TCNJ name replacement for long-time coach

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TCNJ announced Francesca "Chessie" Jackson will be the College's new head women's basketball coach effective next month. She replaces Dawn Henderson who retired to end a 28-year career, including 26 with the Lions.

TCNJ announced the hiring on Monday.

"I am particularly excited about the opportunity to work with a group of women who are talented, bright, and eager to continue building on past successes while striving for new heights," said Jackson in the College's release. "It is clear to me that TCNJ is a place that values excellence in all arenas, and I look forward to helping our program set a new standard of excellence moving forward."

Jackson comes to Ewing, N.J. from nearby Division I Princeton where she was an assistant coach under Courtney Banghart for the past two seasons. In 2015-16 Jackson was part of the staff that led the Tigers to a 23-6 record and a rare at-large bid from the Ivy League to the NCAA Tournament.

She was previously an assistant at Smith College and Rochester after graduating from Williams. Jackson played four seasons for the Ephs from 2007 through 2011. In her senior season Jackson was a captain, first team all-NESCAC selection and fourth team all-region selection for the Ephs' squad that reached the NCAA Tournament. Williams reached the NCAA Tournament sectional semifinal in Jackson's junior season.

Jackson replaces Dawn Henderson who decided last November that the 2016-17 season would be her last. Henderson concluded a 24-year run with the Lions that included a 436-204 record, four NJAC titles and nine NCAA Tournament appearances.

The Lions' best finish under Henderson came in 2009-09 when the Lions went on a surprising run to the NCAA tournament national semifinals. TCNJ finished the season with a 28-5 record and a No. 5 ranking after being unranked throughout the regular season.

Including two seasons at Worcester State and two at Drew, Henderson finished with a career record of 482-254 in 28 seasons.

TCNJ finished 11-13, 8-10 in the NJAC last season.