Fresh off a graduate-assistant interview in Illinois a little more than a month ago, Ashley Dupler was driving through Indiana on her way back to Jamestown when her cell phone rang.
On the line was Geneva (Pa.) College women's basketball coach Lori Wynn.
Although the two are friends - both are graduates of Houghton College, they've worked summer camps together and they even were part of a missions trip to the Czech Republic - Wynn wasn't calling merely to shoot the breeze.
This was business, she was in need of an assistant coach and Dupler was her choice.
Needless to say, the 2007 Jamestown High School graduate was thrilled.
''It kind of seemed perfect,'' Dupler said. ''... Once I saw (the campus) I knew this was the spot for me.''
So in a few weeks, Dupler will pack up her car and head to the Division III school in Beaver Falls, Pa. In addition to assisting Wynn, Dupler will also be assisting the college's athletic director.
''It's actually a two-year grant through the NCAA, so I'll be employed by Geneva and the NCAA,'' she said. ''That means I get to travel to national conventions and conferences.''
In other words, Dupler, 23, will gain experience in two areas - coaching and administration - that interest her, all at the same time.
''I knew that I wanted sports in my life forever, because I've done them forever,'' she said. ''I graduated with a business degree and I was trying to figure out how to combine business and marketing with sports. It's the best of both worlds.''
Dupler's arrival at Geneva will cap quite a ride for a woman who Ken Ricker, the former JHS girls coach, called a ''reluctant star.''
''She didn't want to be in the limelight,'' said Ricker, who coached her for three years at JHS and then had her serve as a volunteer assistant last season. ''I've known Ashley for eight or nine years and there's not a person in the world who would say a negative word about her.''
During her years as a Lady Red Raider, Dupler, the daughter of Rod and Linda Dupler, was primarily a low post defender, rebounder and shot blocker on some incredibly talented teams.
By the time she finished her collegiate career at Houghton, though, she was a first-team All-American Mideast Conference selection and a 1,000-point scorer.
''Coach Ricker and (former JHS assistant Bill Canfield) gave me confidence in my basketball ability and love for the game. In college, Coach (Skip) Lord and Coach (Kevin) Austin showed me what it takes to be a coach, something I want to be able to do so I can influence young athletes, on and off the court, too.''
Geneva women's basketball has a decorated history, but has fallen on some difficult times in recent years. In Wynn's first season, the Golden Tornadoes finished 3-22 and 2-16 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.
''We have our work cut out for us,'' Dupler said, ''but the program was (once) dominant so it has that potential again. We have the support of the school and the athletic director and we hope to turn things around.''
One thing Dupler knows for sure, though, is how happy she is to begin her coaching career.
''I've been very blessed, I'm lucky to have this opportunity and we'll see where it takes me,'' she said.