By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a very successful tenure as the head varsity girls basketball coach at Archbishop Ryan High School, Jackie Hartzell has moved on to the college level – but stayed in the city. This week Hartzell was named the new women’s coach at Division II University of the Sciences.
“I’m a Philly girl. I’ve been at Archbishop Ryan for five years, and I feel like I’m ready for the next challenge,” Hartzell told KYW Newsradio during a Thursday afternoon visit. “I went down to the school and I loved everything about it. The athletic director and everyone else on the interview committee just made me feel really comfortable there. So, from the first time I went down there, I felt like it was the right fit for me.”
Hartzell went 78-49 during her five -year run at Ryan. This past season she led her squad to the Philadelphia Catholic League semi-finals. In 2009-10 they were crowned PIAA District 12 AAAA Champions and reached the PIAA State Finals.
This will be Hartzell’s first taste of college coaching and she is anxious to dive in.
“First thing for me is to hire a coaching staff,” Hartzell says. “Then I’m ready to get out recruiting. We don’t have any seniors on the roster this coming year, so there isn’t a whole lot of recruiting to be done initially, which is a nice thing for me. It will make it an easier transition to the college level. But that is definitely something that I want to get moving with. There’s a couple of big AAU tournaments coming up, so I want to get out to those tournaments as soon as I can.”
Hartzell played her college basketball at Division III Delaware Valley College in Doylestown. She says even during her playing days, she knew the coaching road would be one she eventually traveled.
“It’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do,” Hartzell says. “I felt like in college I might have been a better player if I didn’t think so much while I played. I was always thinking from a coaching standpoint, so its something that I’ve always wanted to do. I enjoy being around the game so much, I knew I couldn’t just not do anything basketball related when I was done playing.”
Last season, the Devils went 15-12 under Paul Stadelberger, who stepped down after the season.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.