In four seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University, Jennifer Gabou, the former Jennifer Magley, has transformed the women's tennis program into a contender in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Now entering her fifth season at FGCU, Gabou was named the program's third head coach on July 1, 2008.
Gabou led FGCU to a program record 11 dual match wins in the 2012-2013 season and the first winning record in Division I program history. Three Eagles collected a total of four Atlantic SUn postseason honors as Sarah Meanswas named to the All-Atlantic Sun second team in the No. 1 singles spot and the Academic All-Atlantic Sun Conference team, while freshmen Elizabeth Means and Johanna Sterkelwere both named to the All-Freshman team.
In the classroom during the 2012-13 season, her team reached the highest term GPA recorded in ten semesters; highest overall GPA recorded in ten semesters; fifth consecutive semester leading the athletic department in highest overall GPA; second time in ten terms to lead the athletic department in both term and overall GPA; team tied for greatest percentage of “A”s among all sports, no grade less than a “C” earned (only two “C”s among all 43 earned grades); 9 of 10 student-athletes maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or better.
The 2011-12 season was the most successful campaign in the program’s Division I history, as FGCU posted a 6-3 record in A-Sun action to finish third in the league standings, the best finish in program history. As the No. 3 seed, the Green and Blue made their first appearance in the A-Sun Tournament and advanced to the semifinals against second-seeded ETSU. FGCU finished with a program D-I record 10 wins.
A trio of Eagles also earned postseason recognition, as Sarah Means was named to the A-Sun All-Freshmen team and All-Conference second squad, while Morgan Bechtel and Bettina Botha were both selected to the inaugural Academic All-Conference squad. Additionally, the Green and Blue were named a 2012 ITA All-Academic team as Bechtel, Botha, Melissa Narzissenfeld, Zhoe Solaun and Marina Diez were tabbed ITA Scholar Athletes. Needing a 3.2 cumulative team grade-point average (GPA) to qualify for the ITA’s annual academic honor, the Eagles’ eight-player roster last year sported an impressive 3.62 combined GPA. Out of the eight players, seven achieved a 3.0 GPA for the 2011-12 academic year.
Continuing the team effort to volunteer at local organizations and support other FGCU athletic programs, the 2012 women's tennis team was the recipient of the Eagle Team Spirit award for the second straight year. This award is given to the team that exemplifies Eagle Spirit and team support. Eagle spirit is defined during the academic year by attending other sports’ contests, serving the community and achieving excellence in the classroom.
In the summer of 2011, Gabou was named the Chair of the NCAA Women's Tennis Southeast Region for the second consecutive season. As the chair of the 19-team region, Gabou will serve as an ITA National Ranking Committee member and an ITA National Tournament Committee member. Amongst her many responsibilities, Gabou will help determine the at-large and wild card selections for ITA National Tournaments, work the ITA Fall Regional Tournament in Athens, Ga., and determine the region award winners.
In 2010-11, Gabou led the Eagles to a 9-9 overall record with a 4-6 A-Sun record during her third season at the helm. She helped the Eagles post a 7-2 home record, including four straight wins from Mar. 14-21. FGCU picked up conference wins over Belmont, Mercer, Lipscomb and USC Upstate. In 2009-10, Gabou led the Eagles to their first-ever winning season in A-Sun action with a 6-4 record and a tie for fourth place finish in the regular season standings. The Eagles landed a pair of players on the All-Conference second team and Morgan Betchel on the All-Freshmen team, the first in program history. FGCU also garnered two academic awards from the FGCU Athletic Department with the "Most Improved GPA" and "Highest Individual Sport GPA." Additionally, last year's team achieved their goal of completing 400 hours of community service, highlighted by the creation of Spring Bling with their community partners. The atrium of the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida was transformed into a glamorous evening for over 100 patients undergoing treatment at the hospital, giving every patient an opportunity to feel like a star.
In Gabou's first season at FGCU, the Eagles finished eighth in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Newcomers Priscillia Villemond and Eva Sambrano were named to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team and five players garnered Atlantic Sun All-Academic honors. The FGCU Lady Eagle tennis team performed over 300 community service hours in the Fort Myers area at large as a part of their commitment to philanthropy.
A 2005 graduate of the University of Florida, Gabou came to FGCU after a year as the Associate Head Coach at Wichita State and after spending time playing professionally on the WTA Tour.
In her one season at Wichita State, Gabou helped guide the Shockers to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championship match and a final ITA ranking of No. 72. Each member of the Shockers' starting lineup was represented on the MVC's All-Conference teams. In addition, two members of the squad were named MVC scholar-athletes. WSU junior Torie Browning was awarded the 2008 ITA Central Region's Arthur Ashe Award. The Shockers finished the year with a 16-8 overall record and a 7-1 mark in the Valley.
Prior to coaching, Gabou had a standout career on the court at Florida in 2005 where she earned a No. 1 ranking in the ITA's NCAA Division I singles and No. 2 ranking in doubles. She finished her career with an 86-21 record in doubles, the second-most wins in doubles at Florida. She was named to the American Express All-Star team, coached by Stan Smith that competed in China. While at the University of Florida, Gabou was a first team Arthur Ashe Scholar, was named to the SEC Good Works Team and was the MVP of the SEC Tournament.
Her other honors included being a finalist for the Honda Award, a four-time ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American and four-time ITA All-American. Gabou helped Florida win a National Championship in 2003 with a 31-2 record and was a semifinalist in the NCAA Tournament in both singles and doubles.
As a junior player, Gabou was awarded a full scholarship to train under the tutelage of legendary coach Nick Bollettieri at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. While at IMG she was also on the USTA Junior USA Team where she represented the United States in over 20 different countries. She traveled to Japan to compete for the USA in the Sony Life Cup with teammates Laura Granville, Ansley Cargill, Sandra Cacic, Monica Seles, Mary Jo Fernandez, and Lisa Raymond.
Gabou resides in Fort Myers, Fla. with her husband Desire Gabou and son Blake, who was born in 2012.