Pepperdine Promotes DeLisha Milton-Jones To Head Coach Just Months After She Retired From Game
It is no secret that DeLisha Milton-Jones had an interest in coaching even when she was playing in the WNBA. Well, the news is she is taking over the women's basketball program at Pepperdine on 29th March 2017.
The news came after Pepperdine promotes DeLisha Milton-Jones as the head coach of Women’s Basketball team.
Expressing her happiness during an interview, Milton-Jones stated,
"It was a secret obsession of mine. I listened to everyone in my inner circle that I'd make a great coach one day. Everyone kept saying that, I didn't know if I could handle these kids, but now here I am enjoying it."
Milton-Jones joined Pepperdine as an assistant this past season after playing in the WNBA for 17 years. Milton-Jones stated that she learned about her getting the head-coaching job when athletic director Dr. Steve Potts summoned her into his office chamber. Milton-Jones recalled Potts saying,
"We feel comfortable with you leading the charge as our new head coach,” "I was like, what? He was like, 'We believe in you. We trust you to be the one to take us to the next level.'"
Milton-Jones also said that she sat there with her mouth agape and thanked Steve Potts. Milton-Jones is replacing Ryan Weisenberg, who was let go earlier in March of 2017. The Waves were 7-23 this season and 28-94 during Weisenberg's four-year time at the college.
However, Milton-Jones doesn't have much coaching experience, but she did have a storied career in the WNBA and playing overseas. She’s won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks. Potts said:
"DeLisha had an amazing collegiate, professional and Olympic basketball career. She is a natural-born leader and has an unparalleled passion for the game. DeLisha's commitment to Pepperdine's Christian mission, to the academic well-being of student-athletes and to building a championship-caliber women's basketball program make her a perfect fit for us."
Milton-Jones credits Ryan Weisenberg for giving her the opportunity to learn all about coaching career when she first was hired in August. She said:
"I was directly involved with the 2018 recruiting class. I had to hit the ground running. That was really, really valuable to me."
After getting the news, Milton-Jones hit the gym on Wednesday and saw her new team all excited. Not only just for her promotion but because Seattle Storm rookie and sensation Breanna Stewart was in the gym working out.
Congratulations to my longtime teammate @DelishaMJones So excited for you!!????The new Head Coach of the Pepperdine Waves!!???????? @WavesHoops pic.twitter.com/ayvD2k0ZeB — NatalieWilliamsBBall (@NatWillBBall) March 30, 2017
Milton-Jones also said that she had received so many texts and social media messages since the news broke of her selection.
"I truly am blessed and hope to invoke change in a positive way."
However, the nature of the contract and salary is yet to be known.
After 17 seasons and a WNBA-record 499 games played for teams, a two-time champion, DeLisha Milton-Jones, 42 has announced her retirement on September 28, 2016.
She retired averaging 11.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals -- and 50 playoff games, where her stats were even a little better (11.5, 6.1, 1.5).