley Irvine in a press release. “One of the things that stood out throughout our process is the success that Jill has been consistently affiliated with both as a coach and student-athlete. Jill brings a track record of success, along with passion to support our student-athletes who aspire to be the best on the court and in the classroom.”
Before joining Berube’s staff, Jill (nee Henrikson) Pace played four seasons at Bowdoin where she was a part of four NCAA tournament teams. Pace was named the Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009, second-team all-conference as a junior and first team all-conference as a senior. She was also named first team All-Region as a senior in 2012. She scored 1,000 points during her career despite missing the majority of her sophomore season due to injury.
Pace also was an assistant coach at Smith while earning her master’s degree in exercise and sports studies when the Pioneers made the NCAA tournament in 2013.
“I would like to thank Betsy Crighton, Lesley Irvine, and the entire search committee for this tremendous opportunity,” said Pace. “Pomona and Pitzer Colleges are two very special places in a beautiful part of the country. I feel fortunate to now be part of a Sagehen family with truly genuine faculty and staff who understand the values of Division III in their commitment to supporting student-athletes to be at their best in the classroom, on the court and in the community.”
Pace is the second former Tufts assistant coach to land a head coaching job this offseason. Kristin Karat was named head coach at Cedar Crest in April.
Pace will try to turn around a Sagehens’ program that has not had a winning season since 2002 when they went 14-11. Pomona-Pitzer finished 11-14, 8-8 in the SCIAC last season.