NUsports.com special contributor Skip Myslenski sits down with Brittany Orban
Ali Jaques enters her fourth season with the Wildcats and her second year as associate head coach. Jaques previously coached alongside Head Coach Joe McKeown at George Washington for two years prior to arriving in Evanston.
After naming his first-ever associate head coach, McKeown said, "I am excited to name Ali as associate head coach. She is a tireless recruiter, an outstanding floor coach and her energy level will help get Northwestern pointed in the right direction. Ali's NCAA experiences at George Washington (back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances) give her a great blueprint for what it takes to compete at the national level. She will assist me in all facets of head coaching decision-making. Additionally, she will be influential in marketing our program, helping us achieve academic success and will be a great role model for our players."
Jaques' enthusiasm for the Wildcat program is evident. "Coach McKeown has been an amazing mentor for me throughout my career. When I finally had the chance to work for him at GW it was a dream come true. After a few years, and a one big move, there is no question in my mind that this is where I belong. Northwestern allows us to recruit and coach some of the most intelligent, dedicated and well-rounded young women in the world. I love going to work everyday and I know the future is very bright here."
The 2010-11 recruiting class is a perfect example of the type of outstanding young women the Wildcat staff has brought to Evanston over the past three years. Jaques spearheaded the efforts to secure Morgan Jones, Alex Cohen and Karly Roser, a class Hoopgurlz.com ranked at 14th in the nation. The group embodies the increasingly talented classes coming to Northwestern and represents a significant change in culture in Evanston.
While with the Colonials, Jaques assisted with all phases of the program, including serving as recruiting coordinator. In just two seasons, Jaques helped GW to two Atlantic 10 championships and two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. The Colonials posted a 55-11 mark during her tenure.
Prior to her time at GW, Jaques was an assistant at Dayton and helped lead the Flyers to a 17-12 overall record during the 2005-06 campaign, which marked the program's first winning season since the 2000-01 season. Jaques also was responsible for organizing the Flyers' recruiting plan efforts.
Before joining Dayton's staff, Jaques was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Furman University for three seasons. She joined the staff in the summer of 2002 and helped the Paladins to 52 victories during her tenure.
Jaques spent three seasons at Sacred Heart University after a year as an assistant at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., before joining the staff at Furman.
A 1998 graduate of New York University, the Rosemont, N.J., native was a four-year letterwinner and led her squad to four appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament, including a national championship in 1997. Jaques earned the Coach's Award twice and also was selected as a team captain for the 1997-98 season. She graduated with majors in broadcast journalism and German.