SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Augustana women's basketball team has its seventh head coach in program history. Augustana Director of Athletics Josh Morton announced Saturday that Jillian Flores Bennett, a coach with a .742 winning percentage, will be the next head coach for the Viking women's basketball program. She takes over for Dave Krauth, who retired after 34 seasons of leading the Vikings.

A celebration and formal introduction for Flores Bennett will take place Thursday at 11 a.m. inside the University Welcome Center on Augustana's campus. The gathering is open to the public.

Coach Flo, as she is affectionately known, comes to Augustana after a 26-5 record in 2022-23 at Iowa Western where she led the Reivers to the Region Championship game. Ranked as high as No. 4 in the country, the 2022-23 season saw IWCC lead the NJCAA in free throws made per game with 17.1 and rank seventh nationally in both points per game (82.7) and 3-point percentage (34.5%).

A veteran of the sidelines of more than a decade, Flores Bennett got her head coaching start at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas, during the 2021-22 season. She led the Saints to the NAIA National Tournament with a 20-11 overall record and a 14-0 mark in conference action. Following the season, she was named the Red River Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. She also coached the RRAC Player of the Year while helping her to an All-America accolade.

"It is an honor to be named the next head women's basketball coach at Augustana University," Flores Bennett said. "I am very gracious for this opportunity and want to thank President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Athletics Director Josh Morton for their belief in me. They have entrusted me with a prestigious program, and I will not take this responsibility lightly."

"I would like to thank my Iowa Western family for all of their support and for empowering me to pursue my goals ambitiously. I am ecstatic to be joining the Augie community and I look forward to continuing the winning tradition both on and off the court."

Prior to her head coaching debut, Coach Flo spent three seasons at Iowa Western as an assistant coach where she helped the Reivers to a pair of conference championships and coached four players to All-America honors.

Over her four combined years coaching at Iowa Western, she recruited and coached 14 NCAA Division I student-athletes.

"We are thrilled to welcome Coach Flores Bennett to Augustana," Morton said. "In a field of terrific candidates, she stood out and separated herself. She's a proven winner who cares about her student-athletes and that came through in every conversation I've had with her. We feel fortunate to catch a rising star in the coaching profession to lead our team.

"I'm excited for our fans, alumni, and most importantly our current women's basketball student-athletes."

Flores Bennett started her coaching career at Peru State (2014-16) as a graduate assistant while garnering her first full-time position at Bellevue (2016-18) before heading back to Iowa Western (2018-21). A graduate of IWCC, she was a member of the Reiver basketball squad for two seasons while earning a pair of Academic All-America honors. Following her graduation with her Associate of Arts degree, Flores Bennett completed her final two years of her eligibility at Benedictine College where she was a two-time scholar athlete while earning her bachelor's degree in psychology and criminology.

Coach Flo garnered her Master of Science in Organizational Management from Chadron State and is married to her husband, Jarrod.

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