By Dan Carr, Assistant AD for Media Relations
JEFFERSON CITY – Andrea Mize, the head coach of the Lincoln women’s basketball team, announced on Tuesday (Sept. 1) three additions to her coaching staff. Assistant coach Rob McDonald, volunteer assistant Nafeesa Fajri and graduate assistant Brittany Byrd will join the Blue Tigers beginning with the upcoming 2020-21 season.
McDonald spent last season at Eastern Florida State College, helping the program win a season-record 23 games and finish as the second-highest scoring team in the conference. McDonald coached four players who achieved all-league recognition, including three first team all-conference selections. Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, McDonald had tremendous success coaching at the middle school and high school levels, with three high school semifinal appearances and three middle school Elite Eight finishes. McDonald coached 15 players who were recruited to play at NCAA Division I and Division II programs, and one of his players, Mikyla Tolivert, was named the 2020 Florida Miss Basketball.
Fajri served as an assistant coach at Lincoln College Prepatory Academy the past six years, leading the program to a state runner-up finish in 2018-19. Last season, she had helped Lincoln Prep advance to the state Final Four before the season ended prematurely due to COVID-19. Fajri began her coaching career at Penn Valley Community College, serving as an assistant coach from 2000-2002.
Byrd played professionally with the Chicago Legends of the Women’s American Basketball Association, breaking the WABA single-game scoring record with a 69-point performance. She averaged 33.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest while playing an average of 38.5 minutes per game. Byrd also played on the Al Sahel team in Syria as part of the Arab Women Sports Tournament and for the Chicago Lady Range, a semi-pro team in the Women’s Basketball Development Association. A four-year player at Division I Illinois-Chicago, Byrd scored over 1,100 career points to finish 14th in program history.
The Lincoln women’s basketball team is scheduled to play SIU-Edwardsville in a preseason contest on Nov. 18 before opening the 2020-21 season on Nov. 21 with a home game against Central Missouri.