Harper Completes Full-Time Staff

Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee women’s basketball head coach Kellie Harper put the finishing touches on her full-time staff on Friday, announcing the hiring of Jessica Jackson, Catherine Green and Tyler Watson.

Jackson will be the program’s director of recruiting operations, Greene will serve as the director of basketball operations and Watson takes over as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Harper also noted title and role changes for Alex Varlan and Heather Ervin. Varlan will serve as the director of scouting and analytics, while Ervin becomes the director of player relations and administration. Varlan and Ervin previously filled the positions of video coordinator, and director of recruiting operations and player personnel, respectively.

“I am excited and proud of the staff that we have assembled,” Harper said. “Everyone possesses strong character and work ethic and is committed to our vision and this program’s success.”

Jackson is a former player, graduate assistant and assistant under Harper, spending the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Missouri State’s NCAA Sweet 16 squad.

“Jessica is very sharp, has a terrific understanding of the recruiting landscape and will be able to assist our staff on a daily basis,” Harper said. “She has a great rapport with young players and will be a wonderful mentor for them.”

Prior to joining Harper at MSU, Jackson spent the 2017-18 season at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., where her main responsibilities with the Bulldog women’s program included recruiting, academics and scheduling.

She spent the previous three years (2014-17) at Appalachian State, contributing to a variety of aspects for the program in addition to her coaching and recruiting duties, ranging from equipment to compliance. Jackson was on the staff of head coach Angel Elderkin, who served as a graduate assistant and then video coordinator for the Lady Vols from 2005-07.

Prior to her time at Appalachian State, Jackson was the director of women’s basketball operations at Kent State University for two seasons from 2012-14.

Originally from Roswell, Ga., and a 2016 inductee to the Roswell High School Hall of Fame, Jackson played college basketball for two seasons at South Florida before transferring to Western Carolina prior to the 2007-08 season to play for Harper. She dished out a team-high 117 assists as a starting point guard for the Catamounts’ NCAA Tournament team in 2009, and finished her college career with 475 points and 279 assists in 113 games.

Jackson graduated from WCU in 2010 with a marketing degree and earned her master’s in adult and community college education from North Carolina State in 2012 after a two-year stint as a graduate assistant on Harper’s staff in Raleigh from 2010-12.

Serving stints in operations and student-athlete enrichment, Greene has seven years of full-time experience with NCAA Division I women’s basketball programs at North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

“Catherine brings creativity and organization to our program,” Harper said. “She is thoughtful, sincere and very efficient. Catherine will be able to handle many duties in our office that will benefit both our team and staff.”

In two seasons as the director of student-athlete enrichment at UNC, Greene was responsible for a variety of tasks within the program, including community engagement, community outreach, social media oversight, academics, marketing liaison, team building and career development in preparing student-athletes for life beyond basketball.

Previously, Greene spent five seasons as a member of the Georgia Tech women’s basketball program, the last four years as the director of operations. Greene oversaw all aspects of the program’s day-to-day operations as well as the Yellow Jackets’ team travel, promotional and fundraising efforts, community service initiatives and community relations.

She joined the Tech staff for the 2012-13 season as associate director of basketball operations after spending the previous two and a half years working full-time in event operations at North Carolina.

During her time at UNC, Greene served as director or co-director of more than 10 NCAA or ACC postseason championship events. She also worked as the game day manager for the Tar Heels’ men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse and baseball teams.

A 2008 graduate of North Carolina, Greene earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in sociology and from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a public relations concentration. She earned a Masters of Arts in exercise and sport science with a sport administration specialization in 2010.

A native of Gastonia, N.C., Greene served as a manager for the Tar Heels’ women’s basketball team and was the head manager for three years. During that time, the Tar Heels won four ACC Championships and advanced to the 2006 and 2007 Final Fours. As a graduate student, Greene was a graduate student assistant for the women’s team for one season before serving as the graduate intern for the Dean E. Smith Center.

Watson comes to the Lady Vols from Missouri State, where he worked previously with Harper. He spent the 2018-19 season as assistant strength and conditioning coach with the MSU women’s and men’s basketball programs as well as the women’s and men’s golf teams.

“Tyler is efficient, precise and demanding in his training and will be an asset for our team,” Harper said. “He and I work well together to promote a tough and disciplined culture.”

Watson served from December 2015 to the spring of 2018 as head strength and conditioning coach at Elon University in North Carolina. In that capacity, he oversaw all 16 athletic teams while working directly with men’s and women’s basketball in addition to volleyball, women’s lacrosse and track & field.

He previously served as assistant strength and conditioning coach at both Tennessee State and Clemson. Watson worked with women’s basketball, football and volleyball at TSU and had primary responsibility with volleyball and track & field at Clemson while assisting with football.

He holds a number of professional credentials, including USAW Level I sports performance certification, and has served internships at Southern Miss, Vanderbilt and with the Buffalo Bills.

Watson earned his undergraduate degree in exercise science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2014.

UT Athletics

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