JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A familiar face will continue forging the path to unprecedented success for Jacksonville University women's basketball as Darnell Haney was elevated to head coach following a nation-wide search, as announced Tuesday afternoon by JU Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert.
"The Jacksonville University Athletic Department is ecstatic to announce the hiring of Darnell Haney as the next head coach of our women's basketball program," expressed Ricker-Gilbert. "We have spent the last six days conducting a national search that has included talking with candidates and representatives from California to Boston. It became crystal clear over the past 48 hours that we have the home run hire we need for our program already here at Jacksonville University.
"Darnell has been an integral part of the most successful five-year run in program history. He is a man of the highest character and will be an incredible role model for our current and future student-athletes. Darnell and his family love Jacksonville, love our university, and love our young women. We are fortunate to have Darnell lead our program into the future."
A staple on the Dolphin sidelines for the past five seasons, Haney served as associate head coach the last two seasons under former head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who recently departed for the same role at Ole Miss.
"Darnell being named the next head coach at Jacksonville not only makes sense but it is a smash hire," exclaimed McCuin. "Darnell is competent and ready to take over the helm at Jacksonville! He is a father, husband and a person of high character. I'm excited that he and his family can continue to plant seeds in a place that they love dearly!"
With Haney's leadership on the sidelines the past five seasons, first as assistant coach and most recently as associate head coach, the Dolphins have risen to unprecedented heights.
Crowned 2016 ASUN Champions and made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Dolphins made back-to-back Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) appearances in 2017 and 2018 – another first in the program's 18-year history.
In the 2017-18 season alone, Jacksonville won a program-best 24 games (24-9), eclipsing the previous record of 23 tied by the previous year's squad, en route to 16 new program records. The team led the ASUN in 10 different statistical categories, including rebounds and blocked shots.