Jaguars Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Past Conferences: None
City: Mobile, Alabama
Arena: Mitchell Center
NCAA Tournaments: 8 (1979, 1980, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2008)


National Championships: None
Conference Titles: 12 (1979, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Team History

South Alabama began play in the 1968-69 season under coach Rex Frederick and by 1971-72 had made the move to Division I. After a 7-17 record in its first year as a Division I team, it didn’t take the Jaguars long to become a solid team, going 22-6 in its third season at the Division I level. The Jaguars were known for loading up on home games, which they could do as an independent. The 1973-74 team had 20 home games and eight on the road. The following year it was 17 homes and eight away trips.

South Alabama joined the Sun Belt Conference for the 1976-77 season and won the conference title in its third year, earning the team’s first berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Jaguars returned to the NCAA Tournament the following season but missed out on a berth in 1980-81 despite going 22-5. The Jaguars did play in the NIT, where they reached the semifinals. South Alabama returned to the NIT in 1984.

The Jaguars returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1989, where they upset Alabama in the first round, and also made appearances in 1991, 1997 and 1998, losing their first game each time. South Alabama hit a brief stretch of mediocrity, not winning more than 15 games for five straight seasons before Bill Musselman led it back to the NCAA Tournament in 1997. The Jaguars returned the following season and earned an NIT berth in 2001.

South Alabama returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and received an NIT invite in 2007. The Jaguars made their most recent NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008. The team competed in the CIT in 2013 and had its most recent postseason appearance in 2022 when South Alabama reached the semifinals of The Basketball Classic.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored

    • Jeff Hodge, 2,221
    • Augustine Rubit, 1,917
    • Terry Catledge, 1,866
  • Rebounds

    • Augustine Rubit, 1,183
    • Terry Catledge, 932
    • Josh Ajayi, 829
  • Assists

    • Cedric Yelding, 566
    • Jeff Hodge, 461
    • Demetrice Williams, 429


Has South Alabama Ever Been Ranked?

South Alabama was ranked for eight weeks in the 1979-80 season. The Jaguars entered the poll at No. 16 in Week 5 and reached as high as No. 11 in Week 9. The Jaguars ended the season unranked.

When Did South Alabama Become the Jaguars?

In 1965, the South Alabama Board of Trustees selected the Jaguar as the University’s official mascot. During the late 1960s, South Alabama housed a live jaguar on the campus.

However, the University later decided against housing a live animal on campus after Mischka, who was recovering after being treated for a bad tooth, decided to take a tour of the campus after someone made the mistake of leaving her pen door unlocked.

How Many South Alabama Players Went on to Play in the NBA? 

The Jaguars have seen five players play in at least one regular season NBA game. Two players, Kelvin Cato and Terry Catledge played in more than 500 games. Catledge has the highest scoring average at 12.66 points per game of any of the players, as well as the highest rebounding and assists average.

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