SEATTLE -- Jody Wynn wasn’t sure if Washington would be the right fit. Her women’s basketball teams at Long Beach State had been built on “grit” whereas the Huskies, one of the top offensive teams in the country, employed a more glamorous style of play.
“Are you sure you want us to come up? We’re kind of square,” Wynn recalled telling UW athletic director Jen Cohen and associate AD Shondell Reed when they approached her about becoming the next Huskies coach.
“We’re not about a lot of flash.”
But a face-to-face meeting in Seattle had Wynn, and her husband and assistant coach Derek, sold on the Huskies program.
“When we came up and met,” Wynn said Monday afternoon during her introductory press conference at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, “we just instantly knew that ‘wow, this is different. This is special.’”
Wynn spent the last eight seasons at Long Beach State, earning the team a bid to last month’s NCAA tournament, the school's first trip since 1992. Cohen on Friday announced Wynn as the 11th UW women’s basketball coach, replacing Mike Neighbors, who earlier this month left for the same position Arkansas.
Cohen didn’t share Wynn’s uncertainty when tabbing the USC alumna to lead the Huskies, describing the new coach as “what we call our perfect fit.” Cohen said she was impressed by Wynn’s resume at Long Beach State, which includes three consecutive 20-win seasons; her familiarity with the Pac-12 Conference, and the West Coast; and, most importantly, Wynn’s view of UW as a destination job.
“They knew how special this place was, just like we know,” Cohen said Monday. “They knew they could accomplish something unique and wonderful. They were happy where they were, but they saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come and build a legacy here at Washington.
“In Coach Wynn we found everything we were looking for.”
Jody and Derek, her husband of 16 years, will be joined on staff by former UW basketball player Michelle Augustavo (2006-09) and Paul Reed, all of whom were on Wynn’s staff at Long Beach State.
Both Cohen and Wynn cheerily used the term “grit” to describe the coach’s 49ers squads, a culture Wynn said was established by the fact “we might have been the underdogs regularly. And knowing that heart and hustle can make up for lazy talent. There’s nothing better than sneaking up on folks.”
The Huskies, who went to two consecutive Sweet 16s and the program's first ever Final Four appearance in 2016 under Neighbors, aren't going to sneak up on anyone, and Wynn looks forward to adding to the success Washington has seen as of late.
"It is an absolute honor to say that we are going to lead the Washington Huskies," Wynn said. "We're going to do this together, as a family, and continue to grow the program and continue to get it to the level it currently is, with national respect."
Prior to assuming her role at Long Beach State, Wynn spent five seasons as the senior assistant, recruiting coordinator and head of scouting at USC. Her time with the 49ers also included three trips to the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
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