Auburn High School officials introduced Milwaukee native Jason McClelland to several players and their families on Friday as their choice to lead the girls basketball program in the coming year. McClelland will be the girls head basketball coach for the 2019-20 season, pending approval from the Rockford School Board. McClelland will also work at Auburn as a building support specialist, pending board approval.
He comes from Milwaukee where he most recently worked as a teacher at HOPE Christian Schools. His work experiences also include case management, mentorship, work as a special education paraprofessional and security guard. McClelland started coaching in an assistant capacity when he was just 18 and his Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) program players were just 14. In addition to working as an assistant coach, McClelland has worked as an official for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Auburn will bring him opportunities to connect with students during the school day and build talent within the program. But more than anything, his priority is college. "The program is great. I know that I have a lot of great athletes," McClelland said. "These girls want to go to school, and I want to help push them in the right direction."
McClelland will replace Darryl Watkins, who announced in June his plans to lead the women's basketball program at Rock Valley College, where Watkins previously worked as an assistant coach. All three assistant coaches who worked with Watkins will continue with the program. "We're excited for the energy Coach McClelland is going to bring to the program, and we're looking forward to see him build on Coach Watkins' success," said Auburn Athletic Director Brad Pemberton.