University of Akron head women’s basketball coach Melissa Jackson announced two additions to the Zips’ basketball staff for the 2018-19 season on Thursday, pending formal approval from the University’s Board of Trustees.
Joining Jackson’s staff are associate head coach Colleen Day and video coordinator Brooklyn Taylor.
“I could not be more excited to welcome Coach Day to our Akron Family. I knew from day one Coach Day was someone I wanted to work with and help me build this program. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our staff,” said Jackson. “Having won a MAC championship as both a player and a coach, she knows what it takes to win in this very competitive league. Coach Day will also serve as our recruiting coordinator. Her work ethic and ties to our main recruiting areas will only enhance our program.”
Day spent the past season at IUPUI (Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis) as an assistant coach.
In 2017-18, Day helped lead IUPUI to a 22-10 record and a postseason appearance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) against Purdue. Day, who worked primarily with the post players, helped develop and mentor the 2018 Horizon League Freshman of the Year Macee Williams.
Off the court, Day was the lead assistant on the staff overseeing team academics and served as the liaison to the academic coordinator. The Jaguars squad saw the highest semester GPA in program history (3.62).
Prior to IUPUI, Day spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) University, working under Cleve Wright (2013-17) as the lead assistant, and as an assistant coach under Maria Fantanarosa (2006-2013). Day ended her time with the RedHawks as the offensive coach, scouting coordinator, and recruiting coordinator. In her tenure in Oxford, Miami recorded 146 wins, captured the 2008 Mid-American Conference Championship, made one appearance in the NCAA tournament and two trips to the WNIT. Day recruited, coached, and mentored six All-MAC selections while two of her mentees went on to play professional basketball.
Miami’s forwards saw success under Day’s tutelage as Kirsten Olowinski became the all-time leader at Miami with 1,154 rebounds as well as the school record holder with 41 career double-doubles. With Day’s assistance, Laura Markwood recorded 359 rebounds during the 2007-08 season, setting a new single-season school record.
On top of the on-court success, Day specialized in alumni relations and was an academic liaison for the RedHawks, seeing the team record its highest-ever grade point average (GPA) during the 2014-15 season. As part of a big initiative, Day directed Miami’s annual “Love, Honor, Care” game which helped raise over $30,000 for a local charity, Luna Cares.
Day, a four-time letterwinner and three-time team captain for Miami University (2001-04), which was crowned the 2003 MAC East Champion, 2004 MAC regular-season champion, competed in the 2004 WNIT tournament and moved onto the round of 16. Following her senior season (2004), she was named the first Academic All-American in program history, a first-team All-MAC selection and Player of the Year runner-up, earned the Miami University LeAnn Grimes Davidge award and named Miami Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
To date, Day still remains as one of the best to ever don a RedHawk uniform. The 6-0 forward started 106 of the 114 career games in which she played, averaging 11.1 points and 7.0 rebounds for her career. She ranks 11th all-time in scoring (1,269 points), fifth in rebounds (794), and 10th in steals (209). Day led the team in scoring during the 2003-04 season and was the top rebounder for three seasons. Her four-year career produced one of the highest free-throw percentages ever at Miami (.805) ranking seventh all-time.
In 2015-16, Day was honored for her successful four years as a RedHawk student-athlete and was inducted in the Miami University Hall of Fame.
Day earned three degrees from Miami, recently completing her Ph.D. in educational leadership in August of 2017, earned a master’s degree in sports studies (2007), and a bachelor’s degree in English secondary education (2004).
Taylor comes to Akron after spending the previous two seasons as the Mercer University women’s basketball graduate assistant.
“I recruited Brooklyn a few years ago and I knew then she had a great love and passion for the game. That passion has only grown and now I’m very happy to recruit her to my staff,” said Jackson. “Brooklyn is a hard worker and very eager to learn. She has had good experience with video and is very creative. I think she will do a great job as our video coordinator.”
In her two seasons with the Bears’ program, Taylor assisted the Mercer coaching staff in preparing game film and scouting reports while observing individual and team workouts. She hired and organized team managers involved with the program and also created recruiting mail-out documents and schedules. Mercer went 25-7 en route to its second straight Southern Conference regular-season title in Taylor’s first season in Macon.
Taylor participated in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” program at the 2016 NCAA Final Four, helping assist young women who aspire to become coaches.
Prior to joining the Mercer staff, Taylor played in 70 career games for St. Francis (Pa.). In her career with the Red Flashes, she scored 210 points, grabbed 127 rebounds, while recording 64 assists, 38 steals, and 13 blocks.
Taylor earned her master’s of education in higher education leadership from Mercer in December 2017 and a bachelor’s of science in exercise physiology. She is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist via the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She is a former member of Saint Francis’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Student-Athlete Mentors (SAMS) programs.DI Staff Update