Juli Fulks enters her sixth season as head coach of the Transylvania women’s basketball program for the 2019-20 season.
This upcoming season for Fulks comes after a record-breaking 27-3 year for the Pioneers, adding to Fulks’ outstanding track record of leading and developing winning teams and players.
The 2018-19 list of Fulks’ accomplishments with the Pioneers includes advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 round for the first time in program history while also setting new records for win totals (27) and win percentage (.900). The Pioneers, who ended the season ranked #17 by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and #16 by the D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll, also furnished the nation's leader in three-point shooting, senior Celia Kline, who hit 100 triples on the season and ranked second in three-point percentage at 48.1 percent.
In the 2018-19 season, the Pioneers captured the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title with a record of 17-1 and won the HCAC Conference Tournament in the midst of a 22-game winning streak, the longest of Fulks’ career. In honor of the season’s accomplishments, Fulks was recognized for the second time in her career as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year.
In Fulks’ five years at Transylvania, she has posted an overall record of 112-28 and an HCAC regular-season record of 76-14. During her tenure in the Beck Center, the Pioneers have produced the HCAC Most Valuable Player in three of the five seasons, with forward Rachel Cox being the most recent winner in 2018. In the 2018-19 season, three members of the Pioneers earned All-HCAC First Team designation while junior Shelby Boyle was selected to the D3Hoops.com All-Region Third Team. The 2018-19 accomplishments are the latest highlights in an annual tradition of excellence under Fulks.
In her first season at Transy, Fulks took the Pioneers to new heights, guiding the team to its highest national ranking in school history at 13th. Fulks began the 2014-15 season with immediate momentum as Transy posted a record of 25-3 overall and a perfect 18-0 record in HCAC play, becoming the first undefeated team in HCAC regular season history.
The 2014-15 edition of the Pioneers not only captured the regular season conference championship, but also earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Pioneers produced two selections to the D3Hoops.com Great Lakes All-Region Second Team, senior guard Nicole Coffman and junior guard Katelyn Smith. Those two players were also named to the All-HCAC First Team as Smith captured the conference MVP award in 2015.
In 2015-16, Fulks and the Pioneers completed another strong run through HCAC play, overcoming injuries to multiple key players to capture third place in the conference with a 14-4 record and advancing to the conference tournament semifinals. Smith again repeated as the HCAC conference MVP and was selected to the 2016 D3Hoops.com Great Lakes All-Region Second Team, while senior guard Shawn Kolani was named to the All-HCAC First Team and freshman guard Kristen Hayes was named to the conference's All-Freshman Team.
Fulks surpassed the 200-career win mark on February 13, 2016 with a 75-67 win against Defiance. That season, the Pioneers led the conference in 3-pointers made per game and free-throw percentage, and ranked second in field-goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, assists per game, and turnovers per game. Transylvania ranked first in field-goal percentage during conference play.
2016-17 brought another exciting season as the Pioneers posted another 20-win season despite possessing a roster with zero seniors. They advanced all the way to the conference tournament championship game before falling to Rose-Hulman. Junior Rachel Cox and sophomore Celia Kline were both named to the All-HCAC First Team, freshman Shelby Boyle was named to the HCAC All-Freshman team, and sophomore Kristin Hayes received All- Sportsmanship team honors.
The 2017-18 season led to many exciting moments both in the HCAC and nationally. The 21-6 team advanced to the HCAC conference tournament game and saw senior Rachel Cox named the HCAC MVP and All-HCAC First Team for her efforts. The plentiful HCAC awards also included Shelby Boyle (So.) being named All-HCAC Second Team, Celia Kline (Jr.) and Ashton Woodard (So.) being named to All-HCAC Honorable Mention, and senior Carlee Clemons receiving the All-Sportsmanship award. Nationally, the Pioneers were leading the country for much of the season in team free-throw percentage before finishing the regular season ranked third at 78.4 percent. The efficient Pios ranked third nationally in three-pointers made, hitting 244 on the year and were top-25 in three-point shooting percentage, solidifying their reputation as one of the premier offensive machines in Division III. Transylvania showed its might on the other end of the floor as well, ranking fifth in blocked shots with 6.4 rejections per contest.
Prior to her time at Transylvania, Fulks coached at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon for 10 years, where she built an unheralded program into an annual national contender in the Northwest Conference.
Fulks took over at Lewis & Clark prior to the 2004-05 season, inheriting a team which had posted a 1-15 conference record. In her first season at the helm, Fulks led her team to an 8-8 record in Northwest Conference play and a 12-12 overall mark for one of the 20 most-improved seasons in the nation.
Under Fulks's guidance, Lewis & Clark found their place atop the Top-25 USA Today rankings for three consecutive seasons from 2011 to 2013, ranking as high as fifth nationally in 2013 on the way to a 25-4 season.
Following the 2011 season, Fulks was named NWC Coach of the Year while Lewis & Clark guard Kristina Williams earned NWC Player of the Year honors. Fulks's Pioneer squad accumulated continued success, recording three-straight NCAA tournament appearances, three 20-win seasons, and two Northwest Conference Championships.
A native of Dola, Ohio, Fulks was a member of the 1997 Capital University team that reached the Final Four after capturing the Ohio Athletic Conference title.
After graduating with a degree in biology, she later earned a master's in education from Defiance. Fulks remains the all-time leading scorer at Hardin Northern High School with more than 1,600 career points.
Juli Fulks Coaching Record (2004-Present)
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