Jennifer Mountain became the eighth Santa Clara University headwomen's basketball coach in April 2008. Mountain has done aremarkable job creating a culture of academic and athletic successat Santa Clara.
She has improved the team’s win-total in each of the lastfour seasons, while her student-athletes have garnered local,regional and national recognition stemming from their academicachievements and the program’s commitment to communityservice.
Her fifth season saw the Broncos pick up the most wins inMountain's time at Santa Clara. The Brocnos won 14 games overalland six in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos played threeteams that made the NCAA Tournament (Stanford, Gonzaga and FresnoState). Santa Clara beat Fresno State 58-53 on Dec. 29, 2012.Senior forward Lindsay Leo was named All-WCC while senior guardMeagan Fulps was honorable mention. In addition, Fulps and RutaZurauskyte were named to the WCC All-Academic Team and RickiRadanovich and Nici Gilday were honorable mention.
Mountain and her 2011-12 team won six of its first seven games,the program’s best start in over 10 years. SCU finished with12 wins, the team posted a collective GPA of 3.12 and a league-bestthree student-athletes were named to the 2012 WCC All-AcademicTeam. Additionally, Mountain and record-breaking senior guardAlyssa Shoji made a trip to the NCAA Men’s Final Four in NewOrleans, where Shoji competed in the 2012 State Farm College SlamDunk & 3-Point Championships, which aired live on ESPN.
In her third season at SCU, 2010-11, Mountain led the Broncos to atop-tier finish in the WCC standings and for the third-straightyear won at least one postseason game at the conference tournament.The team climbed up the league standings in 2010-11, finishing in atie for fourth after winning 4 of 7 WCC games at home and winning11 games overall. Mountain's team closed out the season with a 9-9record in their last 18 games, including winning back-to-back WCCgames twice and beating rival USF at the WCC tournament inMarch.
SCU ended the 2009-10 season in grand fashion at the 2010 WCCtournament, becoming the first No. 8 seed in tournament history toadvance into the semifinals. It started a trend for Mountain'steams, peaking when it matters most. In her first year on theMission Campus, Mountain guided the Broncos into the quarterfinalsof the WCC tournament after routing rival Saint Mary's 82-55.
Mountain's SCU program is setting the standard for communityservice and academic achievement within the framework ofintercollegiate athletics. Some of her team’s achievements atSCU include:
- Had four players recognized on the 2013 WCC All-Academic Team -10 players post GPA's above 3.0
- SCU Bronco Athletics 'Community Service Team of the Year' forthree straight years 2009-pres.
- Guided by head coach Jennifer Mountain, the Broncos havecontinuously worked closely with the Bay Area Women's SportsInitiative (BAWSI) – earning the ‘Best of BAWSI’award in the fall of 2008
- Breast Cancer Awareness efforts include the annual Play 4KayGame, and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
- Given the 2012 READ award by Santa Clara University, an honorgiven by the SCU library, recognizing an on-campus group orindividual that shows a passion for information literacy
- SCU women’s basketball was honored by the city ofSunnyvale, Calif., for outstanding community service at a citycouncil meeting during April of 2010
- SCU has partnered with over 15 community organizations alonethrough their 'Bronco Community Challenge' initiative
- Mentored young women at the 16th annual Sunnyvale BasketballShoot Off
- SCU women’s basketball helped raise over $4,200 for theAmerican Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund in January2010
“Jen understands what Santa Clara is all about,”said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan. “It’sabout competitive basketball but it’s about so much more thanthat. Educating men and women for competence, conscience, andcompassion -- that’s what Santa Clara really stands for. Webelieve that and live that here. I think Jen is the perfect personwho embodies those kinds of values.”
Mountain’s commitment to the Jesuit calling of communityservice takes the team and its players to a pair of localelementary schools each week. Partnering with the Bay AreaWomen’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI), cofounded by SCU alumnusBrandi Chastain (‘90), the players are given the opportunityto influence the lives of young female athletes.
Her SCU program was given the first ‘Best of BAWSIAward’ for the team’s involvement in the lives ofstudents in the San Jose and Santa Clara school districts. Thecoaching staff has taken the initiative to team up with over 15community organizations, creating unique game day sponsorships anddeveloping the ‘Bronco Community Challenge,’ which usesSCU basketball as the venue to strengthen the sense of community inthe South Bay.
“It’s been very important for me since the time I washired to get people involved in the program and back into thestands,” said Mountain. “The entire staff has done agreat job with it. I am really happy with what we have done so farand it’s something we can build on.”
Mayor Melinda Hamilton of Sunnyvale presented the Santa ClaraUniversity athletic department and Mountain’s women'sbasketball program with a certificate of appreciation foroutstanding community service in the spring of 2010. The awardstemmed from SCU’s participation in the 16th annual SunnyvaleBasketball Shoot Off, where the team volunteered at the event inwhich 330 youngsters participated.
Also during the 2009-10 season, her team initiated a fund-raisingdrive which helped collect $4,200 for the American Red Cross HaitiRelief and Development Fund.
Mountain came to the Mission Campus after serving seven seasons asthe top assistant coach at Gonzaga, where she helped the Bulldogsto four-straight West Coast Conference regular season championshipsand one WCC tournament crown.
While at Gonzaga, Mountain helped turn the Bulldogs from a 2-12WCC record in 2001-02 to four-time regular-season champion. TheBulldogs compiled a 140-79 overall record and a league mark of72-40 when Mountain rejoined the coaching staff. Gonzaga advancedto the NCAA Tournament once and twice advanced to the Women's NIT,and in 2005 garnered the school's first national ranking.
Mountain, a 1991 Gonzaga graduate, worked as an assistant underJulie Holt and helped recruit and coach many of the players thatguided the Bulldogs to their first WNIT appearance in 1994.
From 1994-2001, she served as the head boys' basketball coach atSaint George's School in Spokane, where they compiled a 134-62overall record. In 1996 and 2001, Mountain coached the Dragons to apair of Panorama League Tournament titles. In those two seasons,the Dragons were the Washington State Class B Tournament runner-upin 1996 and 2001. In their only other State B Tournament appearanceunder Mountain, the Dragons finished seventh.
Under her tutelage, Saint George's also advanced to the District7 Tournament five times, finishing in the top four three timesincluding winning the 1996 title. Mountain returned to Gonzaga asan assistant coach in 2001.
Mountain became a double alumna of Gonzaga in 1999 when shereceived a masters degree in athletic administration. She alsoholds a bachelors degree in physical education and health.Following her first stint as assistant coach, Mountain also servedas the head coach for the boys and girls' track and girls'volleyball teams at Saint George's, and was a volunteer assistantbasketball coach at Spokane's Whitworth College.
A native of Portland, Ore., Mountain scored 1,422 points in herGonzaga career, including 465 points her senior season of 1990-91.She ranks in the top 10 in school history for career field goalsmade, 3-point field goals made, free throws made, assists andsteals. She was also a three-time first-team All-West CoastConference selection while earning honorable mention NationalJesuit News Academic All-America team honors.
The Jen MountainFile:
• Head Coach - Santa Clara University (2008-pres.)
• Assistant Coach- Gonzaga University (2001-08)
• Boys Head Coach - St. George's School (1994-2001)
• Amateur Player - Gonzaga University (1987-91)