CALDWELL, Idaho - UNC Greensboro men's basketball coach Mike Dement confirmed Friday that associate head coach Rod Jensen has resigned to take the position of head coach at The College of Idaho.
"We are sad that Rod is leaving us," said Dement. "He has been an outstanding coach, teacher and friend the last five years. But The College of Idaho is getting a great head coach and person to lead its program. Our entire team and staff will miss Rod and Brenda tremendously, but wish them great success."
Jensen will become the 16th coach in the program's history. Director of Athletics Marty Holly confirmed the hiring Thursday and will make the formal introduction of Jensen at a press conference Friday at 2 p.m. MDT. Jensen will be just the third head coach of the Coyotes in the last 30 years - as Holly served as head coach from 1981-00, with Mark Owen running the Yotes from 2000-10.
"I have always admired Coach Jensen, not just because he is one of the better defensive minds in the country, but because of his character and his devotion to coaching gentlemen student-athletes," said Holly. "Certainly, that philosophy fits well at The C of I. He was my first choice as a candidate and we are thrilled to have Rod and (wife) Brenda as part of the Yote family."
Jensen is no stranger to Gem State basketball, having coached at Boise State University from 1983-2002. He served as the Broncos head coach the final seven seasons, compiling a 109-93 overall record - including the Big West East Division regular-season championship and a 21-8 record in 1999. The College of Idaho, an NAIA Division II institution in Caldwell, Idaho, is located just 25 miles from Boise.
Following his time at Boise State, Jensen spent two seasons as an assistant under Pete Gillen at the University of Virginia, helping the Cavaliers to a pair of NIT appearances, and has spent the last five seasons at UNCG.
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to become a head coach again," said Jensen. "Being an assistant on the east coast has been a wonderful experience. However, having been a head coach prior to those opportunities, being an assistant at any level doesn't compare to the satisfaction I get being a head coach.
"With that said, it was still a very hard decision to leave UNCG, knowing that great things are on the horizon for Spartan basketball. I would like to thank Coach Dement for letting me work side-by-side with him for the last five years. I also want to thank all of the players and assistant coaches that believed in what we were teaching. Brenda and I leave the state of North Carolina with great memories and great friends."
Jensen is touted as one of the premier defensive minds in the game - as Boise State ranked in the NCAA's Top 15 in scoring defense for four-straight seasons while he was an assistant, and twice in the Top-25 while he was a head coach.
Ironically, Jensen served as the Spartans' acting head coach for one game this past season. After Dement was ejected from a game for the first time in his career and had to serve an automatic one-game suspension by conference rule, Jensen coached the team to a 62-55 win over backyard-rival Elon.
A 1975 graduate of the University of Redlands, Jensen is married to the former Brenda Johnson, and has four grown children - daughters Nicole, Emily, and Kate, and son Tucker.
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