New Head Coach Joe Frager is nationally known as a good recruiter. After last season’s D-II National Championship at Southern Connecticut State, Frager was not only named D-II Coach of the Year, but was also voted by his fellow coaches as the top recruiter in the country.

Former Head Coach Dianne Nolan mostly signed this year’s class, but Frager made sure that her three signings, Niya Santiago, Mesha Joseph, and Ayriell Robinson, would still be coming to Fairfield as soon as he was hired.

“When I got the job, one of the first things I did was contact them by phone,” said Frager. “I really didn’t have to do much convincing. I introduced myself as the new coach and asked them point blank if they still wanted to come and all of them said ‘yes.'”

But Frager did make his imprint by signing two of the top high school players in Connecticut last season. He signed Joelle Nawrocki from Farmington High School, who he had originally signed with him at Southern, a McDonald’s All-American Nominee.

He then brought in Kelly Romano, a 5’7″ guard from Staples-Westport in September, a two-time All-Area player who led her team to 63 wins over her four years there.

Nawrocki, a 5’11” guard who scored 1,153 points in her high school career, should make an immediate impact on the Stags.

“The attributes that I have always seen in Joelle are that she is so competitive and extremely athletic, giving us a tall guard around 5’11,” said Frager. “She runs the floor extremely well, and I know what type of person she is from the recruiting process. So, I knew I was getting a solid person.”

Santiago, a 5’2″ guard from South Plainfield, N.J., averaged 11.6 points per game and 5 assists per game as a senior, while being named First Team All-State.

Joseph, a 6’2″ forward from Brooklyn, N.Y., should see time in the post right away. She averaged 11.5 points and 15 rebounds as a senior and was named Second Team All-State.

Robinson is another taller guard, at 5’9″, from Spring, TX. She was originally from New Orleans, but relocated to Texas for her junior and senior seasons. Robinson averaged 14.4 points and 5.1 steals per game in her senior year en route to All-Region accolades.

“I think that the freshmen will be freshmen,” said Frager. “We will try and bring them along slowly. It’s tough to go from high school basketball to D-I college basketball, it’s a heck of a jump.”

Frager will look for the freshmen to add depth to a team that returns all five starters from last season but will need more scoring off the bench, something all five of the freshmen could bring to the table.

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