Former Hawkeye Jess Settles Launches Coaching Career in Iowa


By James Steward

You can add Jess Settles to the list of former Hawkeyes who have joined the college coaching ranks.

Settles was the head coach at Iowa Wesleyan this year. Or, at least most of the year. He didn't take over until six games into the season.

That's when Wesleyan fired longtime coach Alan Magnani and asked Settles if he would step in to the fray.

Settles agreed, eventually.

"The kids really had to adjust to me quickly, and I had to adjust to them," Settles said.

"We've had some key injuries and suspensions, so our 3-man, 4-man and 5-man are no longer with us," Settles said. "So, that's been the toughest part."

"It's a size/quickness issue, but there's still really good basketball at this level, which has been pretty surprising," Settles admitted.

"Also, at this level, a head coach has to wear a lot of hats," he said. "There's just a very small staff, and support system, and there's a lot of work to be done every day that, at the highest level, you wouldn't have to do."

"We don't have any aspirations of moving on right now. We have three wonderful little girls and (we're) just kind of getting started with a family, and we'll just see what happens."

"It can happen rapidly in this business, obviously, with my situation" he said.

"But, we're pretty comfortable with where we are."

St. Ambrose ended Wesleyan's season Wednesday night, 86-79. Under Settles, the Tigers went 8-12.

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