Known as a defensive-minded coach, Rod Jensen brought his 30-plus years of coaching experience with him to Pullman for one season as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Washington State University in 2013-14.
Jensen originally came to WSU in June of 2013 as the director of player development and was promoted to assistant coach three months later, in September. Jensen most recently served as head coach at The College of Idaho for the last three years. In his final season with the Coyotes, Jensen led C of I to its first winning season in four years (15-14), its first home playoff game since 2007 and earned the program’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team, an 83-82 victory at Eastern Oregon in February of 2013.
Jensen has earned notoriety as a defensive coach, especially during his 19 years as a coach at Boise State University. From 1983-95, he was the top assistant to head coach, Bobby Dye, helping the Broncos rank among the top 15 in the NCAA Division I in scoring defense for four-straight seasons, winning Big Sky regular-season championships in 1988 and 1989, along with Big Sky Tournament titles in 1988, 1993, and 1994. BSU teams advanced to the National Invitational Tournament in 1987 and 1991, and the NCAA Tournament in 1988, 1993, and 1994.
In 1995, Jensen became the head coach at Boise State, compiling a 109-93 overall record in seven seasons at the helm while recording the third-most wins in BSU history. During his tenure, the Broncos ranked among the NCAA top 25 in scoring defense in 1998 and 1999, while winning the 1999 Big West East Division Championship.
Jensen headed east in 2002, becoming an assistant coach for Pete Gillen at the University of Virginia, where he helped the Cavaliers to NIT appearances in 2003 and 2004, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in defensive field goal percentage. In 2005, he headed south to UNC Greensboro, working for Mike Dement, where during his tenure, every player who exhausted their eligibility, graduated. He spent five years at UNCG, his final four as associate head coach.
A 1975 graduate of the University of Redlands in California, Jensen began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1980, serving as an assistant for two years, before spending one season at Penn State. Jensen and his wife Brenda have four grown children; daughters Kate, Emily and Nicole, and son Tucker.
The Rod Jensen File
- As head coach, Jensen led The College of Idaho to its first winning season in four years (15-14) in 2012-13, its first home playoff game since 2007 and earned the program’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team, an 83-82 victory at Eastern Oregon in February of 2013.
- In five seasons at UNC Greensboro, every player who exhausted their eligibility, graduated.
- As an assistant coach, helped lead Virginia to NIT appearances in 2003 and 2004, while the Cavaliers led the ACC in defensive field goal percentage.
- Finished with the Broncos as the second-winningest men’s basketball coach in Boise State history (109-93).
- Led the Broncos to the Big West Conference East Division title with a 12-4 mark and 21-8 overall record in 1998-99.
- As an assistant at Boise State, helped lead the team to the NCAA Tournament three times (1988, 1993 and 1994) and to the NIT twice (1987 and 1991).
- With Jensen acting as defensive coordinator, the Broncos ranked in the top 15 nationally in scoring defense for four-consecutive seasons.
Education: University of Redlands (business administration), 1975
1980-82 University of the Redlands – Assistant Coach
1982-83 Penn State – Assistant Coach
1983-95 Boise State – Assistant Coach
1995-2002 Boise State – Head Coach
2002-2005 Virginia – Assistant Coach
2005-2006 UNC Greensboro – Assistant Coach
2006-2010 UNC Greensboro – Associate Head Coach
2010-2013 The College of Idaho – Head Coach
2013-2014 Washington State – Assistant Coach
Wife – Brenda; daughters, Kate, Emily and Nicole; son, Tucker