April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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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