As the Washington Huskies bid farewell to the glorious era of Mike Neighbors and Kelsey Plum, their search for a new head coach ended quickly.
On Friday, Washington announced the hiring of Jody Wynn, who joins the program after an eight-year run at Long Beach State. Washington will formally introduce Wynn during a Monday press conference at Alaska Airlines Arena.
“I am thrilled to be part of such a prestigious University, and to build on a tremendous women’s basketball culture that has been established at Washington,” Wynn said in a statement published by the university.
Wynn’s tenure at Long Beach State could be defined with the word patience. After five years with limited returns, she gained momentum with three consecutive 20-win seasons. The capstone of this run occurred this year, nabbing a Big West conference tournament championship that granted Long Beach State its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1992. In the first round, they fell just short of upsetting No. 2 seed Oregon State, losing 56-55.
Wynn’s credentials at a mid-major program are solid, but now comes the challenge of leading a team who will need to revamp their identity. With Plum and Chantel Osahor moving on to the WNBA, the Huskies lose their top two scorers and distributors. Osahor was also the team leader in rebounds for the last two seasons.
However, Wynn isn’t completely bereft of resources. Aarion McDonald and Natalie Romeo, who will be seniors next year, are capable of shouldering offensive responsibilities. The two paired up nicely in Washington’s win over Oklahoma in the second round of the NCAA tournament, with Romeo scoring 20 points and McDonald netting 18 points in 18 minutes.