menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share




Shop Now USA Basketball

Schneider's Coaching Career Began With Love Of the Game

  • Date:
    Nov 17, 2014

It was never a grand plan for Jill Rankin Schneider to become a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. As a high school freshman who played volleyball, basketball wasn’t even on the radar.

“My high school (Phillips High School, Texas) didn’t even have basketball when I was an eighth grader,” said Schneider, who has won gold as both a player and coach for USA Basketball. “Our first year of varsity basketball was my freshman year, and we were terrible. My high school coach came in my sophomore year, and it was my first real introduction to the fundamentals of basketball.”

Schneider, who averaged 40.4 points a game and led Phillips to the 1976 state title, didn’t expect high school basketball to lead to college basketball, or college to lead to international play with USA Basketball and ultimately a coaching career. It just happened that way.

Named to the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team that did not compete after the U.S. decided to boycott the Moscow Olympic Games, Schneider helped the USA win gold at the 1980 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, 1979 World Championship, 1980 R. Williams Jones Cup, and a silver medal at the 1979 Pan American Games.

“I just played because I loved playing,” she said.

After graduating from the University of Tennessee, where she played one season for legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, Schneider became a graduate assistant for the team and did color commentary for the Lady Vols Network.

“I just wanted to have a way of getting into the games,” she recalled. “So I never really intended to get into coaching, but that summer Jody Conrad called me out of the blue and asked me if I’d be interested in being an assistant at the University of Texas. That was a great opportunity so I took that, and it just kind of evolved.”

In her fifth and final season at Texas, 1985-86, the Lady Longhorns became the first women’s team to go undefeated and win the NCAA national championship. After getting married the summer before, Schneider then went into high school coaching so she could have more time to raise a family and also focus on teaching, which she says is a passion. Schneider earned a master’s degree in math education at the University of Texas and teaches a college algebra class at Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas.

Entering her 17th season as head coach at Monterey, Schneider has won multiple District 2-5A coach of the year honors. In addition to her success at Monterey, she has captured a pair of gold medals as head coach of USA teams that won the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship in the Netherlands and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mexico. She has twice been named USA Basketball’s Developmental Coach of the Year, winning the award in 2011 and 2012.

Schneider has also traveled the world to teach at clinics for both players and coaches – and she recognizes the difference between the two.

“They’re a little different in that the coaches understand – well not all of them – but they kind of understand the concepts you’re trying to teach and they are more observing. They’re not getting out there and actually going through the stuff.”

With players, Schneider explained, it’s more of a hands-on approach.

“With the kids we work on very specific skills work,” she said. “With coaches we’re working more on concepts and drills, putting skills together within the drills. That would be the major difference.” 

In October, Schneider was in Illinois to help USA Basketball conduct a regional skills camp for girls – something USA Basketball is looking to do more of around the country for both girls and boys.

“That was a great time,” she said of the skills camp.

According to Schneider, the most important things a coach can teach young basketball players are the fundamentals.

“Just constant reinforcement of the proper shooting form,” she said. “Footwork -- a lot of footwork. The correct way to receive the ball to be a more efficient shooter off the dribble and off the pass. We do a whole lot of one-hand and two-hand form shooting. We do a whole lot of jump-shot form shooting.”

While some of the coaches for whom Schneider has played and coached are recognized among the best in the business, she is quick to note that a coach at any level can make an impact on youth basketball players.

“When I think back on my career, every single coach I’ve played for is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, with the exception of my high school coach. And he taught me the fundamentals. He taught me how to shoot the ball. And I’ve always taken that with me… He taught me a lot about the game. And he’s the least celebrated coach I’ve ever played for.”

Have a question for Coach Schneider? Go to Facebook or Twitter now to submit your questions and she’ll answer them in a feature that will run on Friday. Be sure to use #AskCoachJill.



Related Videos

Gold-medal winning USA Basketball coach Don Showalter lays out the most important things to remember when speaking to your team before a game.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss the four stages of progressive player development.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss coaching actions for player growth.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss creating better players and better people through basketball in is episode.

Related Content

USA Basketball introduces its E-Learning Program presented by AT&T, which will allow organizations to build a customized online education and certification program.

It’s an Olympic year – again! The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are set to take place July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. With 2020 in the rearview, USA Basketball looks onward and upward in what it hopes to be a healthy, golden year for basketball. Here are marquee events on the USA Basketball 2021 calendar and notables to keep your eyes on: 

Sam Brunelle has won four gold medals with USA Basketball since 2017.

2019 WU16


  • Date:
    Dec 3, 2020

Puerto Aysen, Chile - June 16-22, 2019 With a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship from June 16-22 in Puerto Aysen, Chile, the USA U16 women have claimed gold in five of the six editions of the event and own a 30-1 all-time record. The 2019 team averaged 103.0 points a game,...

2017 USA Women's U16 National Team


  • Date:
    Dec 3, 2020

Buenos Aires, Argentina - June 7-11, 2017 The 2017 USA Women’s U16 National Team recaptured the gold medal and earned a perfect 5-0 record from June 7-11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The victorious campaign followed the USA women’s first and only loss in U16 history, which came in the...

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?