Jennifer Sullivan introduced as new women’s basketball head coach in press conference

She is the sixth all-time women’s basketball head coach in FAU history.


Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

Hours after being announced as the women’s basketball head coach, FAU was officially introduced to Jennifer Sullivan via a press conference on Zoom Thursday afternoon, and she became the sixth head coach in program history.

This comes more than one week after Jim Jabir left to become the next head coach at Siena College. Jabir leaves the university with a record of 42-68 after four seasons.

Brian White, Vice President and Director of the Athletics department, said he talked to the players and they had some things in mind when it came to looking for the coach they wanted: the desire to win, great at building relationships, having discipline instilled within the team, wanting to build a family culture, and to play fast-paced basketball. According to him, Sullivan had everything the players wanted.

“She knows what it’s going to take for us to reach the level of success we all want to reach. She’s a proven winner, a great connector, and builder of general relationships,” White said. “That’s going to help us with our student-athletes and in the community. She’s a really good person and can be a great role model for our student-athletes.”

Sullivan joins the Owls after 16 years of coaching at the collegiate level, recently as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee. She helped them get to the second round of the NCAA tournament, finishing her time there with a 38-18 record after two seasons.

Her previous coaching destinations were at Rhodes, Arkansas State, Louisiana, Missouri State, and Ohio State before getting her first job as head coach at FAU.

Sullivan said she went back and forth with her decision to become a head coach and felt she was ready to make that jump. With 16 years of experience, she plans to utilize that to the fullest in her first season as head coach for the program.

“I’ve been a part of every meeting situation, whether that be on the core recruiting budgets, all those things I’ve been a part of over the course of my career and it gets to a point where you just got to go do it,” Sullivan said. “I have a really good idea of my philosophy, what’s important to me, how I like my program to look. At this point, now it’s just putting in the work.”

When it came to building a staff, Sullivan said it’s important to help bring people in for recruiting.

“I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to bring in someone that can help recruit not only within the state but nationally, some staff with obviously strong coaching backgrounds,” Sullivan said. “The biggest thing [is] it’s just good people that enjoy what they do, bring a lot of energy, [are] excited to work with young people, and [can] help us with the vision we’re trying to do here.”

Sullivan said that getting to know the players, having early wins in recruiting, and assessing the situation they’re in will be the task at hand while preparing for next season. 

“No matter what the expectation is, you just want to be the best you can be every single day and that’ll be our goal no matter what,” Sullivan said.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.