Jordon O’Brien is set to take over one of the most successful women’s programs at the junior college level in the past decade.
Under former coach B J Smith Highland Community College competed for the Jayhawk title every season, saw three 30-win seasons with three trips to the national tournament appearances and reaching the national title game twice.
“I’ m excited that Highland Women’s basketball is synonymous with winning and championships,” O’Brien said. “I definitely feel that I have an obligation to the program and school to maintain our success at the national level. I knew that this program is capable of competing at the national level.”
Starting her head coaching career at the junior college level was something O’Brien had in mind for awhile now.
“Since I left Missouri Southern as an assistant coach, I knew that I wanted to return to the JUCO level as a head coach, preferably in the Jayhawk Conference,” O’Brien said. “After two years at Dodge City Community College, I felt like Highland would be great place for me to begin my head coaching career in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference.”
O’Brien said she holds the Jayhawk conference in high regard when it to comes to basketball.
“I consider the Jayhawk and MIAA the most competitive conferences in women’s basketball for their respective level,” O’Brien said. “Since I have coached in both of those conferences, it has helped me understand the talent that is needed to succeed at the highest level. My familiarity with the region is definitely something I will take full advantage of moving forward.”
Outside of playing college basketball at Western Illinois University and playing for the semi-professional team, the Chicago Steam, O’Brien has spent her whole basketball life in the Kansas and Missouri area.
“I think it is a huge positive that I know many AAU, high school, and college coaches in the Kansas and Missouri region,” O’Brien said. “It will not only be an advantage recruiting players to Highland, but also helping them get recruited to the next level once they graduate.”
O’Brien said having her players ending their time as a Scottie with a diploma is the first goal she has for the program.
“First and foremost, academic success will be the number one priority for my players,” O’Brien said. “I want each of them to leave Highland with a diploma in their hand.”
O’Brien said academic success is a key component to continuing the success the Highland program has seen in recent years.
“I want to establish a culture of work ethic, accountability, and academic success,” O’Brien said. “With those components I think we can continue the long history of success that Highland Women’s Basketball is well known for.”