PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University men’s basketball director of player development, Rod Jensen, has been promoted to assistant coach, replacing Ben Johnson who left the role last week, WSU Head Coach Ken Bone announced Monday.
“We were excited to bring Rod Jensen onto the staff in June and are even more excited to have him in a coaching role as an assistant coach,” Bone said. “I’ve known Rod for many years and he is an outstanding basketball coach. I love the passion and energy he brings to the game.”
Jensen came to WSU in June of 2013 as the director of player development after three seasons as head coach at The College of Idaho. 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.
“I couldn’t be any more excited to be a part of Coach Bone’s staff,” Jensen said. “Being in Pullman just a short time, I have been able to observe a program that is on the same page, works extremely hard and believes in one another. Coach Bone has our guys going in the right direction and I certainly hope that I can contribute to our journey through the Pac-12 and postseason play.”
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 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.