Jill M. Pizzotti
Ashton Millender and Mart'e Grays spark No. 20 DePaul past Saint Louis 86-78
Iconic former Buffalo Bills coach addresses McGrath-Phillips Arena crowd on Thursday night.
Pizzotti begins her fourth season on the Blue Demon bench
Blue Demons and Scarlet Knights will both wear pink in support of the Kay Yow Fund
The Blue Demons adopt a Rogers Park Family
The DePaul women's basketball team traveled to France, Aug. 11-22.
Pizzotti is in her eighth season with the Blue Demons and her fifth as the program’s associate head coach. She serves as the Blue Demons' recruiting coordinator, while also assisting with the day-to-day operations of the basketball office.
Since joining the Blue Demon staff prior to the start of the 2011-12 season, Pizzotti has been instrumental in DePaul’s back-to-back BIG EAST Conference regular season and tournament titles (2014 and 2015) along with the current streak of five consecutive BIG EAST regular-season titles. DePaul won the BIG EAST Tournament title in 2018---its third in the last five years. She has been instrumental in helping the Blue Demons advance to the NCAA Tournament every year on the bench while 16 student-athletes have been named an All-BIG EAST Conference performer or to the league’s all-tournament team. Pizzotti has also helped tutor All-American selections Anna Martin, Brittany Hrynko, Jasmine Penny, Megan Rogowski, Jessica January and Brooke Schulte.
In her first season as the program’s associate head coach (2014-15), the Blue Demons successfully defended their BIG EAST regular season and tournament championship. Hrynko became the first DePaul player to be named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, while Megan Podkowa was named the BIG EAST Tournament MVP. The Blue Demons also reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pizzotti has also worked with two other BIG EAST Player of the Year honorees, Chanise Jenkins and Brooke Schulte. The associate head coach helped guide the Blue Demons to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 in 2016, the NCAA Second Round in 2017 where DePaul lost to eventual national runner-up Mississippi State and to the NCAA Second Round in 2018.
The 2017-18 team ranked No. 1 in the nation in three-pointers per game and was second in three-point field goals and three-point attempts. The Blue Demons were fourth in assists, fif th in assist-turnover ratio and No. 6 in the country in scoring offense.
With the 2014-15 season in the books (Pizzotti's first as associate head coach), DePaul’s potent offense ranked second in the nation with 86.0 points per game while the Blue Demons also ranked second with 10.4 3-pointers, 12.3 steals and a plus-10.83 turnover margin. The Blue Demons also ranked third in DI with 19.8 assists and their efficient 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Rounding out DePaul's top 10 rankings was the team's plus-15.8 average margin of victory.
During the 2013-14 season, Pizzotti helped the Blue Demons bring nationwide acclaim to the sport of women's basketball with a 104-100 triumph over Oklahoma in the 2014 NCAA tournament opener. It was the highest-scoring regulation game in the history of the NCAA women's tournament.
DePaul (29-7) tied the school record for most wins in a season and set program records for games played (36), points (3,006), three-point baskets (314) and assists (705). The Blue Demons advanced to their third NCAA Sweet 16 and 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament after claiming their first BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles.
Overall team success laid the groundwork for individual accolades, and Brittany Hrynko was recognized as an Associated Press honorable mention All-America and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) honorable mention All-America. Jasmine Penny was also a WBCA honorable mention All-America. Hrykno became the first DePaul player to earn back-to-back All-BIG EAST First Team honors.
In 2012-13, Pizzotti helped DePaul reach its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament with a 21-win season and put together a highly-regarded three-member recruiting class featuring combo guards Jessica January and ShaKeya Graves, as well as Vernon Hills standout Meri Bennett-Swanson. Off the court, DePaul set a program record by recording the second-highest team GPA in the country.
In her first year with the Blue Demons, DePaul also reached the NCAA Tournament and recorded 23 wins. She helped mentor three all-BIG EAST Conference selections, while Anna Martin led the BIG EAST in scoring. Off the court, DePaul recorded the third-best team GPA in the country and earned the BIG EAST Team Academic Award for the third consecutive year.
Pizzotti spent the 2010-11 season at West Virginia and helped the Mountaineers to a school-best 24-10 record and to the NCAA Tournament. As the recruiting coordinator, she helped WVU collect the 13th-best recruiting class in the nation. Pizzotti joined the Mountaineer staff in 2010 after serving the previous five years as the manager for women's basketball at Nike.
Beginning in 2005, Pizzotti was the liaison between Nike and 90 percent of the top-25 women's basketball programs, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and USA Basketball.
Prior to joining Nike, Pizzotti was the second-winningest women's basketball coach in Saint Louis University history and guided the program to its first-ever postseason tournament appearance in the 2003 WNIT. Pizzotti was at the helm of the Billiken program from 1996-05, where she recorded double-digit wins in seven consecutive seasons. She tutored nine all-conference performers, as well as the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 1996.
Pizzotti's team won the C-USA Academic Achievement Award for the highest GPA in five seasons, while over 50 student-athletes were named to the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. Her 2001 team was ranked No. 8 in the country in the WBCA Team Academic Poll, while her 1999 team ranked No. 23. During her tenure at SLU, 10 of her student-athletes were named Arthur Ashe Scholar-Athlete Award winners.
Pizzotti also made coaching stops at Indiana University as an assistant coach from 1992-95. She was also an assistant at Northern Kentucky (1991-92) and her alma mater, Southeast Missouri State, from 1989-91.
She has served on numerous committees during her career, including: the iHoops Advisory Committee (2010), the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors (2009), secretary of the Executive Committee of the Kay Yow Foundation (2009), Conference USA Women's Basketball Issues Committee (2002-04), District V WBCA Coach of the Year Award Committee (2001, 2002), Chair of Conference USA Women's Basketball Coaches (2001, 2004), WBCA Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award Committee Member (1999, 2000), and the St. Louis Athletic Advisory Committee (1997-2000).
Pizzotti received both her bachelors and masters degrees from Southeast Missouri State. She finished her bachelors degree in mathematics and physical education in 1989 and completed her masters in secondary education/administration supervision in 1991.
While completing her undergraduate education, Pizzotti helped Southeast Missouri State to four consecutive MIAA Conference Championships and to the Division II NCAA Tournament. Pizzotti was a two-time captain, while winning the team's Most Inspirational Player Award. She also earned SEMO's Trombetta Award, which honors the graduating senior with the highest GPA.
A graduate of Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Ill., Pizzotti was inducted into her high school's inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
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