Boston College basketball legend Sarah Behn is set to become the new head coach of the Brown University Bears in the Ivy League. Behin, a 1993 graduate of the Eagles, is the all-time points leader in program history and a former two-time All American selection whose jersey hanging in the Conte Forum rafters is the only female retired in the school's history.
Behn came to BC after being named a two-sport All American at Foxboro High School in Massachusetts. Playing in the MIAA before the three point shot was introduced, the class of '89 graduate matriculated as the second leading scorer in state history. Her 2,562 points were just one behind all-time leading scorer Bryan Edwards (Cohasset '88) at the time, and she still ranks third among all-time leading female scorers, having since been passed first by Rebecca Lobo (still the all-time leading female scorer), then Kelsey O'Keefe (Quabog '01). Both Lobo and O'Keefe played with the three-point line in effect.
Coming to BC, Behn proceeded to shatter the collegiate scoring record book. She broke the all-time Boston College scoring record during her junior year and broke the all-time Big East scoring record for men or women in her senior year. She was the first woman to break the 2,000-point barrier for the Eagles, and her scoring record of 2,523 at BC stuck around until Troy Bell broke the record in 2006 with over 2,600 points. It remains the women's scoring record at the school.
Behn remains one of only two Eagle ladies to ever score 2,000 points. Carolyn Swords, who graduated in 2011, has just over the 2K mark. A 46% shooter from the floor, she remains the single game record holder for points with 39 against Georgetown in 1993. In addition, Behn scored 38 twice (both against Syracuse) to sit in a tie with herself for second most points in a single game, and her name litters the list of 30 point scorers.
She remains first, second, and third for points scored in a single season; first, second, and third for average points per game in a single season; and she is first, third, and fifth all-time for field goals made in a single season.
Behn was elected to the Varisty Club Hall of Fame in 1998, and her jersey was the first ever retired for a female athlete at Boston College. She remains the only female Eagle athlete with a jersey hanging in the rafters for any sport.
After Boston College, Behn played professionally in Europe, where she averaged over 30 points per game. She became the head coach at Framingham State College in 1997 and remained there until 2000 when she took over at Division II Franklin Pierce. She most recently was the head coach at Foxboro High School between 2004-2011 before departing to take over the transitional job with UMass-Lowell. She led the River Hawks to an improved win total in her second year, going 18-9 in their last year in Division II. Upon transitioning to Division I, UML went 5-23 with a win over Vermont.
Behn now takes over a Brown University program that will see its first new head coach since 1988. Jean Marie Burr, the head coach at Brown for 26 years, retired after going 10-18 last season. Burr, the all-time winningest coach at Brown in both men's and women's basketball, had 15 winning seasons and won three Ivy League championships. Brown was the first Ivy League women's basketball team to qualify for an NCAA Championship in 1994. They've won four Ivy League championships, most recently in 2006.
In remarks delivered to Brown Bears TV, Coach Behn talked about her need to touch base with the players in order to get to know them. She also talked about filling out her staff with scheduling taken care of for the upcoming season. In talking about her style, the new coach discussed how her team will shoot quickly and put up a large amount of shots. In contrast to a half-court offense Brown has run in the past, it seems the Bears will now run a variation of the infamous "System" that Paul Westphal used to run at Loyola Marymount in the 1980s with Hank Gathers. It will be predicated on running, quick shots, and more shots. Defensively, she will hope to bring that same intensity to opposing offenses.
Behn's father was a two-time letter winner for the Bears back in the 1960s.
Congratulations to Coach Behn on her new appointment, and best of luck in Providence!