Harris announces women’s basketball staff additions

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn women’s basketball head coach Johnnie Harris announced two more additions to her staff Thursday as Marlene Navor and Savannah Carter have joined the Auburn Family.

Navor will be the team’s Director of Recruiting Operations, and Carter will serve as Auburn’s Director of Player Development.

“I am excited about the opportunity to add Marlene and Savannah to our staff,” Harris said. “Marlene’s experience along with her championship and creative mindset will be instrumental in building our program. Savannah’s experience and knowledge of what it takes to play at the highest level will be valuable in helping our players adapt to our culture and our system.”

Navor comes to Auburn after spending the last 11 years as Director of Athletics Communications and Creative Content at the College of Charleston. She oversaw the daily media relations, publicity and multimedia efforts for the Cougars’ 19-sport program, working primarily with men’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf and equestrian.

““I am excited to join Head Coach Johnnie Harris’ staff at Auburn University,” Navor said. “We have known each other for close to 15 years, and our careers have been spent elevating programs and developing/promoting next-level talent. I look forward to helping her and the staff recruit top prospective student-athletes, in the country and internationally, to this great institution as well as build another championship program and annual contender in the SEC, as we did together in the past. I am humbled and blessed to continue to work with coaches and student-athletes on a daily basis, while helping them achieve and fulfill their dreams on-and-off the court.”

Navor has spent the last 20 years in Division I college athletics working with local and national media outlets including as an assistant media relations director at Texas A&M from 2006-10. Navor served as the primary contact for both the nationally-ranked women’s basketball and men’s tennis programs for four years prior to CofC.

While at Texas A&M, she was a part of a creative and innovative SID and graphic design team which changed the entire college landscape of the traditional media guide to its current state as a recruiting and/or virtual guide. Her 2008-09 women’s basketball hardcover recruiting guide received “Best in the Nation” distinction by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and was deemed vital by the coaching staff as the “first-look” recruits saw before making an official visit on campus.

Prior to Texas A&M, she was assistant sports information director at Kansas State (2003-06) and UNLV (2001-03). Her women’s basketball team at K-State won the WNIT in 2006, and her UNLV women’s basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament in 2002. While in Las Vegas, she also volunteered with the Tiger Woods Foundation’s annual charity and fundraising event, Tiger Jam, held at Mandalay Bay.

Overall, she has handled the media relations efforts for a U.S. Open (tennis) qualifier, eight U.S. Amateur (golf) qualifiers, 11 All-Americans, two John R. Wooden and Naismith National Player of the Year Award finalists, five conference players of the year, three NBA Draft second-round picks and 11 current and former WNBA players.

A graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University, Navor earned her bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in print journalism and a minor in sport management in 2000. She served as a student assistant in the WSU sports information office for four years (1997-2000), volunteer student assistant in the UTEP sports information office (Summer of 1998), sports editor of the WSU student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen (Summer of 1999), and later completed an athletic communications internship at the University of Connecticut (2000-01).

The Olympia, Wash., native is a member of the CoSIDA Job Seekers Committee and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). She has aided in media coordination for multiple NCAA postseason events, including a men’s regional, two Women’s Final Fours and three Men’s Final Fours.

Carter comes to The Plains after spending the 2020-21 school year as assistant coach at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi. Playing a truncated schedule, Carter helped her team to a 5-4 record in 2021.

“I am excited to be welcomed into the Auburn Family,” Carter said. “As a former SEC player it feels as though I have come full circle to once again be part of such an electric and fiercely competitive, tough conference. It is a remarkable opportunity. I thank Coach Harris for this chance to assist as the Director of Player Development in the rebuilding of this program. I look forward to Auburn returning to its winning culture. War Eagle!”

She spent two seasons as head coach at Jacksonville College (Texas) in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Prior to that, she was an assistant at Jacksonville College the previous season and at Murray State College (Okla.) in 2016-17. Carter got her coaching start at the AAU ranks, working with the Oklahoma Dream Team during the summers in 2011, ’12 and ’13 and Oklahoma Magic in 2016. She also worked camps at Mississippi State from 2014-17.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Carter was a top recruit out of Tulsa, signing with Grambling State out of high school. She played in 30 games at GSU in 2011-12, averaging 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, and her 3.3 assists/game ranked third in the SWAC. She transferred to Trinity Valley CC (Texas), leading them to a 36-1 record and an NJCAA national championship, averaging 11.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

She finished her playing career at Mississippi State with Harris and head coach Vic Schaefer, finishing fourth in the SEC in steals as a junior in 2013-14. Injuries limited her to 23 appearances as a senior in 2014-15, but she was named to the SEC Community Service Team.

Carter has an associate’s degree from Trinity Valley, a bachelor’s from Mississippi State and is pursuing a Master’s in sport administration from Concordia University.