FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After serving as an assistant coach on the men’s side at St. Francis last season Jason Ridge has been charged with leading the nationally renowned women’s program at USF.
The Cougars won the NAIA Division II national title two years ago with a perfect season, and followed that up with a 25-win campaign and a trip to the elite eight last winter.
Gary Andrews left in late March after amassing 322 wins in 14 years leading the program. He has since been named the head coach at Rochester Wesleyan, a Division II program.
The 39-year old Ridge will have five players back who played on the 2014 national title time, including all-American Brooke Ridley (Bishop Luers H.S.). However, he will likely be without fellow all-American Akyah Taylor, who is expect to graduate from USF this summer and transfer to Michigan State. Taylor, an Elkhart native, began her career at MSU before transferring to St. Francis.
Ridge, a Ball State graduate, isn’t new to northeast Indiana. Prior to working at USF he spent six seasons as the head boys coach at Northridge High School, guiding the Raiders from 2006-12. He also served as the boys head coach at South Adams for three seasons and was an assistant at Columbia City High School.