Tufts will play with Pace next season

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After turning Pomona-Pitzer into an NCAA Tournament team, Jill Pace returns to the Tufts program where she made two trips to the Tournament semifinals.
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Tufts brought former assistant coach Jill Pace back from the west coast to replace Carla Berube atop its women's basketball program.

Tufts announced the hiring via release on Thursday.

"We're thrilled to welcome Jill back to Medford and the Tufts Athletics family," Director of Athletics John Morris said in the releae. "Both as a student-athlete and as a coach, Jill is known for hard work, high standards, values that align fully with our university mission, and winning."

Pace was an assistant under Berube for two seasons, both of which ended with Jumbos reaching the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Pace then took over a Pomona-Pitzer program that went 1-23 the previous season. The Sagehens improved to 8-17 in Pace's first season and then 22-6 last season. Pomona-Pitzer won the SCIAC's automatic bid and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 17 seasons. She was named the D3hoops.com West Region Coach of the Year in March.

Jill (nee Henrikson) Pace played four seasons at Bowdoin where she was a part of four NCAA tournament teams. Pace was named the Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009, second-team all-conference as a junior and first team all-conference as a senior. She was also named first team All-Region as a senior in 2012. 

Pace replaces Berube who took the head coaching job at Division I Princeton.

"Coach Berube - an incredible coach and one of the best people I know - developed and sustained something very special at Tufts," Pace said in the release. "I am excited to build on what she started, compete at the highest level possible, and have a lot of fun along the way."

The feelings of admiration are mutual.

"I'm so thrilled that Jill Pace has been named the next women's basketball coach at Tufts University," Berube said in the release. "She's extremely bright and thoughtful, a diligent worker and recruiter and has a contagious competitive fire that the Jumbos will love to play for. I'm excited to watch the Jumbos under the direction of Jill Pace, it's a great day for Tufts University."

Tufts returns much of a team that finished 28-3 and reached the NCAA Tournament sectional semifinals.