Women’s Basketball: New head coach Jim Jabir: “We want to win championships.”

Jabir was introduced in his position Thursday at a press conference.


New women’s basketball head coach Jim Jabir speaks at his introductory press conference on April 6. Alexander Rodriguez | Contributing Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic women’s basketball introduced its newest head coach Jim Jabir at a press conference on Thursday, and the former Dayton head coach has made his intentions clear about his goals for the program.

“The goal is to go to the NCAA Tournament, win championships and graduate,” Jabir said. “We’re going to work very hard for that. We talked to the players about their work ethic and how we want to play. We’re going to play intelligently and unselfishly.”

“We also talked about respect and how we treat people,” Jabir continued. “Teachers, staff people, everyone. I don’t care if you are a great player but not a great person. I am too old for that.”

Prior to the 2016-17 season, Jabir was the head coach of the University of Dayton for 13 years, and guided them to six consecutive NCAA Tournament from 2010 to 2015, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2015.

Jabir resigned from his post prior to the start of last season, citing health issues, according to the Dayton Daily News. However, Jabir played down the health issues, saying it was “kind of blown out of proportion” and that everything was fine.

“When I initially talked about health scares, I kind of felt that if I kept on going on the track I was, that eventually something bad was going to happen to me physically,” said Jabir. “It was more of an emotional thing that I was beat up. I kind of felt if I kept going that way. I’m fine and I’m really excited to be here.”

Jabir also said he knows there is a lot of work to do, trying to rebuild a program that won just four games this past season and was 0-18 in conference play. The Brooklyn, New York native said his first priorities as head coach are hiring a staff and recruiting.

“Hiring a staff is one of the most important things I have to do [as well as] getting out and start recruiting,” Jabir said. “I don’t care how great of a coach you are, if you don’t have players, it really doesn’t matter. We have to get after it. We’re a little behind [recruiting] but we have to start finding kids that can come in and fill in some needs we have immediately. But we also know we have to start laying down a foundation for the class of 2018 and 2019.”

Jabir has coached 29 years in the NCAA ranks, and has previously been an head coach at Buffalo State University, Siena College, Marquette University and Providence College. He holds a 472-378 record, and is the winningest coach in Dayton’s history.

Jabir took a break from basketball after stepping down from Dayton, but got a phone call from a friend in Denmark asking for his help to coach the professional men’s basketball team SISU Copenhagen after its former head coach resigned. He finished the season 9-6 and led the team to the Danish Basketball League semifinals.

Athletic Director Pat Chun believed the women’s basketball team made a “splash” by hiring Jabir. He also lightly joked there’s no pressure on the new coach, saying he was the most accomplished coach FAU has ever hired after former football coach Howard Schnellenberger.

“There’s a really good feeling, a really good vibe about where the program is heading,” said Chun. “ The talk of family, relationships and the positivity, that’s what struck me from the first moment of speaking with [Jabir]. The bar is really high for [him]. He is a master coach.”

Hans Belot Jr. is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.