HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison alumna Ashley Perez ’16, ‘19 is staying in Harrisonburg and joining the women’s basketball staff as an assistant coach. Perez spent time playing for the Dukes then served as a graduate assistant the previous two seasons.
“Ashley knows this program as well as anyone we could have considered for this position,’ head coach Sean O'Regan stated. “She’s been a tremendous asset to our success in her role here the last 3 years and will continue to make our program better in her new role. I’m very excited to watch her grow into a great assistant coach.”
Since her undergraduate graduation in 2016, Perez has served the JMU women’s basketball team with daily practices, road trips, recruiting trips, banquets and many team events. Perez assisted with the creation of social media posts to stay consistent with the JMU brand, while helping to create a positive interaction with the JMU community.
“JMU is a very special place and I am thrilled to be able to learn and grow as assistant basketball coach at my alma mater,” said Perez. “With passion for this program, I look forward to continuing our tradition in developing elite players and young women. I am extremely grateful for Coach O and this opportunity to contribute to the winning culture here at JMU.”
Perez has also served as a graduate event planner, executing a Ted Talk forum with graduate student speakers at JMU. Prior to that, she assisted in the athletics communications office, helping with news releases being published on the JMU sports page.
Athletically, Perez has experience when she played for the Puerto Rican National Team in 2017 & 2018. Her team won Gold at Centrobasket and she competed in the FIBA Women’s World Cup. She also played professionally in Ireland for DCU Mercy.
Perez was a two-year letterwinner with the Dukes, transferring in from St. John's during the 2013-14 school year. Upon becoming eligible to play in December 2014, she made a memorable impact for JMU over 50 appearances. She averaged 11.9 points per game, including the game-clinching 3-pointer of the 2016 CAA quarterfinals.
She was a 2015 preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association honorable mention selection and 2015 Florida Sunshine Classic All-Tournament Team honoree, but saw her senior year slowed by an injury early in league play. When she returned, she got back to midseason form and earned CAA All-Tournament accolades. Over her JMU career, Perez shot 37.1 percent from the floor, including 35.8 percent beyond the arc, and sank 83.9 percent of her attempts from the free throw line.