Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Dawley hired as head coach for Minutewomen

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team has a new head coach, and it’s one that is expected to be around for some time.

Just under a month after UMass announced it would not renew the contract of former coach Marnie Dacko, the athletic department signed Sharon Dawley, the former head coach at Vermont, to a seven-year contract to fill the vacancy.

“I am extremely pleased that Sharon is joining us,” UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon said in the team’s press release. “She has a proven record of success and is highly respected by her peers. We are very excited about the future of UMass women’s basketball.”

The seven-year contract is the longest signing for a coach while McCutcheon has been the Athletic Director at UMass. The exact terms of how much the deal is worth was not released because it was an agreement in principle and still had to work its way through the system.

Dawley leaves Vermont after leading the team to one of its most successful seasons. With a 27-7 record this past season, the Catamounts won a second consecutive America East championship and made it to their second-straight NCAA tournament.

After receiving a No. 10 seed, Vermont upset No. 7 Wisconsin in the first round, for its first ever NCAA tournament win, before falling to No. 2 Notre Dame in the Second Round.

Despite her success at Vermont, Dawley saw numerous things that made the job attractive to her and gave her reason to believe there was an opportunity at UMass for even greater success.

“The community, the facilities, the coaches, the conference,” Dawley said. “I don’t see anything that doesn’t say we can’t win here.

“Making the next step, watching the games this year, watching Xavier being two layups away from the Final Four, we have that possibility here. I’ll be honest with you, it’s not something you can turn down. The possibility is just very attractive.”

Dawley was also attracted to the Atlantic 10 conference and its caliber of play.

“I think it is an amazing conference,” Dawley said. “We were fortunate to beat Dayton on a neutral floor and then to see how well they did in the tournament. And [with] Xavier, where they are at now, I’m really fired up about this league. There is some tremendous basketball in this league and you can’t help but get excited about that.”

Prior to speaking at Tuesday’s press conference where her hiring was announced, Dawley met with the Minutewomen. She wanted to make sure her and her new players were on the same page as well as let them know her missions.

“We talked about being a team, we talked about moving forward, we talked about how excited we are to get better every day starting today just by talking and getting our goals on the table,” Dawley said. “I really just have one mission right now and that is to let the returners and the incoming freshman know that I am here for you guys 24/7 and I can’t wait to get going.”

According to Dawley, many of her staff from Vermont will be coming with her to UMass, and others will have opportunities to join her staff

In her seven seasons with the Catamounts, Dawley led the team to a 128-86 overall record with at least 20 wins coming in each of the last three seasons.

Prior to coaching at Vermont, Dawley spent six years as an assistant coach at Dartmouth from 1997-2003 and nine years as the head coach at Tufts from 1984-1993. While at Tufts, Dawley was 137-62 (.688) and never had a losing season.

“This all ready feels like home and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here,” Dawley said.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at jlarnard@dailycollegian.com.

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