Former Austin Peay State University forward Jessica Grayson will return to the women’s basketball program as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 campaign, head coach Carrie Daniels announced, Tuesday. She replaces former assistant coach Marcus Payne, who resigned in April after four seasons.
“I am very excited to be able to bring Jessica back to Austin Peay and have her be part of this program,” said Daniels. “It was a long process and there was a tremendous amount of interest in this job, but after going through the resumes and interviews it was very clear the passion that Jessica has for Austin Peay clearly made her the right person for this job. The experience she brings will be very valuable.”
“Austin Peay meant so much to me as a student-athlete,” said Grayson. “And now to be given the opportunity to return is a tremendous honor. I am truly blessed to have this opportunity. I have no doubt that I’m in the right place at suitable time for this position.
“From my conversations with Coach Daniels it is clear we share the same loyalty, love and passion for this university and community. Not only am I passionate and loyal to this university, I believe in the direction of this program.”
Grayson rejoins the Lady Govs after serving as an assistant coach the past three seasons at UT Martin. Hired by former UTM head coach Tara Tansil, Grayson remained on the staff under current head coach Kevin McMillian. This past season, the Skyhawks qualified for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, earning the league’s fourth seed. They advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the 2006-07 season before falling to Eastern Illinois.
“Jessica was exposed to every aspect of the game while an assistant at UT Martin,” Daniels said. “I truly believe with her energy and personality she will be a great fit with our team and hit the ground running. The July recruiting period is here and I know she is ready to go.”
She began her coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Division II Valdosta State for two seasons. While she was there the Blazers compiled a 42-17 record in two seasons and reached the NCAA Division II South Regional semifinals in 2007.
Grayson was a member of the Lady Govs 2002-03 and 2003-04 OVC regular-season and tournament championship squads. As a senior, she averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 27 appearances as the Lady Govs reached the 2004 NCAA Tournament. She was named to the 2004 OVC All-Tournament team, averaging 10 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, including 13 points and eight rebounds in the semifinal win against Southeast Missouri.
“One thing is for sure, Jessica knows all about APSU and is ready to help us continue to build on the tradition as a coach that she helped start as a player,” said Daniels.
Prior to joining the Lady Govs, Grayson was a standout at Columbia State Community College, leading the program to its first-ever NJCAA Division I national tournament appearance in her first season. She averaged 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds during that freshman campaign and was named a NJCAA All-American. Grayson averaged 21.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in an injury-plagued sophomore season.
She joins third-year assistant coach Laphelia Doss on Daniels’ coaching staff.
“Austin Peay is so fortunate to have such a polished, experienced, and articulate professional at the head of this program,” said Grayson. “I am so thankful to Coach Daniels for this opportunity I look forward to working with her along with Coach Doss. Their passion for the game and their professional reputation on and off the court speaks for itself.
“There has always been a tremendous devotion to Austin Peay throughout the athletic department. And that devotion hasn’t changed. Everyone in the athletic department works tremendously hard in doing things the right way. And they want what’s best for this university. That truly solidified my decision. And I will work hard at doing things the right way and make decisions every day that is best for this university.”
The Grayson File:
College Education –
- Columbia State (A.S., Health and Human Performance), 2002
- Austin Peay (B.S. Health and Human Performance), 2005
- Valdosta State (M.Ed., Health and Human Performance), 2007
Coaching Experience –
- Austin Peay, assistant coach (2010-)
- UT Martin, assistant coach (2007-10)
- Valdosta State, graduate assistant (2005-07)