Martin Jarmond has announced the hiring of Joanna Bernabei-McNamee as the new coach of the Boston College women’s basketball team. Bernabei-McNamee comes to BC from SUNY Albany, where she spent 2 seasons as head coach and brought Albany to 1 NCAA Tournament. She previously spent 3 seasons as the head coach at Pikeville, 1 season as the head coach of West Virginia Wesleyan College, and has been an assistant coach at a number of schools since 1997, including Maryland and West Virginia. She played college ball at West Liberty State College and graduated with 1317 career points.
Speaking to bceagles.com, Bernabei-McNamee said that “Martin Jarmond and his staff are committed to greatness and I will match their energy and enthusiasm. Together we will bring an unprecedented winning spirit back to the BC women’s basketball program.”
When Bernabei-McNamee took over as head coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1997 she was the youngest college head coach in the NCAA. She was an assistant on Maryland’s 2006 NCAA Champion team and as head coach at Pikeville lead the team to a 63–26 record over 3 seasons and 1 Final Four appearance.
Although Bernabei-McNamee isn’t from a big name program, there are some promising facts about her career. When she took over at Albany, the team saw significant improvement throughout her first season and ended the year with 10 straight regular season wins. The Eagles definitely need a coach with a track record of helping a team to improve throughout the season, as we’ve seen the team have the same coachable issues year after year and game after game. Additionally Bernabei-McNamee served as the recruiting coordinator at a number of the universities she has worked at, including bringing in 4 nationally ranked recruiting classes at Maryland... and the Eagles desperately need someone with experience recruiting good players to a variety of programs.
Bernabei-McNamee led Albany to 2 straight 20 win seasons (BC hasn’t won 20 games since 2010-11) and she was the NY Basketball Coaches Association 2017 Women’s Division I Coach of the Year. She was also the 2016 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NAIA Regional Coach of the Year and the 2015 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year.
Coaches and administrators that she has worked with previously all had glowing things to say about Bernabei-McNamee to bceagles.com. Mark Benson, Albany’s AD, said “Joanna is a star in our business. She epitomizes excellence in coaching, academics and as a mentor for our student athletes. Joanna radiates positive energy, has a tenacious approach to her job and promotes strong family values. As good of a coach as she is, she’s an even better person.”
We look forward to seeing what Coach Bernabei-McNamee can bring to the program in terms of recruits and improved fundamentals in the players BC already has.