We are very happy to annouce that Coach Kest, the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, has signed a new contract that will keep her at Akron thru the 2014-2015 season.
Kest, who just completed her fourth season at UA, led the Zips to their highest win total (18) in the 36-year history of the program last winter. Akron also recorded its highest win totals for MAC play (11) and at Rhodes Arena (11) while holding opponents to an average of 59.6 points per game, representing the best mark in school history and the third-lowest average in league history. Kest was the first UA women's coach to receive Coach of the Year accolades from the MAC last March and just the second Akron basketball coach (men's or women's) to do so.
As a product of last season's success, Kest drew interest from other schools but ultimately decided to remain committed to Akron. "Akron is where I want to be and I am very lucky to have an administration that wants me here," Kest said. "My heart is in Akron and I have officially withdrawn myself as a candidate from other openings. "I am very proud and grateful to continue representing the University of Akron and its women's basketball program. I would like to thank (UA President) Dr. Luis Proenza, Tom Wistrcill and (Senior Associate Athletics Director) Mary Lu Gribschaw for their continued support and loyalty to me and our program. I would also like to thank the Akron community for embracing me and our young athletes."
Akron secured a first-round bye at the MAC Tournament for the first time and advanced to the semifinals for just the second time since becoming a league member in 1992. The Zips were then selected to compete in the Women's Basketball Invitational, marking its first postseason appearance in 11 years and just their second appearance all-time. "Jodi has a proven track record of turning around programs and last season was the perfect example of the positive influence she can have as a leader," Wistrcill said. "Furthermore, she represents everything that is right about college athletics with an absolute commitment to the performance of her student-athletes both on the court and in the classroom. I am excited for the future of our women's basketball program."
Coach Kest has elevated the Zips to unprecedented heights, culminating with this winter's record-setting campaign. Under Kest, Akron has now won more games in her past two seasons alone (29) than in the six seasons prior to her arrival (24 wins from 2000-01 to 2005-06)."This is a very exciting time to be a Zip," Kest said. "We had a great season last year, in breaking numerous school records, and I know we are on the brink of even greater things in the future. I want to thank our current and former players for trusting our vision. I am really looking forward to coaching our current group of quality student-athletes. "The University of Akron is where I want to be for a very long time. I am excited to share this news with our recruits and their families."