Jolette Law is in her fifth season as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee. Formerly the head coach at the University of Illinois from 2007-12, Law joined the Lady Vol family on May 2, 2012.
Law, who works with UT's guards, has helped the Lady Vols forge an 108-34 overall record and 50-14 SEC slate over the past four seasons. During that time, the Lady Vols have won three SEC championships (two regular season, one tourney) and made four NCAA Tournament appearances, including three Elite Eight finishes.
Among Law's pupils at Tennessee have been three guards who were taken in the WNBA Draft. Two-time SEC Player of the Year and 2,000-point scorer Meighan Simmons was a third-round pick in 2014, four-year starter Ariel Massengale was taken in the second round in 2015 and Kamiko Williams was a second-round choice in 2013. Massengale, one of only three players in school history to record 1,000 points and 500 assists, was a gold medalist for USA Basketball during the summer of 2013 with the World University Games.
This season, Law welcomes back seniors Jordan Reynolds and Andraya Carter, and sophomore Te'a Cooper, who started a combined 59 games a year ago. Cooper, UT's fourth-leading scorer as a freshman, scored in double figures 15 times a year ago en route to SEC All-Freshman honors.
On the recruiting front, Law helped Tennessee reel in the No. 3 signing class in the country in 2013, including a pair of McDonald's High School All-Americans (Jordan Reynolds, Mercedes Russell) and the nation's No. 1 player in Russell. In 2014, Tennessee added the No. 6 class in the nation, anchored by McDonald's All-Americans Jaime Nared and Alexa Middleton. The haul of top-ranked players continued in 2015, as prep senior Cooper was rated as high as No. 1 by some high school scouting services.
Long regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country, Law was named the seventh head women's basketball coach at the University of Illinois on May 11, 2007. During her tenure in Champaign, she led the Illini to a pair of postseason appearances while turning heads on the recruiting trail.
Law went to Illinois following 12 years on C. Vivian Stringer's staff at Rutgers, including her last four as associate head coach. Known as a dynamic recruiter during her time with the Scarlet Knights, Law wasted no time establishing herself as a top recruiter at Illinois.
In November of 2008, she inked the No. 3 recruiting class in the country and the top-rated signing class in Illinois school history. Law followed up the historic 2009 signing class by inking two more top-100 recruits in 2010 and one more in 2011.
On the court, Law led Illinois to 69 wins in five seasons, including two trips to the postseason WNIT. During her first season with the Illini in 2007-08, she guided the Illini to 20 victories, marking Illinois' first 20-win season since 1999-2000. The Orange and Blue made a historic run in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament, advancing to the championship game but falling just short of an NCAA Tournament bid in losing to Purdue on a buzzer-beater. The Illini earned a 2008 WNIT bid and advanced to the third round.
In 2008-09, Law had a young Illini squad playing its best basketball at the end of the season, as the team finished 6-5 in the final 11 games. That momentum carried over into 2009-10, when the Illini started 7-1 out of the gates and finished the season with 19 wins and a trip to the WNIT quarterfinals. The team finished strong down the stretch in both 2010-11 and 2011-12.
During Law's fourth season at the helm of the program, the Illini reached the Big Ten Tournament semifinals once again and downed No. 7-seed Wisconsin and No. 3-seed Michigan. Illinois followed up with five wins in the final half of the 2011-12 conference slate, including a victory over No. 10 Ohio State, 66-65, at Assembly Hall.
In addition to the team's progress, Law helped develop Jenna Smith into one of the premier post players in the country. A 2010 Illinois graduate, Smith became the highest WNBA draft pick in school history when she was taken with the 14th overall pick by the Washington Mystics in the 2010 WNBA Draft. Smith left Illinois as the program's all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, thanks in large part to Law's tutelage.
Before arriving at Illinois, Law made a name for herself as a driving force behind Rutgers' rise to the top of women's college basketball. During her tenure, the Scarlet Knights saw remarkable success, including two Final Fours, three Elite Eights and three Sweet Sixteen appearances, among them the 2007 national championship game in Cleveland versus the Lady Vols.
Rutgers compiled a record of 257-125 (.673) during Law's tenure in New Brunswick, N.J., winning BIG EAST regular season titles in both 2005 and 2006 and the BIG EAST Tournament title in 2007. The Scarlet Knights featured 22 All-BIG EAST honorees, three BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Year and three BIG EAST Rookies of the Year. They also produced seven All-America selections and had eight players drafted in the WNBA during that span.
Law was a three-time prep All-American at Wilson High School before graduating from the University of Iowa in 1990 with a degree in sports studies/corporate fitness. As the Hawkeyes' floor general, she helped Stringer lead the Hawkeyes to four consecutive Big Ten titles and a record of 105-18 from 1987-90. A Kodak District V All-American in 1990, she was a four-year letterwinner at Iowa and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection (1989 and 1990).
Following her collegiate career, Law joined the Harlem Globetrotters from 1990-94 as the only female team member at the time, completing three worldwide tours with the team. As an ambassador of goodwill with the Globetrotters, she coordinated several basketball seminars and clinics in addition to her on-court performances. During her stint with basketball's greatest team, her picture was featured on Wheaties cereal boxes with her Globetrotter teammates, and she also appeared in M.C. Hammer's video for the song "Too Legit To Quit."
After her playing career came to a close, Law spent one season coaching at Ball State (1994-95) before joining Stringer at Rutgers.
Law has utilized her skills and talents to create opportunities to participate in various national projects, including the "Great American Workout" with former president George H.W. Bush, the 1992 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Project D.A.R.E. in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Law has made a big impact on her hometown of Florence, S.C. Jolette Law Day was celebrated on Dec. 22, 1990, when she was presented the key to the city. Then in September of 2008, Law was honored as the Florence School District One Distinguished Graduate.