Yolisha Jackson joined Terry Fowler’s staff on May 31, 2013, and enters her fourth season with the program after spending three seasons at the United States Air Force Academy.
During her first three seasons at USA, Jackson has worked primarily with the post position players, while serving as the recruiting coordinator for the Jags. South Alabama’s 2014 recruiting class ranked second among the teams in the Sun Belt Conference according to Girls Basketball Report.
In her first year with the program, senior forward Ronneka Robertson ranked fourth in the Sun Belt in rebounding with 8.3 per game and 14th in the conference in field-goal percentage, knocking down 44.8 percent of her shot attempts.
South Alabama finished tied with Appalachian State for second in blocks during the ‘14-15 campaign, registering 4.2 per contest, just 0.1 behind league leader Texas-Arlington.
Individually, Chyna Ellis came in and had an immediate impact during her freshman season, leading the Sun Belt in blocks with 2.0 per outing. Her 56 blocks were the most ever by a freshman at South Alabama. Ellis also ranked fifth in the Sun Belt on the glass with 7.8 rpg, while shooting 41.1 percent from the field.
As a sophomore, Ellis continued her development under Jackson’s tutelage ranking as one to the top post defenders nationally. For the second consecutive season, Ellis led the Sun Belt in blocks and ranked 22nd in the NCAA in that category – fourth-most among sophomores nationally – with 2.73 per game. Her 82 blocks were 24th-most nationally and were four blocks shy of tying the single-season mark of 86 set by LaShanda Jenkins during the ‘82-83 season.
Ellis recorded five or more blocks six times during the season and in her 20 conference games, she averaged 3.05 bpg. She has had two or more blocks in 26 of her 30 games.
Ellis also ranked fifth in the SBC on the glass with 7.7 rpg and was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Student-Athlete of the Year – the first Jag to ever earn that honor – while also receiving third-team all-SBC honors.
During the ‘15-16 season, South Alabama also set a new school record with 174 blocks, which ranked 21st in the NCAA. The Jaguars also led the Sun Belt and tied for 11th nationally with 5.8 blocks per game. USA was ninth in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense (.347) and 46th in scoring defense (58.0). South Alabama led the league in blocks, field-goal defense and in defensive rebounding (27.3).
Jackson was also responsible for bringing in Marquita Daniels, who etched her name on several freshman top 10 categories: steals (second – 54), three-pointers made (fourth – 32), free-throws (seventh – 64), and points (10th – 290). Daniels also set a new Mitchell Center record for points in a game by a South Alabama player with a 37-point effort versus Georgia State on Feb. 7, 2015. Daniels also earned third-team all-SBC honors (2015-16).
In her three seasons at Air Force, she served as the recruiting coordinator and was primarily responsible for the Falcons’ post players. In her first season at the Academy in 2010-11, Jackson helped the program to the second-most conference wins in its Division-I history after the program had not won a Mountain West Conference game the previous two seasons.
Jackson arrived at the Academy in 2010 after spending five seasons at Kennesaw State University, where she served as the recruiting coordinator for the Lady Owls during her final three seasons.
Jackson helped KSU’s transition to Division I from Division II while in Kennesaw.
During the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, she helped the program to the most wins in its Division I history (15).
Jackson’s strong recruiting efforts assisted in the Owl’s increasing their talent over her three years as recruiting coordinator. Her 2009 class ranked as the top recruiting class in the Atlantic Sun. Her 2010 recruiting class consisted of future unanimous A-Sun Freshman of the Year Taylor Mills. Jackson was also responsible for recruiting and coaching Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Britteny Henderson (2007-08) and A-Sun all-freshman selections Rosetta Hollis (2006-07), Brandi Jones (2009-10) and Sametria Gideon (2009-10).
During the 2005-06 season, Jackson coached all-Atlantic Sun selection Shavonder Clarke, a junior-college transfer who scored over 1,000 points in two years at KSU. In 2007-08, she coached Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year Greteya Kelley.
Jackson arrived at KSU in 2005 after a successful playing career at Jacksonville University. She ended her stellar playing career as the second player in JU history to score over 1,000 points for her career, finishing with 1,070. She also left the Dolphins as the single-season record holder for points per game, free throws made and free throws attempted, as well as career free throws made (325). Jackson was an Atlantic Sun academic all-conference selection and two-time team MVP, but had her career limited by a pair of knee injuries suffered in her junior year and the latter half of her senior season.
She is a member of both the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Black Coaches Association.
Jackson a native of Clarksville, Tenn., received her bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville in physical education in 2005. She is the daughter of Austin Peay State University Hall of Famer Howard Jackson.
Dan Presel enters his fourth season with the Jaguars after being named assistant coach at South Alabama on May 16, 2013. Presel works primarily with the USA guards and is in charge of developing the offensive system for the program. Along with scouting, Presel also oversees recruiting efforts in Alabama.
During the 2015-16 season, Marquita Daniels led the club in scoring (11.3 ppg) and steals (61), while ranking 17th and third, respectively in the Sun Belt in those two categories on her way to picking up third-team all-conference accolades.
Breanna Hall became the second Jag to earn all-Sun Belt honors under Presel, garnering third team accolades at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.
Hall closed out her Jaguar career with an outstanding final season during the 2014-15 campaign. The Mesquite, Texas, native ranked among the conference leaders in numerous categories in the final rankings. Hall led the league in three-point shooting (.408), second in three-pointers per game (2.37), third in free-throw percentage (.820) and sixth in scoring (15.4). Hall closed out the season ranked 27th nationally from behind the arc as well.
She also ended her career ranked in several single-season and career program lists. Her 64 three-pointers this season were tied with Sarda Peterson (2012) for fourth-most in a season and her .408 three-point percentage tied for seventh with Kim Pompey.
That same season, freshman guard Marquita Daniels etched her name on several freshman top 10 categories: steals (second - 54), three-pointers made (fourth – 32), free-throws (seventh – 64), and points (10th – 290). Daniels also set a new Mitchell Center record for points in a game by a South Alabama player with a 37-point effort versus Georgia State on Feb. 7, 2015.
During the 2013-14 season, the Jaguars led the Sun Belt in three-point percentage (.354), three-point field-goal defense (.280) and tied with Troy for most three-pointers per game (6.5). USA ended the season ranked 38th nationally in three-point shooting. Meghan Dunn – who led the club in scoring and three-pointers – earned third-team all-SBC honors at the end of the season.
Presel came to South Alabama after spending the past seven seasons on Terry Fowler’s staff at North Alabama. During Presel’s tenure at UNA, the Lions qualified for the Gulf South Conference tournament every year and twice won the GSC East Division title – 2010-11 and 2012-13. UNA also earned a berth in the NCAA Division II National Tournament those same two seasons. The Lions were undefeated in league play during the 2010-11 season and made the program’s first appearance in the national tournament since 1994, finishing the year with a 21-7 mark. This past season, North Alabama recorded a 20-11 overall mark and a 12-6 record in the Gulf South.
Aside from recruiting, Presel also handled strength and conditioning, as well as specific floor work for the guards for the Lions.
Presel spent the 2005-06 season as assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where the Lady Mocs put together the nation’s longest winning streak at 26 consecutive games.
Prior to rejoining Fowler at UNA, Presel spent six seasons at Spring Hill where he was part of Fowler’s staff.
Presel was a pitcher on the Spring Hill baseball team from 1996-99. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1999. He and his wife, the former Jill Mathias, who played for the Lady Badgers from 1996-2000, have a daughter, Rian, and a son, Reid.
The University of South Alabama's head women's basketball coach Terry Fowler announced on Wednesday the addition of Rachel Travis to his staff as an assistant coach. Travis joins the Jaguars' program after spending three years at Longwood University.
"I'm extremely excited to have Rachel join our coaching staff," said Fowler. "She is very energetic, passionate about recruiting and committed to assisting student-athletes in achieving their goals. Rachel's experience at Longwood and as a high school head coach has allowed her to develop a wide range of recruiting contacts to assist us as we work toward building a championship caliber program."
Travis oversaw several roles while with the Lancers. She was the squad's travel coordinator, as well as the academic and film liaison. She also played a vital role in recruiting as the recruiting coordinator this past season and also in scouting and overseeing the day-to-day basketball operations.
"I am a firm believer in surrounding myself and others with positive, motivated and honest people," said Travis. "I have hit the jackpot with Coach Fowler and his staff! I am honored to join their coaching family and this incredible team. I would like to thank Coach Fowler, assistant coaches Yolisha Jackson and Dan Presel, director of operations JD Brooks and the entire USA athletic department for welcoming me to Mobile. I can't wait to get started!"
In her three years of assisting at Longwood, Travis helped the squad win 16 games, as the squad had injury-riddled seasons under her watch. In 2014-15, Longwood posted a 4-26 record with Daeisha Brown, a Preseason All-Big South selection, and leading rebounder Khalilah Ali limited to just a handful of games due to ACL tears. The following season Travis and the Lancers went 8-22 overall, and she aided in the development of forwards Kemari Jones and Eboni Gilliam. This last season Longwood finished the year with another 4-26 record while missing several key upperclassmen once again. After the year was completed, Gilliam was invited to and participated in the WNBA Combine at the Women's NCAA Final Four on April 2nd in Dallas, Texas.
Before Longwood Travis spent two years as a head coach at Florida Air Academy, an international school in Melbourne, Fla. In her first year at Florida Air, she helped guide the team to the 2012-13 3A District Championship. The squad went 10-0 in district play and 20-5 overall while advancing to the regional finals. She followed that performance by taking Florida Air back to the district title game in 2014 after amassing a 19-8 overall record and a 9-1 mark in district play. The team also advanced to the regional finals that same year.
Prior to her two-year stint at Florida Air, Travis held the varsity girls basketball head coaching position at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.
A 2009 graduate of Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash., Travis has affected the lives of young people in a variety of roles. In addition to her responsibilities as head basketball coach, Travis also taught psychology and physical education at both Florida Air and the Episcopal School.
Travis began her coaching career as a girls basketball camp director and coach at Episcopal in the summer of 2010, the same year she began her semi-professional playing career. In August of 2010, she stepped in as Episcopal's head coach while moonlighting as a starting guard for the Florida Lady Knight Hawks of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League.
She ended her playing career in 2011 to focus on coaching at Episcopal and has also held coaching stints as an assistant for the West Boca Elite AAU program (2013) and head coach for the Central Florida Elite Black 2015.
Travis was a four-year starter and three-year team captain at Northwest. A two-time academic all-conference selection, she graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in secondary education with emphasis in health and fitness. She was named to the dean's list and honor during her collegiate career. Travis was also a three-time Cascade Conference Player of the Week.
A native of North Bend, Wash., Travis is CPR certified and a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
Jeremiah "JD" Brooks
Director of Operations
Jeremiah “JD” Brooks joined the Jaguar women’s basketball staff Oct. 12, 2015 as the director of operations. Brooks joined the South Alabama women’s program after spending five seasons as a student assistant with the University of North Alabama men’s basketball program for head coach Bobby Champagne.
UNA posted back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012-13 and 2013-14, and brought home the 2014 Gulf South Conference Tournament. The Lions advanced to the second round of NCAA play before falling to regional champion Tuskegee and finish with a 23-10 season.
During his five seasons as a student assistant in Florence, Brooks assisted in many areas of the Lions’ program. He was involved with daily operations of the program and summer camp operations. He also supervised game filming, exchange and breakdown. Brooks’ duties also included managing team travel, coordinating events for the coaching staff, creating community outreach opportunities for the players and staff, supervising locker room care and setup, as well as practice set up and take down, game day operations, organization and upkeep of equipment. Brooks also helped maintain records to assure compliance with NCAA, Gulf South Conference, and UNA rules and regulations.
In addition to his experience as a student assistant at North Alabama, Brooks also served as the male camp coordinator for two summers at the Wisconsin Badger Camp held in Prairie du Chien, Wis., where he oversaw camp activities, organized counselors and assisted the camp director.
Brooks earned his bachelor of science degree at UNA in December 2014. He has been a member of Rising Coaches Elite since July 2014. Away from the court, Brooks has helped served as a volunteer with Special Olympics at both the state and local level. As a student, he was named to UNA’s Dean’s List on four occasions and was also a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society.