Coach Biography: Jon Willson
Head Coach, Girls' Varsity Basketball
Jon Willson graduated from Taft in 1982. His senior year, he was the recipient of the Lawrence Hunter Stone Award as the person who contributed most to boys’ athletics at Taft, as well as the soccer and basketball awards. He went on to play basketball at Amherst College for four years, and was the varsity’s leading scorer his junior and senior seasons. After teaching Social Studies at Brooklyn Technical High School for nine years and earning his Masters Degree in History from CUNY/Brooklyn, Jon returned to Taft in the fall of 1996. He coached in the boys’ basketball program for five years before taking over the girls’ varsity team from Dick Cobb in the winter of 2001-02. The team often qualifies for the Class A New England playoffs, and in 2010-'11 won the Founders League outright. Recent Taft graduates who have played or are still playing college ball include Colleen Sweeney and Katie Bergeron (Bowdoin College '11), Annie Fierberg (Connecticut College '13), Brittney Kennedy (Clark University '13) and Kate Karraker (Mt. Holyoke '14).
Of his coaching philosophy, Jon writes, “The Taft girls' varsity basketball program is one that reflects the culture of Taft more broadly; just as Taft seeks to educate the whole student in a caring environment, my assistant and I seek to help players develop their basketball skills and understanding within a strong and supportive team framework. While the team’s defenses and offenses vary from year to year based on the players' talents, the common denominator is an emphasis on team defense and unselfish offense, as well as on playing hard, playing smart, and playing with honor.” Jon has been a class dean, dorm head, and chair of the History department. He is currently Taft's Dean of Academic Affairs. Jon lives in Taft housing with his wife, Sarah, a children’s book writer, and their three children.