Tamika Jeter is coming home.
Formerly of the Ohio State women’s basketball team as a graduate assistant (2002-03) and assistant coach (2004-08), the Dayton native is back in Columbus to join seventh-year head coach Kevin McGuff’s staff for the 2019-20 season, the program announced Thursday.
In the May issue of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, Jeter was first reported as a name to watch as McGuff’s search got underway.
“I’m excited to welcome Tamika, Richie and their children back to Ohio State,” McGuff said. “First and foremost, she’s going to be an outstanding role model for the young women in our program. Specifically as an Ohio native, she’ll be particularly impactful on the recruiting trail as we try to get the best players in the state to stay home. Her championship experience as a player and a coach is going to be extremely valuable as we continue to establish this program as one of the nation’s best.”
Jeter spent the past three years (2016-19) as an assistant coach at Penn State before the Nittany Lions parted ways with longtime head coach Coquese Washington (2007-19) March 8.
Jeter replaces one-year assistant coach Jennifer Sullivan, who left the Buckeyes after the 2018-19 campaign April 15 and joined Tennessee’s staff as an assistant coach under new head coach Kelly Harper.
With Ohio roots, Jeter’s coaching career after OSU took her to Kansas for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. She stepped away from the game for three years (2011-14) with work in the private sector — contributing to ESPN as a women’s basketball analyst, among other positions — before jumping back into coaching for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns at Kentucky.
Jeter played college basketball for four years at Connecticut (1999-2002), where she was named 1999 National Freshman of the Year and led the Huskies to the 2000 (Most Outstanding Player) and 2002 national championships. Her career field goal percentage of 70.3 percent still stands as the NCAA’s all-time leader.
Drafted by the Lynx at No. 6 overall in the 2002 WNBA draft, Jeter played professionally for six seasons in Minnesota before she finished her playing career with the Connecticut Sun. Jeter shot 66.8 percent in 2003, setting the league’s record for single-season field goal percentage before winning the 2008 Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, which is given annually to a WNBA who best exhibits characteristics of a community leader.
Inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, Jeter’s return to the state marks a homecoming while her spot on the staff solidifies McGuff’s cabinet of assistants. Jeter joins associate head coach Patrick Klein and fourth-year assistant coach Carrie Banks.
After Sullivan’s departure, a source told BSB that third-year special assistant to the head coach Ericka Haney had been serving as Ohio State’s acting third assistant coach while the Buckeyes were recruiting across the first two evaluation periods from April 19-23 and April 26-28. Jeter enters in a timely manner as the third evaluation period gets underway from May 17-29.