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Life is sweet for Sidney’s Jordan Sullivan as Utah women's hoops assistant

Jordan Sullivan Candy
Jordan Sullivan
Posted at 10:00 AM, Sep 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-28 14:23:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Life is sweet for Jordan Sullivan.

Last week, Sullivan was happy to give MTN Sports a show-and-tell at the University of Utah women's basketball facility where she is an assistant coach for the Utes who are fresh off a dream season.

The Sidney native, seated comfortably at her office desk overlooking campus, first pointed to a picture fondly attached to her wall.

“This is my mom back in the day. I never want to let this go, so she stays where I go in coaching," Sullivan explained. "My uncle (former Lady Griz head coach Robin Selvig) with the hair … they both had some good hair.”

She keeps Montana mementos throughout her office — some handwritten notes on a white board that takes up one full wall, others are simply photos.

“Meg Harrington sent me off with this," Sulllivan said in an endearing tone. "These are my grandparents … he has since passed, but this was taken at one of our last (Lady Griz) games. ... Me and my cousin in Dahlberg (Arena).”

The former UM standout is now one of Utah’s top recruiters. A year ago as she joined the staff, Sullivan couldn’t have imagined signing on at a better time. It turned out to be a dream season for Utah’s basketball women — the program’s best ever — reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 after winning the Pac-12 regular-season title.

“I’m kind of a cheater because I got to come in this first year and hold this thing when some of the people on this staff were working really long and hard to get one of these things,” she said, lifting the conference championship trophy showcased on a round table just steps from her office.

Motivation for an even stronger finish this season is down the hall and around the corner.

“Here’s some memorabilia from the Sweet 16. The Elite 8 was right there, but (we) keep this in here as a little reminder,” she said lifting an over-sized cardboard cutout from last year's NCAA tourney.

Admittedly, Sullivan is an extremely detailed, Type A personality. "How can you tell?" she asked with a laugh.

Truth is, she loves to lighten the mood in her office by enticing players to stop in for visibly placed treats on the corner of her desk.

“When it comes to the candy I have found Mike and Ikes, especially tropical flavor, are very popular. I try to keep those fresh," she said while dumping the entire bag into a small plastic tower. "See how they’re mixing a little bit? That’s kind of a foul.”

There’s her Type A personality popping up again.

As for Sullivan's attention to detail, she reaches high above a cabinet to show off a Utes basketball that she invested a great deal of time decorating with bling.

“This is my pride and joy. I bedazzled this myself … and it took a long time,” she said with a combination of pride and relief.

While she doesn’t make it home to Sidney as often as she’d like, Sullivan keeps tabs on her family dynamic — an unusual one in the school district.

“It’s funny because my sister (Ashley Copple) is now my mom’s principal. My dad used to be my mom’s principal. My mom is now in year 42, I think, so she’s a superstar," Sullivan said.

Practice is underway this week for Utah’s women. They open the regular season Nov. 6 at home against Mississippi Valley State.

Who knows how Sullivan’s second season with the Utes evolves? Very possibly, sweeter than ever.

“The Starburst minis. They go fast, so I’ve been hoarding them off,” Sullivan confessed with a smile while pouring another full bag into the candy tower.