A 26-year coaching veteran, Ray Fron begins his third season as the Stars' head basketball coach. Fron has improved Stephens basketball each year under his tenture, after inheriting a program that finished 1-28 in 2013-2014. The Stars progressed to 6-24 in 2015-2016.
The bulk of Fron’s experience at the collegiate level comes from his time in Grand Rapids, Mich., at Aquinas. Prior to Stephens College, Fron served a second stint as assistant head basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Aquinas College (NAIA DII) for three seasons. Longtime head coach Linda Nash added Fron to her staff in 1996 and welcomed him back with open arms in 2011. Including his two stints (1996-2008, 2011-14), Fron helped guide the Saints to four NAIA DII National Tournament appearances and a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) title in 2007. During his time at Aquinas, the Saints compiled a record 267-190 (.584).
Between coaching stops at Aquinas, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native had the opportunity to become head coach at Spring Hill College (NAIA DI). He inherited a challenging situation as the fourth women’s basketball hire in a four-year span. In three seasons at the helm, Fron brought stability to the Badgers’ basketball program and improved areas such as academics and recruiting.
Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, Fron was the head girls’ basketball coach at Central Catholic High in Modesto, Calif., for four years, leading the program to its first-ever state playoff appearance. He also spent three years as head coach at Riverbank High School in Riverbank, Calif., from 1987-90.
In addition to basketball, Fron also serves as the assistant athletic director.
Classroom success and the development of young women off the court is nothing new to Fron, a big advocate of the small college academic and athletic mission of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Aside from coaching, Fron has taught special education at both the middle and high school level. He received his B.S. in Psychology and Special Education from Grand Valley State University and also has a Master in the Art of Teaching from Aquinas College.
Athletically, Fron was a prep athlete at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids where he lettered in cross country and track, while also playing basketball and baseball.
Fron and his wife, Kari, have been married for 38 years and are the proud parents of three: Lauren, Robert and Tarah. The Frons are also proud grandparents of Ainsley and Tatum, the daughters of Robert and his wife, Ronda.
Jestine Gerber joins the Stephens College basketball staff for her first season as the graduate assistant.
“I am excited to help continue building the program at Stephens and learn from Coach Ray Fron,” stated Jestine.
"I’m excited to add Jestine to our coaching staff," Coach Fron said. "She was a great collegiate player and will bring not only college playing experience, but a positive energy to our young players and the knowledge of what it takes to succeed at this level."
Jestine spent four years in an Owls basketball uniform at William Woods University. During her time on the court, she and her team amassed three NAIA DI National Tournament appearances, one “Sweet 16” appearance (2011), two conference championships, and one conference tournament championship.
Jestine finished her collegiate career ranked second all-time in three-pointers with 204, fourth all-time is three-point percentage (.370) and 11th in all-time scoring with 1,304 points. She still sits second on the season three-pointers list with 65 and fifth on the single season three-point percentage list with a .410 shooting percentage. She earned all-conference honors her junior and senior year and an honorable mention in her sophomore year.
Jestine graduated from William Woods in 2011 with an education degree. She now resides in Columbia and is currently working towards her masters in the counseling program at Stephens.