The University School of Jackson’s Director of Athletics Michael Stroup announces Joel Ayers as the new head coach for the Lady Bruins basketball and softball programs. He will be joining the Bruin family along with his wife, Ashley, who will serve as the assistant basketball coach for the Lady Bruins.
“The Lady Bruins program has an established history of success statewide, and we are looking forward to building on that foundation,” said Coach Joel Ayers. “My wife and I are bringing decades of experience at multiple levels of basketball and are confident that we can continue to develop athletes that succeed on the courts and off.”
The husband and wife combo spent the past six seasons coaching the Dyersburg Lady Trojans, where they led the girls to back-to-back 20-win seasons and a trip to the 2018 sub-state championship.
Coach Joel Ayers was named Dyersburg’s District Basketball Coach of the Year for both the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons. Before coaching at Dyersburg, Joel was head basketball and softball coach at Gleason and led the basketball team to three district titles and a region title.
Coach Ashley Ayers has been successful in coaching basketball at the professional, college, and high school levels. She was the first female head coach of a men's professional basketball team, the Nashville Rhythm.
Ashley was a standout high school athlete at Gleason School, a college athlete at Vanderbilt University, and was a third-round pick in the 2003 WNBA draft. She represented the USA in the 2001 World University Games in Beijing, China. During the games, USA defeated Japan, Russia, and China to bring home a gold medal.
“We are excited to have Joel and Ashley Ayers lead our girls’ upper school basketball program, as well as Joel leading both our middle school and upper school softball programs,” said Head of School Don Roe. “We look forward to welcoming them both into the Bruin family. We can’t wait to see them and our student-athletes as they represent our great school both on the court, inside the classroom, and throughout the community.”
The duo will begin training with the team this summer for the 2021-2022 season.
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