Kemp brings record of success to UJ
Shauna (Isbell) Kemp isn't too far removed from her distinguished collegiate wrestling career.
The new women's wrestling coach at the University of Jamestown is hoping to bring some of that success here.
Kemp, who turns 26 next month, was a member of Team USA from 2012-13 and a 2012 Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association national champion while at Lindenwood University (Mo.). She also was a 2009 USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle national champion.
"Jamestown has had a couple of standout girls from what I've seen, and they've had success, but I think it's trying to take the next step as a program is what I'm looking to do," Kemp said.
Kemp had been living in Aberdeen, S.D., with her husband and 18-month-old daughter. A native of Flagstaff, Ariz., she also had been volunteering with the Northern State wrestling program. Prior to that, she had been an assistant high school coach in Michigan.
Kemp replaces Tony DeAnda, who left to become head coach of the new women's wrestling program at the University of Great Falls (Mont.).
Recruiting women's wrestlers to Jamestown has been a difficult task since the program began in 2009. With no high school wrestling for girls in any neighboring state, the school has had to recruit from far-away places.
Kemp said one of her main goals is help promote wrestling for girls in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. She also hopes to bring camps to Jamestown, which could appeal to teams and athletes from states where girls high school wrestling is a sanctioned sport.
"It's hard to get girls to Jamestown, but once we get them here and show them what we have to offer, that will increase our chances of growing the program like we want to," Kemp said.
The UJ roster currently sits at 22 team members. Ideally, Kemp said she'd like to have between 30 and 35 wrestlers on campus.
Another big change Kemp plans to employ is to make the Jimmies' schedule more USA Wrestling friendly, opposed to the traditional November through February collegiate slate.
"I want my girls to be Junior World Team members and Senior World Team members," she said. "That's everybody's goal, but we have big plans. It's already in the works."
Doing so would provide additional developmental opportunities.
"I'm a huge advocate of exposing kids in our program to as many quality coaches and as many smart people as possible," Kemp said. "I think I'm a good coach, but if somebody else has something else to offer on top of what I have to offer, I'm all for it."