A Ridgeline Riverhawk through and through: Ainsli Jenks is the UHSAA 4A Coach of the Year
Ainsli Jenks is not just a basketball coach. She is a Ridgeline Riverhawk through and through. According to Ridgeline Athletic Director Mike Hansen, Coach Jenks doesn’t just support her basketball girls--she supports everything at Ridgeline. It's that energy level that has allowed Jenks to excel, and her actions have not gone unnoticed. Jenks has been named the 4A Coach of the Year by the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA).
The UHSAA is the leadership organization for high school athletic and fine arts activities in Utah. Nominations for these awards are presented by regions through the UHSAA Executive Committee each year. Recipients are typically recognized at an awards luncheon with the UHSAA Executive Committee.
This is Jenks’ fourth year as head coach, after assistant coaching for three years. Danielle Heilbut, a science teacher and assistant coach at Ridgeline said, “Any person who is around Coach Jenks automatically feels like they can do anything. I think that’s why she’s so successful -- because the girls have so much trust in her as a coach and she has so much trust in them.”
Jenks has wanted to be a coach since she was a child. Her love of basketball and of influencing young lives makes coaching the best of both worlds. But even more than that, she said, it's about the journey. “Each season I have coached has been different,” she shared. “Each season has taught me things and helped me grow as a person. I hope that each of the girls that go through our program are impacted for good and learn life lessons as they enjoy playing the game they love.”
Emma, a senior at Ridgeline who has been playing for Coach Jenks since middle school, described her as “one of the best coaches I have ever had.” Emma explained, “She does a great job: she’s a mom, a coach, a teacher--she’s all these amazing things! And she is so great at incorporating them all into what she does.”
Another senior player, Shelby, is appreciative of the life lessons Coach Jenks has taught her. “She cares about you on the court and off the court. I can always come to her about anything in my life,” Shelby said. “She has taught me life skills, maybe even more than playing skills. I have just learned so much from her, all around.”
Congratulations, Coach Jenks!