MaryLynn Skarzenski named women's basketball coach

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DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College Director of Athletics Chris Colvin has announced the hiring of MaryLynn Skarzenski '09 as the college's head women's basketball coach.

Skarzenski returns to the hill following four years as the head coach at Mitchell College, where she twice tied the program record for wins (16) and guided the Mariners to the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Semifinals (2013-14 & 2015-16). In four years at Mitchell, Skarzenski posted a record of 57-47 (.548 winning pct.) and coached a pair of NECC Player of the Year award winners, as well as 10 all-conference performers. Off the court, Skarzenski's team maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) above a 3.0.  

Last month, Skarzenski was named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Thirty Under 30, which was created to recognize 30 up-and-coming women's basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game. Each honoree has exemplified their involvement in community service, mentorship and impact on others, professional manner, and attitude and professional association involvement. She was one of only five head coaches on the list, which spans Division I, II, and III.

"I am incredibly humbled and excited for the opportunity to lead the Nichols College women's basketball program, and ecstatic to be back on the hill," explained Skarzenski, who remains No. 4 all-time in scoring at Nichols with 1,333 points. "I would like to thank Chris Colvin and Nichols College for giving me this tremendous opportunity. My time at Nichols as a student-athlete was rewarding in so many ways and I want to provide that same experience to the next generation of Bison. I look forward to what lies ahead for the women's basketball program, as we strive for greatness in the classroom, on the court, and in the community.  Finally, I would like to thank Mitchell College and Dana Fulmer Garfield for the support and the opportunity to lead their women's basketball program."

Skarzenski also served as the Assistant Athletic Director, Senior Women Administrator, and Scheduling Coordinator at Mitchell. She oversaw academic reporting and organized the transportation needs for all of Mitchell's 14 programs, while assisting with the compliance work for the department.

Prior to her arrival at Mitchell, Skarzenski spent two years as the head women's basketball coach at Daniel Webster College. While in Nashua, she compiled a two-year mark of 33-22 and saw the team's turnover rate decrease by 3.7 percent during that span. The Eagles played in the NECC Championship game in Skarzenski's first season, where they suffered a two-point loss to Elms College. The following season, they advanced to the conference semifinals.

"I am excited to welcome MaryLynn Skarzenski back to Nichols," said Colvin, who added that Skarzenski will also serve as an Assistant AD at the college and manage the Athletic & Recreation Center. "As an alumnus and member of the Nichols Athletics Hall of Fame, MaryLynn is already part of the Bison Family. I am thrilled that she will now also be an integral part of the day-to-day operations of the entire department and, specifically, the women's basketball program. MaryLynn emerged from an extremely deep and talented pool of over 190 total applicants. However, the passion, drive, and love for Nichols that MaryLynn brings, coupled with the fact that she has six years of quality experience as a Division III head women's basketball coach in New England, made MaryLynn the clear choice. I can't wait to see her lead this program back to annual success in the CCC and the region."

Skarzenski – who cut her teeth in coaching as an assistant at the University of New England (2009-11) –is a 2014 graduate of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy and was a participant in the 2015 WBCA Center for Coaching Excellence. She is in her third year as a member of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee and her fourth year as a WBCA conference captain. 

Skarzenski is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Nichols College History. She is the women's basketball program's all-time leader in games played (115), assists (641), and steals (409). A four-time Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) First Team selection and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, she was named the conference's Player of the Year & Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year following her senior campaign.

Skarzenski graduated with a Bachelor of Arts as she majored in mathematics and minored in psychology. She went on to earn her Master's Degree in Sport Leadership at Northeastern in 2016, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Skarzenski was inducted into the Nichols College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.