Jim Jabir is returning to Loudonville to once again lead the Siena Women’s Basketball program. A finalist for the 2013 Naismith National Coach of the Year Award, the Brooklyn, New York native has led his programs to eight NCAA Tournament berths highlighted by a 2015 Elite Eight appearance, while amassing 514 wins. Jabir will be formally re-introduced during a press conference Friday at noon on campus at the UHY Center.
“I would like to thank Dr. Gibson and John D’Argenio for the opportunity to come home and do what I love,” said Jabir. “Siena is a special place for me, and our goal from day one is to win championships and represent Siena in a first class manner. This is not my program. This program belongs to our students and all the fans who have supported the Saints for so long, and we will continue to represent you all well. We will build a family that you will be proud of. We will need you all at our games to help us achieve this lofty goal.”
The 58-year-old Jabir has achieved a 514-446 (.535) overall record over 33 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including 32 at the Division I level. Currently standing 31st amongst all active DI head coaches in wins, he previously led the Siena Women’s Basketball program for three seasons (1987-90), while also having served as the head coach at Florida Atlantic University (2017-21), University of Dayton (2003-16), Providence College (1996-02), Marquette University (1990-96), and Division III Buffalo State College (1986-87).
“We are delighted to welcome Coach Jabir back to Siena College, and couldn’t be more excited to have someone with his tremendous coaching pedigree and acumen leading our women’s basketball program,” said Siena College President Christopher P. Gibson ’86, Ph.D. “Jim has a proven track record of building championship caliber programs in a way that strongly aligns with our Franciscan values, and we can’t wait to see him lead our Saints to new heights.”
Jabir returns to the Capital Region following a four-year stint at Florida Atlantic where he took the Owls to unprecedented success in Conference USA. This past season, Jabir piloted FAU to an 11-11 overall record including an 8-8 mark in C-USA. The Owls capped the season by securing the program’s first-ever C-USA Tournament win, which marked Jabir’s milestone 500th Division I head coaching victory. During his first season at the helm in 2017-18, he guided FAU to a nine-win improvement which marked the fourth best turnaround nationally.
“Siena and our women’s basketball team are fortunate to be able to have Jim return and lead our program,” said Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D’Argenio. “His record of basketball achievements is evident. His ability to engage the student athletes he leads, understand them as young women, and build a program that supports them as people has been the foundation upon which his on-the-court success has been built.”
Jabir arrived in Boca Raton after a transformative 13-year run at Dayton, where he departed as the winningest coach in program history at 252-155 (.619). He built the Flyers from a 3-25 team in his first season, to a program which achieved a peak national ranking of No. 11 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls in 2013. A two-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (2008, 2013), Jabir led UD to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-15, in addition to three WNIT berths (2008, 2009, 2016).
Jabir guided Dayton to eight straight 20-win seasons while compiling a stellar 194-68 (.740) record from 2007-15. The Flyers captured the program’s first A-10 Tournament Championship in 2012, and their initial two A-10 Regular Season Championships in both 2013 and 2014 under his leadership.
Jabir mentored the sixth youngest team in the country to a program Division I best 28-3 record in 2013, which culminated with Dayton’s second trip to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in four seasons. The historic 2014-15 UD squad also won 28 games, highlighted by NCAA Tournament victories over Iowa State, No. 11 Kentucky, and No. 8 Louisville to advance to the Regional Final in nearby Albany at the Times Union Center in Jabir’s triumphant return to the Capital Region. The Flyers finished the 2014-15 season ranked 17th nationally in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
Player recruitment and development was key for Jabir at Dayton, where he signed a pair of top-20 recruiting classes (13th in 2015-16, 20th in 2013-14). During his tenure in the Gem City, Jabir recruited 22 A-10 All-Conference and 11 All-Rookie Team selections, including four A-10 Rookies of the Year. He mentored and developed the first three WNBA Draft picks in program history in Saicha Grant-Allen (2017), Andrea Hoover (2015), and Ally Malott (2015). Moreover, Jabir’s program achieved unparalleled success in the classroom where they boasted a perfect 100% graduation rate for 11 consecutive seasons as well as 10 A-10 All-Academic Team selections.
Prior to his time at Dayton, Jabir served a pair of six-year stints at both Marquette (1990-96) and Providence (1996-02). He rebuilt Marquette into a program which secured its first three postseason tournament berths, earning a spot in the WNIT in 1993 before winning the Great Midwest Conference and advancing to the NCAA Tournament in both 1994 and 1995. A two-time Reebok/Great Midwest Coach of the Year, Jabir led the Golden Eagles to back-to-back 22-win seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94. During his tenure at Providence, he recruited and coached a pair of BIG EAST All-Conference and All-Rookie Team selections.
Jabir broke into the Division I head coaching ranks when the late legendary Siena College Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Kirsch ’56, HOF ’76 appointed the then 24-year-old to take over the reins of the women’s basketball program on Apr. 13, 1987. Jabir led Siena to a 50-29 (.633) record over three years (1987-90), including the program’s inaugural season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 1989-90. He recruited and coached Siena’s first three All-MAAC selections in Val Higgins ’91, HOF ’98, Michelle Collins ’92, and Peg Taylor ’92, as well as six 1,000-point scorers.
Jabir began his collegiate head coaching career at Division III Buffalo State, which he led to a SUNYAC Championship and NCAA Regional appearance during his lone season at helm in 1986-87. He previously served as an assistant coach the year prior with the Bengals, following one season as an assistant at his alma mater Nazareth College in 1984-85. Jabir has also previously served as an assistant coach at the Division I level, where he helped guide Colorado to a Sweet 16 appearance in his lone season with the Buffaloes in 2002-03.
A 1984 graduate of Nazareth with his degree in English, Jabir earned his Master’s in Student Personnel Administration from Buffalo State in 1986. The father of Lauren, Shane, and Jackson, Jabir and his wife, Angie, are the proud parents of son Jude.