Jul 18, 2016
|Caitlin Hadzimichalis, King's College head coach|
Three months after leaving King's to take over Keystone's program, Caitlin Hadzimichalis returned to Wilkes-Barre to lead the Lady Monarchs' program instead.
King's College Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Cheryl Ish announced Hadzimichalis has been named head women's basketball coach at the college. She becomes the sixth head coach in the history of the program since its start in 1974-75.
Hadzimichalis, who had been the lead assistant coach at King's for the past seven seasons, takes over for former head coach Brian Donoghue who left King's to take an assistant coaching position at NCAA Division I University of Vermont. Donoghue went 163-129 in 11 seasons with the Monarchs.
While at King's, Hadzimichalis was heavily involved in all aspects of the Lady Monarch program, including recruiting, scouting, game-planning, film editing and review, and positional skill-work and player development. In addition, Hadzimichalis was involved with student-athletes from many different sports at King's as a part of the college's Special Olympics Basketball Program as well as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
"I am thrilled to announce Caitlin as new the head women's basketball coach at King's," Ish stated. "Caitlin has been a valued member of our King's family for seven years. Her loyalty to the women's basketball program is just one of the many reasons the search committee felt she was the absolute right person to take the program to the next level. Caitlin's passion for the game along with her commitment to providing our student-athletes with a competitive, positive experience was a significant factor in our decision. Caitlin truly believes in the Division III philosophy and has demonstrated her understanding and dedication to the mission of King's College."
In her seven years at King's, Hadzimichalis helped the Lady Monarchs to a 104-79 record and three MAC Freedom Conference Tournament berths. In 2011-12, King's finished 24-6, placed second in the Freedom Conference Tournament, and qualified for the NCAA Division III National Tournament. At nationals, King's won two games, including a stunning 64-63 upset of eighth-ranked William Paterson University to advance to the NCAA "Sweet 16". A year later in 2012-13, the Monarchs went 21-6, finished second in the Freedom Conference Tournament, and narrowly missed an at-large berth to the national tournament.
"I'd first like to thank Cheryl Ish and the rest of the search committee for listening to my vision for the future of the King's College women's basketball program and believing in my plan to grow the team on and off the court. It is a surreal feeling to be given the opportunity to bring my own personal style to the program. I also cannot express my appreciation enough to Brian Donoghue for all that he has done for me personally and professionally the last seven years. I've learned a lot as a player and as a coach, and I'm ready to make the jump to the first chair. Women's basketball has a deep history within the King's community, so I am honored and thankful to be the next person entrusted to guide us back to elite status."
The past three seasons Hadzimichalis would take on more and more responsibility after Donoghue was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her familiarity with the returning players as well having been heavily involved with recruiting King's incoming freshmen class will help create a smooth transition.
"The current roster and incoming players are one of the main reasons I wanted to return to King's. We've been through some highs and lows together on the court and I'm looking forward to bringing back that consistency. I place a high value on our relationships off the court, and I am excited to help these young women to continue to develop in the other aspects of their lives as well. My transition to head coach will absolutely be aided by having already established trusted relationships with the players and my colleagues at King's. I won't have to worry about day to day logistics. I can better focus my attention on preparations and player development for this upcoming season."
King’s gain is Keystone College’s loss as Hadzimichalis accepted the Giants’ head coaching position in April. The Giants have changed coaches four times – five times counting Hadzimichalis -- since another King's alum, Carissa Ryan, left the program after the 2007-2008 season. Each Keystone coach has lasted two seasons or less.