WBCA announces winners of 2023 Assistant Coach of the Year awards presented by Aflac

ATLANTA (March 21, 2023) — The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the winners of the 2023 Assistant Coaches of the Year awards presented by Aflac.

WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year is presented to one associate head coach or assistant coach in each membership division who demonstrates commitment to their program, their student-athletes and their head coach; their impact coaching on court; their mentorship and impact on other coaches; and their professional manner and attitude. Aflac is partnering with the WBCA to present the award this year.

The 2023 WBCA Assistant Coaches of the Year are:




NCAA Division I

Jan Jensen

University of Iowa

NCAA Division II

Jenna Kotas

Ashland University

NCAA Division III

Amy Endler

Moravian University


Caelyn Orlandi

Lewis-Clark State College

Two-Year College

Jen Francescon

Kirkwood Community College

High School

Vanessa Espinoza

Denver East High School

“The role of an assistant coach is vital in reinforcing a positive student-athlete environment with encouragement, excellence, structure, security, support and integrity. The WBCA is proud to honor these individuals as our Assistant Coaches of the Year in their respective divisions of membership," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Each coach was selected by vote of their peers, and the WBCA celebrates and applauds their lasting commitment to use our game as a platform to positively impact their student-athletes, institutions and communities.

“The WBCA is also excited to welcome Aflac to the women’s basketball community as the presenting sponsor for the Assistant Coach of the Year awards. We thank Aflac for its support of the association and look forward to working with them to help grow our game for years to come.”

This year, Aflac worked with the WBCA and 2022 Division I National Coach of the Year Coach Dawn Staley to introduce Dawn's List, which aims to address some of the equity issues in women's college basketball. As a part of this initiative, Aflac will help raise awareness for the next generation of assistant coaches through sponsorship of the WBCA and the Assistant Coaches of the Year award in all six of the association's membership divisions. In celebration and support of these coaches, Aflac will be flying each honoree to Dallas where they will be presented with their awards during the opening session of the 2023 WBCA Convention.

“Coaches play an integral role in supporting their players on and off the court. It’s our honor and privilege to serve as the first-ever sponsor of the WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year award,” said Aflac’s Chief Marketing Officer Garth Knutson.

In honor of these coaches and the work the WBCA does to promote equity and community engagement, Aflac will donate a $30,000 CareGrant to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting ALL cancers affecting women through giving strength, courage and hope, and it is named after Coach Yow, a former Women’s College Basketball coach for NC State.

The Assistant Coach of the Year award originated in 2016 and is presented annually.

Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/ to see a list of past recipients of the award.

Aflac is renewing its Community and Consumer CareGrants programs in 2023, in which the company will give away $1 million in funding that can help close the medical debt gap for vulnerable communities and individuals.

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL), a Fortune 500 company, has helped provide financial protection and peace of mind for more than 67 years to millions of policyholders and customers through its subsidiaries in the U.S. and Japan. In the U.S., Aflac is the No. 1 provider of supplemental health insurance products.1 In Japan, Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of cancer and medical insurance policies in force. In 2021, the company became a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). In 2022, the company was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the ninth year, the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for the 17th consecutive year, Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies for the 22nd time and Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index for the fourth consecutive year. To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com or aflac.com/espanol. Investors may learn more about Aflac Incorporated and its commitment to ESG and social responsibility at investors.aflac.com under “Sustainability.”

THE AFLAC CAREGRANTS CONTEST: NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE CHANCES OF WINNING. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C., age 18+ (19+ in AL and NE, 21+ in MS), who as of the date listed in the applicable Appendix, are not insured under any policy issued or administered by Aflac, Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliates (collectively “Aflac”), and who incurred a medical debt before the date listed in the applicable Appendix. Void where prohibited. Each Contest starts at the time and date listed in the applicable Appendix and ends at the time and date listed in the applicable Appendix (the “Contest Period”). Total ARV of all prizes: $200,000. Subject to full Official CareGrant Individual Contest Rules available here. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), 1932 Wynnton Rd., Columbus, GA 31999

About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit WBCA.org for more details about the association.

# # #