Plummer hired at D-I SIUE, old foes now coaching together


Jordan Plummer will use her first two years of collegiate coaching as an assistant coach for the Webster University Women’s Basketball team, and move up to an assist Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s (Ill.) program. SIUE’s head coach, Paula Buscher, and Plummer will turn a four year heated rivalry into a coaching tandem at the Division I level.

Plummer was a starting guard for four years at Drake University (Iowa) between 2006-10 where she earned her way onto two Missouri Valley All-Conference teams. Each time they faced conference opponents Bradley University (Ill.), Buscher had to figure out a way to stop the elite guard.

“Even though Bradley wasn’t’ a top tier team it was always a batter,” Plummer said.  “And coach Buscher always coaches a tough team. It would always go to a last second shot or go to overtime.”

Buscher wished all that time she could be on the same bench with Plummer in uniform. Even after Plummer’s playing days ended Buscher — after taking the head coaching job at SIUE — wanted her as a graduate assistant.

She again had to see Plummer set up camp with another school, she took the assistant position under Gorlok head coach Jordan Olufson for the women’s team.

“Coaching, no matter what sport, you have to love what you do because you don’t get paid a lot,” Olufson said. “And coach Plummer had a lot of passion and really wanted to better the program and develop players.”

Two years ago, in Plummer’s first trial in college coaching she took a small roll behind Olufson and assistant coach Jeff Stevens. She said the second of her two seasons, when Stevens was no longer at Webster, prepared her for her new battle in coaching D-I athletes.

“Being the lone assistant I got a lot of responsibilities,” Plummer said. “Now going to coach Buscher it’s a blessing to join her staff and keep building to one day be a head coach.”

She has already had that opportunity. This past May the athletic director at Eureka College (Ill.) extended the invitation to apply for the women’s head coach position. She said that she was considered as a “top candidate.”

But she turned down the offer and wanted to wait for a chance to again competite at the highest collegiate level.

“I didn’t feel that I was ready.” Plummer said. “I’m in the leaning stage and what better way than to learn from coach (Olufson) and now coach (Buscher) and her staff. I did foresee myself in D-1 coaching this soon, but things happen for a reason.”

In her role with the SIUE team, Plummer will work with the guards. As one of the top all time scorers and defenders in terms of steals at Bradley, her techniques and mental abilities were strengths. The Cougars are now privileged to learn how she coached guard Maggie Zehner for her final two seasons, ending a career with the seventh most steals in Webster history.

It is another strength Plummer learned while at the D-III level that she believes will give her the best chance to succeed in the future.

“Webster has prepared me for player development and was big, big on recruiting,” Plummer said. “Recruiting is huge and I really learned how to sell the program and school that graduates champions.”

Buscher said all of her coaches recruit year round.  She is excited to now have such a big connection and knowledge of the St. Louis basketball community since Plummer also player her high school ball at Cardinal Ritter.

Kate Affourtit will replace Plummer. Affourtit is just one year removed from playing as a member of the SIUE Women’s Basketball Club team. The team won back-to-back National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Championships in 2012 and 2013. Affourtit only was a part of the 2013 championship team.

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