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May 10, 2004

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia has named Tom Garrick and Jennifer Hoover as assistant women’s basketball coaches, head coach Debbie Ryan announced on Monday.

Garrick joins the Cavaliers after six seasons at the University of Rhode Island, while Hoover switches to a coaching position after serving one season as the team’s Director of Operations. Both coaches will assist in recruiting, on-court coaching, scouting, and individual workouts.

“Tom is a highly energetic coach who brings a lot of different talents,” Ryan said. “I am really pleased. He is a perfect match for the Virginia basketball program. Tom is an excellent recruiter and has very good leadership skills.”

Garrick spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the URI women’s team. He was involved with all aspects of recruiting and coordinated opponent scouting as well as team travel. In December 2003, Garrick was promoted to interim head basketball coach. He took over for head coach Boe Pearman, who took a leave of absence due to health reasons. Garrick led Rhode Island to a 16-13 overall record and 8-8 in the Atlantic 10, marking the Rams’ third-straight winning season and the second time in 10 years they finished .500 in the conference. For his efforts, Garrick was named the Rhode Island basketball media Division I women’s basketball Coach of the Year in March.

Prior to joining the women’s staff, Garrick spent three years as an assistant coach on the Rhode Island men’s basketball coaching staff.

The West Warwick, R.I., native starred at Rhode Island from 1984-88, leading the Rams to the Sweet 16 in his senior year. Garrick earned Atlantic 10 Tournament Most Valuable Player honors and was a second-team all-conference honoree. He finished his career as Rhode Island’s 15th all-time scoring leader with 1,573 points. He also finished second in career steals (189) and fourth in career assists (407).

A 1990 graduate with a bachelor’s degree, Garrick played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Dallas Mavericks and later played in Europe before retiring in 1998.

Garrick was inducted into the URI’s Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 1998. Sports Illustrated named Garrick the 39th best athlete in its millennium issue’s list of top athletes. The Providence Journal recognized him in its listing of the state’s greatest athletes.

“It’s an honor to be considered for this job,” Garrick said, “and to work with a coach like Debbie Ryan. It will be a great experience to work at this level. I think I can bring a lot to the program. Hopefully I’ll be able to enhance the program in some way.”

Hoover organized travel plans, arranged personal appearances, exchanged video with opponents, and supervised the team managers last season at UVa. As assistant coach at the University of Memphis in 2003, Hoover was responsible for the on-court instruction of the Lady Tiger post players, and was one of the leading recruiters for the program.

“Jennifer has proven that she is a very sound coach, and she gives us much-needed energy,” Ryan said. “She did an excellent job in her position last season. Jennifer’s highly motivated and brings a wealth of basketball knowledge, because she’s worked with established coaches. She’s already part of our staff. Jennifer’s a Virginia native, and we’re glad she’s decided to move onto the coaching staff.”

During her nine years of Division I coaching experience, Hoover also served as an assistant coach at James Madison for two seasons. While at JMU, she helped the squad to a second-place showing in the league as well as an appearance in the WNIT Final Four.

Hoover, who played under her maiden name Jenny Mitchell, is still Wake Forest’s career leader in points with 1,728 and in rebounds with 1,006. A player from 1988-91, Hoover is the only women’s basketball player at Wake Forest to total more than 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 points in a career. While at WFU, Hoover was a three-time All-ACC honoree, and was also named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll. She was named a Fast Break All-American during her junior and senior years, and was a member of the South team which won the bronze medal in the 1989 Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City.

Following her collegiate career, Hoover was a professional player for the Solna IF Basketball team in Stockholm, Sweden for the 1991-92 season. She played in 1993 on the Athletes in Action USA Fall Exhibition tour, and the Australian Spring tour. She joined the coaching ranks in 1994 as an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City for two years. She also was an assistant coach for two years each at Virginia Commonwealth (1996-98) and East Carolina (1998-2000) before joining the staff at JMU.

A native of Roanoke, Va., and a graduate of William Byrd High School, Hoover is a 1991 graduate of Wake Forest where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. In 2002, she was named as one of the Top 50 ACC women’s basketball players.

Virginia women’s basketball opens the 2004-05 campaign at Louisiana State’s Tournament on Nov. 10.

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