Jennifer Bell enters her first year as the Director of Athletics for Converse College. Bell joins the Valkyries’ program at its most successful moment in history. Converse added two new teams last year, bringing its roster to 13 sports, and is the only women’s college competing at the NCAA Division II level. During the 12-year tenure of former athletic director Joy Couch, Converse gained full Division II membership, admission into Conference Carolinas, grew its sports programs from 5 to 13, and increased the number of student athletes from 37 to 240.
Bell recently completed the year-long NCAA Pathway Program after being selected as one of 25 senior-level college athletic administrator participants from Divisions I, II and III. As a member of the senior leadership team for Coker College athletics, she oversaw Compliance for the Cobras’ 22 NCAA sports, served as liaison for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and was game administrator for home events. She also served on the college’s Futures Task Force and as a faculty member in the Master of Science in College Athletic Administration program.
As current Chair of the Southeast Region Women’s Soccer Regional Advisory Committee, Bell assists the national committee in the evaluation of teams and of regional and championship competition sites, and helps ensure a successful championship event.
During her 18 years at Anderson University, she held several administrative and coaching positions, most recently serving as the Trojan’s Associate Director of Athletics. She oversaw NCAA compliance, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer, and served as the Trojan’s Senior Woman Administrator. As head women’s volleyball coach for 11 seasons, Bell compiled an overall record of 207-176 and led the Trojans to eight winning seasons. After becoming a full member of Conference Carolinas in 1999, Bell’s teams posted a conference record of 116-66, and the Trojans finished in fourth place or higher six times, including a second-place finish in 2001 and captured the 2008 Conference Carolinas Tournament title, marking the Trojans first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
At Anderson, Bell coached 27 All-Conference players, one conference Player of the Year and a conference tournament MVP. She was named NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional Coach of the Year following her first season and winning the NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional Tournament for the first time in school history. As an encore, Bell was named conference Coach of the Year in 1999. Her team set the school record for wins in a season that same year.
Prior to her time at Anderson, Bell served as head volleyball coach at Wofford College for four years, guiding the Terrier volleyball program during its transition from an NCAA Division II Independent to a Division I Southern Conference team.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Wofford, and as a student-athlete there set single-match, single-season and career records in assists and service aces. She was named Most Valuable Player her senior year. She earned her master’s degree from Coker in College Athletic Administration.
Bell and her husband, Lee, have two children, Madison and Eli.