SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Augustana) – 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.

Jillian Flores Bennett File

2022-23: Iowa Western Community College Head Coach

  • Recorded a 26-5 Record
  • Developed Six All-Region Players
  • Appeared in the Region XI Championship Game
  • Ranked as high as No. 4 in the country
  • Coached 10 players to ICCAC All-Academic Team Honors 

2021-22: Our Lady of the Lake University Head Coach

  • Advanced to the NAIA National Tournament with a 20-11 record
  • Went undefeated in conference action at 14-0
  • Named Conference Coach of the Year
  • Coached the Conference Player of the Year
  • Coached an All-America honoree

2018-21: Iowa Western Community College Assistant Coach

  • Assisted in a pair of conference championships
  • Coached 14 NCAA Division I players
  • Built a summer camp with the highest-ever number of total campers

2016-18: Bellevue University Assistant Coach
2014-16: Peru State College Graduate Assistant Coach

What Others Are Saying About Coach Flo

Seton Sobolewski – Idaho State Head Women’s Basketball Coach

“I am very happy for Jillian and her new opportunity. I have been very impressed with how she ran her nationally-ranked program at Iowa Western. Augustana has a great leader coming their way.”

Jordan Sullivan – Utah Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

“Jillian is a home-run hire. When I think of a leader that can motivate, encourage, support and empower young women, she comes to mind. I’ve always appreciated her transparent and genuine approach to coaching.”

Isnelle Natabou – Former Player and 2022 Big Sky Newcomer of the Year at Sacramento State

“Coach Flo is a wonderful blend of honesty and kindness. We remained close even after I left Iowa Western because she is someone you will not find twice in life.”

Dave Denly – Bellevue University Head Women’s Basketball Coach

“I am very excited for Coach Flores Bennett! She was a valuable asset while helping us build our program from the ground up at Bellevue. She is one of the brightest young coaches in our progression and I feel this is a great hire.”