Carpenter named SGTC athletic director and Lady Jets head basketball coach

Published 6:43 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – Jason Carpenter, former assistant women’s and men’s basketball coach at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City Beach, FL, and Georgia Highlands College in Rome, GA, has been named as the new South Georgia Technical College athletic director and Lady Jets head basketball coach, announced SGTC President Dr. John Watford.  He starts immediately.

Carpenter is only the third head basketball coach of the South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets in the 19-year history of the women’s program and only the fourth athletic director.  He replaces James Frey, who was named associate head coach of the New Mexico State University Aggies women’s basketball team.  The New Mexico State Aggies play in the Division I Conference USA league.

Jason Carpenter was the assistant coach of the Gulf Coast State College men’s basketball team last season and was the assistant women’s basketball coach at Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Georgia, for the 2021 – 2022 season with Brandon Harrell, who was the first SGTC women’s basketball coach.  The Lady Chargers finished second in the NJCAA National Tournament with a 32 – 3 overall record that season.  Harrell left SGTC in 2012 to start the Georgia Highlands women’s basketball program.

Carpenter coached twice at Gulf Coast State College and at Georgia Highlands.  He was at Gulf Coast in 2019 – 2021 before returning for the 2022 – 2023 season.  He coached at Georgia Highlands in 2018 – 2019 and again in 2021 – 2022 and has coached both men’s and women’s teams.

He was the head women’s basketball coach at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY from 2009 – 2018 where he compiled a 232 – 50 career record as a head coach in the NJCAA Division III league.  He was recognized five times as the NJCAA Division III District A Coach of the Year.  His team was ranked in the top five in the NJCAA Division III National Poll in all nine seasons.  He led four teams to NJCAA National Championship Final Four appearances and finished as National Runner-up in 2023.  The Basketball Coaches Association of NY acknowledged him as the Junior College Coach of the Year in 2017.  Carpenter also served as the Assistant to the Athletic Director at Mohawk Valley.

“We are very fortunate to have an individual like Jason Carpenter to lead our athletic program and Lady Jets basketball team this fall,” said SGTC President Dr. John Watford.  “Carpenter is a distinguished coach with 19 years of exceptional success consistently building and leading individuals and teams to their maximum potential on and off the floor.  He is an enthusiastic recruiter with excellent communication skills, a well-established network of professional contacts, and proven ability to attract the highest caliber of student-athletes.  We are looking forward to great things from him as our new athletic director and Lady Jets head coach.”

Carpenter has a Master of Science in Sports Management from the United State Sports Academy in Daphne, AL and he has a Bachelor of Science in History from SUNY College in Oneonta, NY.  He graduated with honors from both institutions and received the 2006 Crippen Award for Excellence in American History from SUNY College.  He earned an Associate of Science in General Studies from Mohawk Valley Community College, where he would later return to coach.  He also received the Distinguished NJCAA Academic All-American award and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society.

Carpenter is familiar with the South Georgia Technical College Athletic program.  He has been coaching against the Jets and Lady Jets for the past five years.  “I have always been very impressed with the South Georgia Technical College athletic program,” said Carpenter.  “And we always hated to come to the Hangar to play because we knew we were in for a tough battle.  The teams were always competitive and that is a tradition I hope to continue.”

The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets have made seven consecutive trips to the NJCAA National Tournament under Coach James Frey.  They have qualified for the national tournament 10 times.  One under head coach Brandon Harrell in 2009 – 2010 and nine times with Coach Frey. Last season the Lady Jets finished 33 – 2 overall and had a 33-game winning streak.  They lost the first game of the season and the last in the Elite Eight at the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, TX.

The 33 – 2 record was the best ever for the Lady Jets and they were ranked number one in the NJCAA national poll for nine straight weeks and earned the number one ranking entering the NJCAA national tournament.  They defeated Moberly Area Community College in the sweet sixteen round of the national tournament and then lost in the Elite Eight to the eventual champion Northwest Florida State 71 – 62.  The Lady Jets were up by 18 in the third quarter of that game and lost by 11.

The Lady Jets will be in a rebuilding year for 2023 – 2024.  They graduated nine sophomores and lost all five of their starters, including Alexia Dizeko, WBCA Two-year Player of the Year and a WBCA All-American.

“I am very excited about this opportunity, but I realize that I have my work cut out for me,” said Carpenter.  “We are basically starting over with a very young team but I think we have the opportunity to be competitive.  I look forward to the challenge and I hope everyone will come out and support us this season.”

Carpenter has two children, a daughter, Isabella, 10, and a son, Jason, 8.