Five new assistant coaches serving at JCJC

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2011-09-26 10:30:26

 ELLISVILLE – There are five new assistant coaches serving at Jones County Junior College this season.

Brendan Connolly is helping with the men and women’s soccer teams, Shane Oakley is on the men’s basketball staff, Danetra Forrest is on the women’s basketball staff, Eric Patten is serving on the baseball staff and Randy Craft is a graduate assistant with football.

Brendan Connolly

Connolly, who is from Belfast, Ireland, joined the JCJC coaching staff in August of 2011. He is working mostly with the goalkeepers.

Connolly played soccer in Ireland for Newington, Glentoran and Cliftonville. He came to the United States in August of 2007 on a soccer scholarship to William Carey University.

He was a part of the WCU men’s soccer program from 2007-10. The Crusaders won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) in 2007 and participated in the NAIA men’s soccer national championships in 2009 and 2010. The Crusaders were also ranked in the Top 25 during his time at WCU.

Connolly was named Academic All-American in 2010. He graduated with a BS degree in health, physical education and recreation from WCU in August of 2011 and is currently working on his master’s in sports management at the University of Southern Mississippi. He holds a graduate assistant position in the Human Performance and Recreation Department at Southern Miss.

His family consists of mother and father, Charlotte and Gerry; two sisters, Martina and Lisa; and a brother, Gerard.

Shane Oakley

Oakley comes to JCJC after serving for six years as an assistant for the Northwest Mississippi Community College basketball teams.

In Oakley’s first year at Northwest, the Lady Rangers captured the Region 23 Tournament and advance to the NJCAA National Tournament. He helped lead the Rangers to back-to-back region championships and the NJCAA National Tournament in 2004-05 and 2005-06 under current JCJC head coach Don Skelton.

Oakley was the assistant basketball coach for both the men and women during the 2003-04 season at Mississippi Delta Community College. Before going to Mississippi Delta, Oakley’s first coaching experience came as a graduate assistant at Delta State University during the 2002-03 season.

A native of Senatobia, he graduated from Senatobia High School in 1997 where he earned several letters in football, basketball and baseball.

Oakley attended Northwest in 1997-98 before transferring to Delta State. At Delta State, Oakley received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health and physical education.

He is teaching three Essential College Skills classes at JCJC.

Oakley is the grandson of the late W.C. “Bill” Oakley, who is a member of the Northwest Sports Hall of Fame. His cousins, Drew and Brooks, lettered in baseball at Northwest, and his twin brother Scott is an assistant softball coach at Northwest.

Danetra Forrest

Forrest was a standout player for the University of Mississippi from 2004-2008, helping the Lady Rebels to the Elite Eight during the 2006-07 season under coach Carol Ross.

She was a highly regarded player at Louisville High School, being named the Mississippi High School Player of the Year by The Clarion-Ledger after her senior season. She averaged 34.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 assists per game as a senior. She shot 75.2 percent from the field and 76.6 percent from the foul line at Louisville and participated in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game. She was a two-time Dandy Dozen selection by The Clarion Ledger and was named first-team All-State as a senior.

After receiving her liberal arts degree from Ole Miss, she became the program director for the Boys and Girls Club in Louisville in 2009-10. She then moved to Oxford and worked in private business before coming to JCJC to work for head coach Sandra Sumrall.

She is the daughter of Ruby and Riley Forrest and has a two-year-old son, Khaliq Elijah.

Eric Patten

Patten comes to JCJC from Gulfport High School, where he served as an assistant coach from 2008-11. He was an assistant for current JCJC head coach Christian Ostrander at Gulfport in 2008.

Patten graduated from Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas, in 2000.

He then went to Delta State University, where played for four years. The Statesmen compiled a 208-39 record over his playing career, earning at least 50 wins per year during that time. DSU won two Gulf South Conference championships, three South Central Regional championships, made three Division II College World Series appearances and won the national championship in 2004.

Patten was a three-time, first-team All-GSC selection and a two-time All-Region selection at shortstop. He is in the top 10 of all-time leaders in seven different offensive categories at Delta State.

He received his bachelor of science and general studies degree from DSU in 2005 and his master’s of education in 2006 from DSU.

Patten served as a graduate assistant in 2006 at Delta State, with the team posting a 37-17 record and winning the GSC West title. He was a volunteer assistant in 2007 at DSU. The team posted a 45-16 record, won the GSC West crown and made a South Central Regional appearance.

Patten then went to Gulfport for four seasons. The Admirals made four straight playoff appearances while he was there and won the 2011 District 7-6A title.

Patten is teaching three Personal and Community Health classes at Jones.

He has a daughter, Reese.

Randy Craft

Craft is helping defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Steve Boyd with the secondary.

He has a MS in leadership and administration and a BS in marketing from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and an AA in business education from Jones County Junior College.

Craft was a defensive back for the Bobcats, playing for the state championship team in 2001 and the state runnerup team in 2002. He then went to UTC, serving as the team’s defensive captain and was the team’s Defensive MVP in 2004 while playing in the secondary.

Craft has coached in area high schools, such as Heidelberg High School and Alpha Christian Academy.

He is married to the former Hope Deloach of Ellisville and they have three children.


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