JENNIFER GRAF | ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH
Jennifer Graf begins her sixth season at Troy in 2017-18, and her fifth as associate head coach after being elevated to that position in 2013-14. In her first five seasons with the Trojans, Graf has helped head coach Chanda Rigby turn around the Troy program from a two-win team in 2011-12 to back-to-back Sun Belt Conference Tournament champions.
Troy won its second consecutive Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship in 2016-17 earning a second straight bid to the NCAA Tournament. The team finished with a 22-11 record, the second-most wins in a season in program history. Forward Caitlyn Ramirez was named first team All-Sun Belt Conference and SBC Tournament MVP. For the fifth straight season, the Trojans led the league in scoring and finished top 10 in the nation with 82.5 points per game. Graf’s squad was second in the NCAA with 50.15 rebounds per game including an 86-rebound performance against Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinals, the second-most in NCAA history. From Nov. 16-Dec. 4, Troy scored 90-plus points in five straight games for the first time on program history and reached the 100-point plateau four times during the season.
In 2015-16, the Trojans finished 20-13, won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history. Guard Ashley Beverly Kelley was named first team All-Sun Belt Conference and SBC Tournament MVP. Caitlyn Ramirez took home third team All-Sun Belt honors as well. The Trojans led the conference in scoring for the fourth consecutive season and eclipsed to 100-point plateau six times. The team tied the school record with eight straight wins culminating with a victory in the Sun Belt Tournament championship game.
The 2014-15 team tied the Troy Division I era record with six straight wins in January before breaking the record with eight straight wins to close the regular season. In addition to the team accolades, Ashley Beverly Kelley and Ronita Garrett both earned first team All-Sun Belt honors.
Graf works primarily with the Troy forwards and helped Ronita Garrett to a Troy-record 21 double-doubles in 2014-15, a mark that led the Sun Belt and ranked eighth in NCAA. Garrett averaged 15.6 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game, ranking fifth and first in the Sun Belt, respectively.
As a team, Troy has led the Sun Belt in scoring in all five of Graf’s seasons, including finishing in the NCAA top 20 in each of the last four seasons. In 2013-14 the Trojans averaged 80.4 points per game, becoming just the second Sun Belt team since 2000 to average over 80.0 points per game.
In her five seasons with the program, Graf has coached seven first or second team All-Sun Belt selections, more than the program had in its previous seven seasons combined in the Sun Belt.
Graf came to Troy after spending the previous eight seasons as the head coach at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. Graf spent 16 seasons overall with the Lady Demons, including four years as a player and four as an assistant coach.
Graf was named the Lady Demons’ head coach on Sept. 1, 2004, becoming the youngest NCAA Division I head coach at the time at the age of 26. In her eight seasons at the helm of the Northwestern State program, Graf posted a 106-131 career record, giving her the third most wins in program history.
She led her first team as head coach to a 17-12 record, a third place finish in the Southland Conference standings and a berth in the Southland Tournament semifinals. Graf sent two more teams to the tournament semifinals during her eight-year tenure.
In Graf’s eight seasons at the helm of the Lady Demons, 24 of her 25 seniors received their degrees, including 2005 Southland Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Amanda Bennett. Graf also coached the LSWA Louisiana Newcomer of the Year in her last season, Jordi James.
During her time at Northwestern State, the Lady Demons produced 19 All-Southland selections and 15 All-Louisiana selections overall, including two Southland Conference Freshmen of the Year, Chassidy Jones and Demetria White.
Prior to being named the Lady Demons’ head coach, Graf spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Lady Demons posting an 86-32 mark over those four years. In her final season as an assistant coach (2003-04), Northwestern State went 24-7, winning the Southland Regular Season and Tournament Championships, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Graf was also a four-year letterwinner for the Lady Demons at guard from 1996-2000. As a player, Graf played in 110 games for Northwestern State, winning 74, starting 48 times, including 30 games in her senior season. She was an all-conference selection her senior season, a three-time Academic All-Southland Conference selection and won the Fellowship of Christian Athletes “Lady Demon of the Year” award as a senior.
The Lady Demons won over 20 games in both her junior and senior seasons, including a Southland Conference Championship and a WNIT appearance during her junior year in 1998-99.
A native of Loranger, La., Graf led Loranger High School to a state championship her senior season and was named the Louisiana Class 2A Most Valuable Player under the direction of Rigby.
Graf earned her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Northwestern State University in 2000. She received her Master’s of Education in sports administration from Northwestern State in 2002.