Homestead grad Geist among additions to Mastodons staff

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball head coach Maria Marchesano has announced her coaching staff for the 2020-21 season: Lauren Macer, Steven Asher, Hannah Albrecht and Jazmyne Geist.

Lauren Macer comes to Purdue Fort Wayne from Division II Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio where she served as the head coach for the Falcons. She was the head coach at Notre Dame from 2017-2021, taking over a team that went 15-13 in 2016-17 and leading the Falcons to a 78-32 (.709) record over four seasons. In 2020, Macer led her squad to the NCAA Division II Tournament before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Macer was named the Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year in 2020. Notre Dame won the MEC regular season and tournament titles in 2020 and made the conference tournament championship in 2018. This past season, Macer led the Falcons to a 14-4 record.

Prior to being named the head coach at Notre Dame, she played for the Falcons, where she was a 1,000-point scorer. After finishing her career as the best free throw shooter in program history, she joined the staff as a volunteer assistant, then transitioned to graduate assistant, and was promoted to assistant coach for the 2016-17 season.

“When I decided to move back home and start this new journey with Purdue Fort Wayne, Lauren was the first call I made for my new staff, Marchesano said. “I have watched her grow from a player into a very successful head coach and I am very excited she’s joining me here. She brings a passion and competitive nature that is contagious, as well as some very strong Midwest recruiting ties. She will be huge asset to our program.”

Steven Asher is fresh off a Women’s National Invitational Tournament championship with Division I Rice University. In Asher’s one season with the Owls, he helped lead the team to a 23-4, 12-2 Conference USA record. The Owls defeated Arizona State, Fresno State, California Baptist, Delaware and Ole Miss in their road to the WNIT championship.

Prior to his time at Rice, Asher spent four years as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball program at NCAA Division II Catawba College. Asher and the Indians advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both 2019 and 2020 while winning the South Atlantic Conference in 2020. He also helped lead NCAA Division III Lycoming College to an NCAA Tournament appearance and conference title in 2016. Asher was a member of the University of Maryland’s men’s basketball staff for three years, two as a graduate assistant and one as an intern. While with Maryland, the Terrapins advanced to the semifinal of the Big Ten Tournament and the Round of 32 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

“Coach Asher came on to my radar pretty late in the process, but his wide array of experience – including his most recent as assistant coach with the WNIT Champions Rice squad – immediately stood out to me, Marchesano said. “He is a basketball junkie who has a strong background with player development both on the men’s and women’s side of the game.”

Hannah Albrecht is a familiar face to Purdue Fort Wayne, as she played three seasons for the Mastodons and was a student assistant coach in 2020-21. She served a large role in the transition between coaching staffs. As a player, Albrecht scored over 1,000 points in her career, with 752 of them coming in a Mastodon uniform. She was the Summit League Player of the Week once in her senior season and was a Summit League Academic Honor Roll member three times.

“Hannah is a young star in this profession!” Marchesano said. “She has a great basketball mind, an ability to connect with people, and a love for this program that you can see in her work each and every day. I am pumped she will be staying with the program and helping us grow in all facets.”

Jazmyne Geist returns to Fort Wayne after spending four seasons as a player at fellow Horizon League member Northern Kentucky. A Homestead High School graduate, Geist was a role player on her first two Norse teams before having her career cut short with injuries. At Homestead, Geist led the team to an IHSAA Class 4A state title as a senior. She made the state semifinals in each of her three years on varsity.

“Jazmyne brings a lot of great experience and connections to our program,” Marchesano said. “Coming from NKU she has great familiarity with the Horizon League and being a Fort Wayne native, she has a ton of pride for Fort Wayne basketball. With her injury, she was able to gain a lot of great experience on the coaching side of things over the last few years and is going to be a great addition to our staff.”

Macer, Asher, Albrecht and Geist will help lead Purdue Fort Wayne in its first season under the direction of Marchesano, the reigning Northeast Conference Coach of the Year.

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