Coppin State women’s basketball head coach Laura Harper announced on Wednesday afternoon the hiring of Jermaine Woods, Anjalé Barrett, Breanna Gross and Jennifer George to the Eagles coaching staff. Woods will serve as associate head coach, Barrett and Gross as assistant coaches, with Barrett also serving as recruiting coordinator, and George as the program’s director of basketball operations.
Woods arrives in Baltimore after serving as an assistant coach the last seven years at three Division I institutions, where he developed a reputation as one of the Nations’ top player developers and recruiters. Most recently, Woods spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Wake Forest where he worked primarily with the Demon Deacons’ guards.
A five-year coaching veteran at the collegiate level, Barrett spent the last two seasons at Columbia University and Long Island University in Brooklyn. Barrett was a standout guard at University of Maryland where she ranks among the Terrapins’ career leaders in assists and 3-point shooting and was a third-round pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft.
Gross was on the Eagles’ staff last season as a volunteer assistant and will assist in all aspects of the program while also serving as the Director of Academic Achievement.
An assistant coach under Harper at Montverde Academy last season, George was one of the top players in the history of the University of Florida before playing professionally.
With Woods’ help at Wake Forest, Gina Conti developed into one of best guards and distributors in program history while Alex Sharp scored over 1,000 career points while ranking as one of the school’s top rebounders ever. Woods also guided Amber Campbell to All-ACC Defensive Team honors, marking the first time in nearly 15 years that a Deac was represented on the team, and coached Elisa Penna, the program’s first All-ACC honoree in three years.
“Coach Woods is too good to be true,” said Harper. “Learning and establishing a culture with someone of his caliber is a blessing to me, and I feel honored to have him on staff.”
This past season, Woods helped the Demon Deacons to a pair of ACC Tournament wins over North Carolina and Virginia Tech as Wake had its first .500 season since the 2016-17 campaign.
Prior to Wake, Woods worked as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two seasons at Old Dominion University. Under his watch as recruiting coordinator, the Lady Monarchs’ 2016 class featured an ESPN top-100 prospect, a McDonald’s All-American nominee and a signee who was the leading scorer on a team that ranked in the top 15 nationally, according to ESPNW. His class in 2017 was the top-ranked recruiting class in the State of Virginia, and both of his classes were ranked the best in Conference USA and in the top-45 nationally.
During the 2016-17 season at ODU, Woods helped coach Jennie Simms to AP All-America honors as well as C-USA Player of the Year accolades. Simms was three-time first Team All-C-USA recipient, finished her career ranked fifth all-time in scoring and was the 18th overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft.
Woods got his start in collegiate coaching at Virginia Tech where he was responsible for bringing in a recruiting class that ranked 19th nationally by ESPNW, the highest-rated recruiting class in program history.
As a player, Woods spent one season at Belmont Abbey College before playing his final three seasons at Christopher Newport University where he was a D3hoops.com All-American and a two-time All-South Region selection, Dixie Conference Tournament MVP and First Team honoree. He was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year and broke the team’s 3-point record as a junior before topping his own record as a senior. He holds the Christopher Newport single-game, season and career records for three-pointers made.
Woods was the leading scorer on the only team in CNU history to advance to the Elite 8 and ended his career ranked 10th on the program’s all-time scoring list. Woods spent time as a high school and AAU coach after earning his bachelor’s from Norfolk State University in 2011.
Barrett helped the Lions to a 17-10 record this past season while being responsible for player development while focusing on guards, as well as scouting, team strategy, recruiting operations and analytics. Columbia’s 17 overall wins and eight Ivy victories were its most in a decade and marked just the second time since becoming a Division I program that the Lions posted a winning season.
“Anjalé is the best Terrapin diamond in the rough I could have found,” commented Harper. “Anjalé will have an opportunity to grow and provide invaluable point guard perspective to our program.”
Under her tutelage, freshman and sophomore guards Abbey Hsu and Sienna Durr earned All-Ivy honors, the first time in 12 years that the Lions put two players on All-Conference teams. Hsu was also named the 2019-20 All-Met Women’s Division I Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Met Third Team.
After joining the collegiate coaching ranks at the College of New Rochelle in 2015, Barrett spent two seasons at her alma mater, the University of Maryland, where she served as Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting Operations. In her role, Barrett performed video and scouting related tasks, assisted with recruiting and oversaw Maryland’s scout team. The Terrapins won the 2017 Big Ten championship during Barrett’s tenure and qualified for the NCAA Tournament both seasons.
Barrett’s coaching stint at Maryland was followed by one season at LIU Brooklyn, where she coached 2018-19 NEC Rookie of the Year Brandy Thomas and a pair of all-conference honorees.
Barrett enjoyed a very successful playing career at Maryland from 2008-12. The four-year point guard and senior captain helped lead the Terrapins to the NCAA Tournament all four years, including three appearances in the Elite Eight as well as the 2009 and 2012 ACC titles. To this day, she ranks inside Maryland’s all-time top 10 in career assists (486), 3-point field goal percentage and consecutive games played (130). Her 177 assists as a senior in 2011-12 also rank among the top 10.
A third-round pick, 26th overall, by the Washington Mystics in the 2012 WNBA Draft, Barrett went on to play professionally overseas in France with Club Basket d’Ifs. She led the team to its first playoff and two finals appearances.
The lone holdover from last season’s staff, Gross was a volunteer assistant with the Eagles while also assisting the staff at Catonsville Community College. Gross also held assistant positions at National Christian Academy, Team Take Over and FAIRFAX Stars.
“Bree is an incredibly hungry, up-and-coming coach in the making,” stated Harper. “She is passionate about Coppin and well known in the DMV. We are very lucky to have her.”
Prior to her coaching career, Gross played at Garden City Community College, and after graduating with a degree in computer science, furthered her education at Slippery Rock and Trinity Washington University.
Gross later earned a Master of Arts in Coaching and Athletic Administration and will continue her studies at Michigan State for her Ph.D.
Prior to working with Harper at Montverde, George was a member of the Jamaican National Team where she led her Country to a Gold medal in the Caribbean Championship, and was named a Southeastern Conference (SEC) Legend in March 2018 after a standout career with the Gators.
“Jennifer is one of the most organized, task-oriented people I know,” said Harper. “Having an SEC legend on staff who is devoted to helping us achieve success makes her the perfect fit.”
During her collegiate career, George led Florida to the Second Round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament while earning WBCA All-America Honors and First Team All-SEC accolades as a junior. George, the following season, received Second Team All-Conference and All-Defensive Team recognition. Upon graduation, held the school-record for games played while ranking fourth in blocked shots and seventh in rebounds. George also helped the Gators to three WNIT Tournaments, including a Semifinals appearance in 2013.
George was selected by the Indiana Fever in the third round of the 2013 WNBA Draft as the 33rd overall pick and played professionally in Puerto Rico.
Since graduating from UF with a degree in recreation and event management, George was named a Performance Enhancement Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2015 and has worked as a fitness/strength & conditioning coach at numerous organizations.