A Familiar Face Joins the Lady Bulldog Basketball Staff


 New Georgia Lady Bulldog Basketball Coach Joni Taylor put the final touches on her staff with the addition of Jon Bollier.

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New Lady Bulldog Basketball head coach Joni Taylor finished rounding out her staff this past week with the hiring of Jon Bollier. Bollier worked the past two seasons as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Belmont University and joins the Lady Dawgs as Director of Player Personnel.

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“I am extremely excited to add Jon’s expertise and skills to our staff,” Taylor told Georgiadogs.com. “His experience as an assistant coach at Belmont over the last two seasons, along with his previous time here at Georgia, make him a perfect fit for this position.”

A native of Leo, Ind., Bollier was the Operations Coordinator on Andy Landers’ Georgia staff from 2010-13. He worked as a student manager for the Lady Bulldogs during the 2009-10 campaign.

Bollier’s hire continues the Georgia trend across all sports of hiring staff that is well connected to the camp and club scene. Bollier served as a counselor for camps at Butler, Texas and Wake Forrest, in addition to Georgia. He also was the Camp Director for Mill Creek High School’s summer basketball camp in 2007-08 and spent two summers coaching international basketball camps as well – in Brazil in 2005 and in Macedonia in 2007.

Bollier played one season of basketball at Gardner-Webb University and Covenant College before receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Piedmont College Athen’s campus in 2009.

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Bollier spoke to Georgiadogs.com. “I am excited to begin working for Joni, who I know is a terrific coach and even better person. Having a chance to return to work at a special place like the University of Georgia alongside such quality staff members and players is a unique and humbling opportunity.”

In May, Taylor hired Chelsea Newton, a former Big East Defensive Player of the Year at Rutgers and current assistant coach at her alma mater, as assistant coach for the Georgia Lady Bulldogs.

“Anyone who spends 10 minutes with Chelsea can see that she is a rising star in this profession,” Crenshaw told Georgiadogs.com. “She walks through the door with instant credibility because of her accomplishments as a standout guard at Rutgers and her successes at the professional level both with the WNBA and overseas.”

Newton was a standout guard for the Scarlet Knights from 2001-05 and, following a successful professional career in both the WNBA and overseas, served as an assistant coach at Rutgers for the past five seasons.

“I’m very excited to have the chance to work with Joni,” Newton told Georgiadogs.com.. “Everything about her is very impressive, and I think I can continue to learn and grow working with her. I’ve always respected the Georgia program and what Coach Landers has accomplished. I’m excited to get to Athens and work with Joni and the rest of the staff to further that tradition.”

Newton attracted top talent to Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights inked classes that ranked No. 3 in the nation in each of her first two full seasons as an assistant coach. Rutgers signed 11 prospects ranked in the ESPN HoopGurlz top-100 during Newton’s tenure, including six top-20 recruits. That talent helped the Scarlet Knights reach postseason play four times over the past half-decade. Rutgers secured NCAA Tournament bids in 2011, 2012 and 2015 and also captured the 2014 WNIT Championship.

Newton enjoyed much postseason success during her playing days at Rutgers as well.  The Scarlet Knights made NCAA appearances in 2003, 2004 and 2005, advancing to the “Elite Eight” during her senior season. That same year Rutgers captured its first-ever outright Big East regular-season title.

Newton earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sport studies from Rutgers in 2005. In 2004, she was the inaugural winner of the Chelsea Newton Scarlet Heart Award, which is now given annually to the women’s basketball player who best exemplifies perseverance, courage and overcoming adversity.

In April, Taylor hired as associate head coach. Lange has more than two decades of playing and coaching experience at college basketball’s highest levels.

“I am extremely excited that Karen has chosen to join our staff,” Crenshaw told Georgiadogs.com. “She is an excellent coach who brings over 20 years of playing and coaching experience, including time as a head coach, to our program.”

Lange comes to Athens after four seasons at Charlotte, the last two as associate head coach. She also served as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech for seven seasons from 1997-2004 and at Kansas for six seasons from 2004-10. Lange was head coach at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, during the 2010-11 season.

“I am excited and grateful to have the opportunity to join Joni’s staff and to be a part of the University of Georgia,” Lange said. “Joni has been an up-and-coming star in our profession and is one of the most well-respected coaches in women’s basketball.”

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