Gainesville High grad Jaymee Acton, whose last name was Carnes before marrying, has been named assistant coach for the University of North Georgia’s women’s basketball team after two years as a graduate assistant.
“I’m really excited,” Acton said. “North Georgia has always been like a big family, not just the basketball team, but the whole university.”
Before joining the coaching staff, the 6-foot forward had a stellar career on the court for the Nighthawks, averaging over 21 points per game. She was named the Daktronics NCAA Division II National Player of the Year after her sophomore season and reached the 1,000-career points plateau during only her junior year.
While at Gainesville High, Acton was named the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class AAA Player of the Year as a senior and finished her high school career with 1,850 points and 1,000 rebounds.
The three-time Times Girls Basketball Player of the Year, was rated as one of the top-100 forwards in her class by ESPN. Acton originally committed to Wake Forest where she played in 28 games as a freshman.
After one year at Wake Forest, Acton decided she wanted to move back closer to home and transferred to North Georgia.
“I always loved North Georgia,” she said. “I went to North Georgia camps when I was growing up.”
It wasn’t until her junior year at North Georgia that Acton first considered the possibility of coaching after her playing career was over.
“It just hit me all of a sudden,” Acton said. “I realized that in a year I would be done with basketball, and I didn’t want basketball out of my life.”
Acton, who majored in nursing, said that she talked to head coach Buffie Burson shortly after her realization that she wanted to coach.
“I told coach Burson, and she said she would do anything she could to help me out.”
Now, the 24-year-old will be assisting Burson in all aspects of the North Georgia program including recruiting, individual workouts and administrative paperwork.
Acton said she may consider a head coaching position somewhere down the line. She said before accepting the North Georgia position, Acton was contacted by some Division I schools about assistant coaching roles.