Rocklin, Calif.- Following a national search, William Jessup University hired a local product, recently naming former Del Oro High School standout Emilie Blate as the new women’s basketball head coach.
Blate will be coming to William Jessup from Oregon State University, where she worked under Scott Ruek, the 2015 Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
While at Oregon State, Blate gained immeasurable experience as the University’s assistant director of operations for women’s basketball. The Beavers captured the PAC-12 championship in 2014-2015.
Despite her success at Oregon State, Blate is thrilled to return home.
“I just felt peace and excitement for my husband and I to return to my hometown area of Loomis,” Blate said. “I really look forward to being a part of the William Jessup family and community, and taking the William Jessup basketball program to a higher level.”
Oregon State was not Blate’s first success in coaching collegiate women’s basketball. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2012, Blate was immediately hired as an assistant coach by Westmont College’s Kirsten Moore. During her time with Westmont, Blate helped guide the team to a 2012-2013 NAIA National Championship and Moore was named Coach of the Year.
Even while coaching, Blate continued to play the game she loves. In the 2013-2014 season, she played in the top division of the Polish Professional Basketball League.
During her four years studying and playing basketball at UCSB, Blate earned a degree in Psychology with a minor in Exercise Science. She had the opportunity to learn the game from head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, who has a career 69-percent winning percentage at the Division I level.
While playing for UCSB, Blate was selected to compete and became a starter for Team USA’s Women’s Basketball team in the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
While at UCSB, Blate earned the 2010 Excellence in Scholarship Award, was named Santa Barbara’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2011, and was given the first-team National Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for exemplifying excellence in community, classroom, character, and competition.
A Del Oro High graduate, Blate (her maiden name is Johnson) was an all-league selection all four seasons and was Sierra Foothill League MVP as a junior and senior. A guard, she helped the Eagles to four straight league titles and as a senior was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American team after averaging 18.6 points, 5.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game.
Because faith has always been at the forefront of her basketball career, Blate will fit in well at William Jessup. An active member of Athletes in Action, she has used basketball as a tool of ministry on an international level, performing missions in Ukraine, Canada, and Santa Barbara.
The growingly prominence of William Jessup’s athletic program helped attract more than 100 applicants nationwide.
“This says a lot about our program because we had applicants with experience coaching at Division I, and all levels of basketball,” said William Jessup’s Associate Athletic Director Lance Von Vogt. “We firmly believe that Emilie Blate is an up-and- comer who is motivated, talented and brings with her a vast array of experience. She is destined for great things as a head coach and we are excited about her beginning that greatness with Jessup’s women’s basketball program.”
Blate has big plans for the Warriors as head coach, both on and off the court. She describes her approach as “wanting to emphasize the family atmosphere and create an environment where the players can thrive on and off the court.”
“I want to coach them so they know they can trust me as a coach so I can mentor them,” Blate added. “I want to establish relationships so they have the opportunity to maximize their skills on the court, but most importantly grow as young women off the court.”