Jessica Mannetti Named Women's Basketball Head Coach

FAIRFIELD, CT (June 25, 2013) - Sacred Heart Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine announced that Jessica Mannetti has been named the Pioneers' new head women's basketball coach at a press conference Tuesday morning.  Mannetti becomes the eighth head coach in SHU women's basketball program history and just the second on the Division I level.

"I am both humbled and honored to be joining the Sacred Heart University community as the new head women's basketball coach," stated Mannetti.  "Sacred Heart women's basketball has experienced tremendous growth under former Head coach Ed Swanson, and I am excited to inherit a team and program rich in both tradition and success.  Sacred Heart is a special place – from the moment you step foot on campus, you can feel the energy and excitement of a thriving academic community.  One that I am so proud to join and contribute to.  

"I think she has the passion and commitment that will make her successful," commented Valentine.  "The thing that stands out the most about Jessica are the reactions I've gotten from other people about her and how superlative those comments were. I'm excited about where things are going here and I hope that filters into the community."

Mannetti will be in her first season as a collegiate head coach when the Pioneers tip-off in 2013-14.  She replaces Ed Swanson who coached the Pioneers for 23 seasons before accepting the head coaching position at the College of William & Mary last month.  

A Fairfield County native, Mannetti has called New Canaan home for much of her life.  She comes to Sacred Heart after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Hofstra University on Krista Kilburn-Steveskey's staff.  While at Hofstra, Mannetti helped guide the Pride to a 72-55 record as well as a pair of appearances in the WNIT.

She helped develop several players who went on to receive accolades from the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) including Candace Bond who was named the 2012-13 CAA Defensive Player of the Year.  She assisted with the development of All-American Shante Evans, who was named to the 2011 USA Basketball Women's Pan American Games team.  As a recruiter, Hofstra's 2011 class ranked as the sixth best mid-major recruiting class in the nation by ESPN Hoopgurlz.

"It is  a home run for Sacred Heart to bring on board a dynamic and highly motivated young talent such as Jessica Mannetti," stated Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.  "Jessica brings high standards and a strong work ethic.  It is with great pride that I see her leave Hofstra University to lead her own program.  It is without a doubt that she is the right person for the new direction of Sacred Heart Women's Basketball. "

Prior to arriving at Hofstra, Mannetti served as the head girls' varsity basketball coach at Green Farms Academy in Westport, CT.  In 2008-09 she led the team to a spot in the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) postseason tournament for the first time in school history. In her five seasons with Greens Farm, she developed the program from junior varsity status in 2004-05 to leading the Dragons to the playoffs in her final campaign.

A veteran of the AAU scene, Mannetti served as the head coach of the U-18 girls' team for the CT Future Stars AAU Basketball program from 2004 through 2008.  Mannetti has also spent considerable time working with the Five-Star Basketball in a variety of positions since 1999.  In addition, she previously worked an internship with the New York Knicks in their basketball operations department and worked as an event staffer for the New York Liberty.

A three-sport athlete in college, Mannetti graduated from Concordia College in Bronxville, NY in 2001 with a degree in business administration. She played volleyball, basketball and softball at Concordia and served as the team captain for both the volleyball and basketball teams.
"I want to thank President John Petillo and newly appointed Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine and former Director of Athletics Don Cook for this tremendous opportunity to lead this group of young ladies to continued excellence," continued Mannetti.  "I am blessed and eager to begin a new chapter Sacred Heart Women's Basketball book and cannot wait to get started!  Go Heart!"

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