Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Men’s Basketball: Head coach John Jakus announces his new staff

Four staff members revealed for the men’s basketball team and two former coaches have left for Michigan.
Courtesy of FAU Athletics
Isaiah Austin, Demond Parker, and Jordan Fee (Left to Right)

Three weeks after Florida Atlantic University hired men’s basketball head coach John Jakus, a source has revealed to the Field of 68 of four members he’s bringing to the staff. 

FAU’s assistant coach, Todd Abernethy, was retained. The three new faces are Jordan Fee, Isaiah Austin and Demond Parker. 

Last Thursday, FAU confirmed these four hires on their website. Austin, Fee and Abernethy will be assistant coaches, and Parker will be the director of player development.  

It is reported by Jeff Goodman that there will be one more additional coaching hire that will arrive after the NBA playoffs end. 

Abernethy joined the staff during the spring of 2019 and served during the Owls’ memorable 20-game win streak, which translated to the historic Final Four appearance in 2023. Before his time at FAU, he served as the head coach at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. 

“I am really thankful for the opportunity to stay at Florida Atlantic with Coach Jakus and his staff and continue to build upon the success we have had here at FAU,” Abernethy said. “The Boca and FAU community have meant so much to my family and we are excited to stay in Paradise. Go Owls!”

Currently, Abernethy is the only staff member who is confirmed to be staying with FAU. The University of Michigan’s updated staff directory revealed that Kyle Church and Drew Williamson are leaving FAU to become assistant coaches at UM. 

Church and Williamson served during the Owls 2022-23 season, which undoubtedly was FAU’s greatest season so far. Church has worked alongside former head coach Dusty May for the past 11 seasons. 

Fee served as Gannon University’s head coach for one season. He was awarded the “Big House” Gains Award, which is given to the top Division II head coach. 

“He is committed to excellence in academics, athletics, the community, and the student-athlete experience. Coach Fee’s experience competing and coaching at some of the nation’s best D-II men’s basketball programs will help propel our program forward,” said Gannon’s athletic director, Goddard McGuirk, when Fee was hired. 

Before that, Fee was the associate head coach for Nova Southeastern University. Alongside the head coach, he helped lead NSU to a 36-0 record in 2022-23. His eight years at NSU gives him familiarity with the South Florida area. 

Austin played for Baylor University from 2012-2014 and was nominated as a two-time All-Big 12 honoree.  He declared for the NBA draft in 2014 but unfortunately was diagnosed with Marfan’s syndrome, which was a career-ending genetic condition.  

Two years after Austin’s diagnosis, he went to play basketball overseas, and in 2021, he started a job as a front desk assistant for the NBA.  

Parker most recently served as the director of player development at Furman University in 2023-24. He worked at Baylor from 2021-23 as a graduate assistant coach. They had a 50-18 record and the 2022 Big 12 Conference title during those two seasons. He will be a familiar face to Jakus since the two worked together at Baylor. 

“We really like to add people from similar cultures of development and sustained success. With Demond having spent the last two seasons at Baylor, he will be able to bring new thoughts and ideas to what we are already doing,” said Furman’s head coach Bob Richey when Parker was added to their staff. 

Megan Bruinsma is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @megan_bruinsma or X(Twitter) @MeganBruinsma.

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Megan Bruinsma
Megan Bruinsma, Sports Editor
Megan is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in sports studies. She has grown up with a passion for watching and playing sports. She’s excited to continue her journey of learning how to cover sports in a professional sense. Megan has hopes to become a sports reporter for an NFL or NBA team.

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