BREAKING NEWS: Jenna Kelsch O'Hara named Ladycat Basketball Head Coach
Pendleton County High School is excited to announce the hiring of Jenna O’Hara as the new Ladycat Head Basketball Coach. For the past five years, she has been a dedicated teacher at Phillip Sharp Middle School and was coach for Sharp Middle School 7th grade girls’ basketball this past season. In her third season, she led the team to the 2019 Northern Kentucky Conference Championship, with a record of 27-4.
"I am so honored to have the opportunity to be the next Varsity Ladycat Basketball Coach," O'Hara said. "Ladycat basketball has been a part of my entire life and coaching is something I have always wanted to do. I've had a lot of great mentors and coaches that helped contribute to my success as a player growing up and learned so much from them along the way.
Coach O’Hara grew up in Pendleton County and played basketball for the Ladycat Program from 2000-2004. She was moved up as a 7th grader to junior varsity/varsity by then Varsity Coach David Tackett who has spent the past few seaons watching her coach from his spot as sixth grade coach at Sharp Middle School.
She was point guard for one of the most successful runs in Ladycat history. As the point guard for Keith Smith's team, her 2001-02 and 2002-03 team each won 17 games in the regular season before falling in district play. The 34 victories is tied for the second most in a two-year span in the program's history.
She went on to further her academic and basketball career at Thomas More College where she played for four years including three President Athletic Conference championships and in 2008 held a record of 29-1, losing in the second round of NCAA Tournament. She played for Brian Neal who would go on to coach at Xavier University. Her time at TMC helped jump start the program to the level of success it is now enjoying.
In addition to her success on the court and in the classroom, she was recently inducted into the 10th Region Girls Basketball Hall of Fame and received a Wall of Fame Plaque for her career as a basketball player at Pendleton County High School. She has also coached two years of high school AAU basketball, was Pendleton County Recreation Basketball Director for two years and started a traveling basketball programs for Pendleton County's 4th and 5th grade this past year.
"The Pendleton County administration and athletic department has the upmost confidence in Coach O’Hara’s ability to lead the Ladycat Program. Her vision and passion for the program is true to Pendleton County. We look forward to a bright future for the Ladycat Basketball Program with Jenna O’Hara as the new head coach," said Athletic Director Jordan Woodruff in a press release.
She becomes the 14th coach in the Ladycats program that saw its first season in 1974-75.
After giving shoutout to Tackett, Neal and Smith, O'Hara included Bill Owen, Brad Riley and Scott Collins as coaches who have made an impact on her life.
"I cannot go without a shoutout to my amazing family for their support in pursuing this journey," said O'Hara. Her family lineage is full with successful basketball players. She is married to Mason O'Hara a key member of the Wildcats 2005 state tournament team; sister, Natalie, was one of the best Ladycat players in the 2000s; dad, Lee, played for Augusta High School; Uncle Rick Elrod is considered one of the best Wildcat players in the program's history and was drafted by the NBA's Phoenix Suns; and his sons, Stephen and Jon had good Wildcat basketball careers. Jon was also a member of the 2005 Wildcat team.
She is the mother of three children, Kamden who has already started his basketball career, Isabella and Briella. Her mother is Phyllis Kelsch who was a longtime educator and admininstrator for Pendleton County Schools.
"I am looking forward to meeting the team and am ready to get things going," she added.