WILMINGTON, Ohio – Wilmington College Head Women's Basketball Coach Jerry Scheve has announced the hiring of Janel Blankespoor as the program's assistant women's basketball coach. Blankespoor, who will also be the athletics department's director of compliance, assumes her role August 1.
"I am excited to welcome Janel [Blankespoor] to our program as she is a perfect fit for what I was looking for," Scheve said. "Her OAC playing and coaching experience, along with her head coaching experience, make her uniquely qualified to excel at this position. She worked with our team during our preparation for Costa Rica trip this spring, and I was very impressed with her communication skills, her knowledge of the game and her ability to build a great rapport with our players."
Blankespoor comes to Wilmington from Georgetown High School where she served as head girls' basketball coach as well as career and college advisor from the 2017-18 academic year. In addition to coaching high school basketball, Blankespoor aided the student body in all phases of the college admissions process including, but not limited to: applying for scholarships, filling out FAFSA, submitting college applications, etc.
Prior to Georgetown, Blankespoor spent five seasons with the women's basketball program at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, including the last three years as acting head coach. In two years as an assistant coach, she played a critical role in turning a program that won just four games to a 12-13 campaign during the 2013-14 season. As acting head coach, Blankespoor kept the program running smoothly through an extended medical leave of the permanent head coach. She recruited the two largest classes in program history including nearly every student-athlete that led Earlham to its first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament berth in program history in 2017-18.
"I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by Terry Rupert and Jerry Scheve to join Wilmington's department of athletics and women's basketball program," Blankespoor said. "The College entrusting me in the important role as the director of compliance within the athletic department is honoring. I have a tremendous respect for Coach Scheve, and working alongside someone of his cailber is truly humbling. I am anxious to learn from him and help him lead this program as one of the best in the OAC. I am also very excited to build relationships and coach this upcoming talented group of young women."
Blankespoor is no stranger to the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) as she worked in the office of admission at the University of Mount Union for five years as well as serving as an assistant coach with the Purple Raiders' women's basketball program for three seasons prior to her arrival at Earlham. Mount Union enjoyed its most successful three-year stretch during that time, accumulating an overall record of 80-11 including a 46-8 mark in OAC play. The Purple Raiders won two OAC regular season championships as well as claiming the OAC Tournament crown all three years Blankespoor was on staff. She aided Head Coach Suzy Venet in advancing Mount Union to the second weekend ("Sweet 16") of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament in both 2011 and 2012.
Vice President of Athletic Administration and Director of Athletics Terry Rupert believes Blankespoor's experience in collegiate athletics and higher education make her an ideal candidate to serve as the department's director of compliance.
"Janel [Blankespoor] has worked in higher education for over a decade in a variety of roles," Rupert said. "That experience makes her a great fit to serve our department and Wilmington student-athletes as director of compliance."
A 2007 graduate of Otterbein College (now University), Blankespoor (then Iden) was a four-year letter winner with the Cardinals women's basketball program and was part of the best team in program history in 2003-04. That season, Otterbein finished 23-5 and coincidentally was the last team to defeat Wilmington before the Fightin' Quakers won the 2004 national championship.
Blankespoor graduated from Otterbein with a degree in organization communication. She later went to earn a master's degree in higher education administration and student personnel from Kent State University in 2012.