Helping to guide Princeton to unprecedented heights, the 2015 Naismith National Coach of the Year, and named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest Leaders, Courtney Banghart recently wrapped up her ninth season as head coach of the women’s basketball team. The winningest coach in program history, Banghart has amassed a 192-73 (0.715) overall record with a 104-19 (0.782) mark against Ivy League opponents.
The 2015-16 Princeton women's basketball team made Ivy League history as it became the first school in conference history to make the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid. The Tigers had three players named to the All-Ivy League teams in Michelle Miller (first team), Alex Wheatley (first team) and Annie Tarakchian (second team). Banghart's squad ranked in the top 10 nationally in rebounding margin (third), defensive rebounds per game (fourth), rebounds per game (seventh) and scoring margin (seventh).
Princeton’s undefeated 30-0 regular season in 2014-15 was the best in Ivy League basketball history, mens or womens. Under Banghart’s guidance, the Tigers also achieved the highest-ever ranking for an Ivy program, climbing as high as No. 13 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.
Under Banghart’s tutelage, the Tigers finished with a program-best mark of 31-1 last season. With an 80-70 first round victory over ninth-seeded Green Bay, Princeton became just the second Ivy program to record an NCAA win.
For her efforts, Banghart was named the Ivy League’s inaugural Coach of the Year. Named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest Leaders, Banghart was also tabbed the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Coach of the Year and ECAC Coach of the Year.
Inheriting a team that had never played in the NCAA Tournament, Banghart has led the squad there in six of the last seven years, capturing five Ivy titles in the process. Securing the best NCAA seed in Ivy history (No. 8) in 2014-15, the Tigers were the No. 9 seed in 2012 and 2013 and the No. 11 and 12 seeds in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Four different Tigers earned All-Ivy accolades in 2014-15, including three first-team selections (Blake Dietrick, Annie Tarakchian, Alex Wheatley). Of the four times that an Ivy program has placed three members on the first team, three of them have been by the Tigers. Princeton also saw three players receive first team laurels in 2010-11 (Devona Allgood, Addie Micir, Lauren Edwards) and 1977-78 (C.B. Tomasiewicz, Margaret Meier, Jackie Jackson).
For the fourth time in six years, a Tiger also laid claim to the Ivy League Player of the Year award (Blake Dietrick – 2015, Niveen Rasheed – 2012, 2013, Addie Micir – 2011). Since her arrival in 2007-08, Banghart has aided in the development of two honorable mention All-America selections (Blake Dietrick, Niveen Rasheed), 15 first-team All-Ivy picks, eight second-team selections and two honorable mention recipients.
As a team, Princeton wrapped up its 2014-15 campaign ranked second in the nation in scoring margin (+23.2), three-point percentage (40.5), and field-goal percentage defense (34.2). Third in the country in field-goal percentage (49.1), the Tigers were sixth in rebounding margin (+11.2) and scoring defense (52.6), seventh in three-point defense (26.3), 12th in assists per game (16.9) and 19th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.18).
Playing the most games in program history (32), the Tigers set school records in points per game (75.8), total points (2,424), field goals made (921), field goal attempts (1,831), field goal percentage (.491), rebounds (1,338), assists (541) and blocks (143).
Guiding the Tigers to at least 20 wins and a postseason appearance in each of the past seven seasons, Banghart is no stranger to success. Jump-starting the Princeton renaissance, Banghart’s 2009-10 squad finished 26-3, punching the program’s first ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Once again dominating the Ivy League in 2010-11, Princeton captured the second of four-straight conference titles, making a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers won two more Ivy crowns in 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively, posting records of 24-5 and 22-7. The 2011-12 squad finished the year ranked No. 24 in the AP Top-25 poll, becoming the first Ivy program to earn a national ranking.
As both a coach and a player, Banghart has made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament and two trips to the postseason WNIT. A four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Dartmouth College, Banghart was a two-time first-team All-Ivy honoree and owns the Ivy League record with 273 career three-pointers. Knocking down a program-best 97 triples in 1999, she earned the Ed Seitz Award as the top three-point specialist in the nation.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience in 2000, Banghart worked at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., where she served as the girls’ athletic director and the head coach of the girls’ basketball and tennis teams. Returning to her alma mater, she later earned a master’s degree in writing and leadership development in 2007, while spending four seasons as an assistant coach for the Big Green.
A native of Amherst, N.H., Banghart was inducted into the Dartmouth College Hall of Fame in 2004 before being inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.THE BANGHART BRIEF
Birthplace: Manchester, N.H.
Hometown: Amherst, N.H.
College: Dartmouth College
Bachelors: Psychology, 2000
Masters: Writing and Leadership Development, 2007
Head Coach: Princeton University (2007-present)
Assistant Coach: Dartmouth College (2003-07)
Naismith Coach of the Year: 2015
United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year: 2015
ECAC Coach of the Year: 2015
Ivy League Coach of the Year: 2015
Ivy League Championships (Head Coach): 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
Ivy League Championships (Assistant Coach): 2005, 2006
Ivy League Championships (Player): 1999, 2000
NCAA Tournaments: 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
New England Basketball Hall of Fame: 2006
Dartmouth College Hall of Fame: 2004
New Jersey Sports Writers Association Women's College Coach of the Year: 2010
USWBA Coach of the Year Watch List: 2012
College Sports Madness Preseason All-Mid Major Coach of the Year: 2012
College Sports Madness Preseason Ivy League Coach of the Year: 2012
First-Team All-Ivy League (Player): 1999, 2000
Ed Seitz Award (DI Best 3-Point Shooter): 1999
Coaching at Princeton
"Playing for Coach Banghart has been one of the highlights of my Princeton career. She took a team that had never been to an NCAA tournament and has accomplished in the past nine years what many only dream of. She is one of the most positive influences I’ve been around, and the growth I’ve shown here over the past four years is a direct result of her ability to bring out the best in each of her players. She’s incredibly invested in each player, understands what each of us is finest at, and pushes us in ways you didn’t know existed in order to bring that out. The enthusiasm and competitiveness she brings every single day drives us all; she’s a competitor with a “just win” mentality, yet she’s full of life, energy, and a keen understanding of the game. She challenges us daily and demands excellence, yet at the same time she’s a teacher and an optimist, always seeing the bright side to situations. Her love for her players and her desire to see us succeed expands off the court, as she is and always will be one of our biggest supporters in anything we want to do. She will continue to be one of the most valuable mentors in my life, and I will be forever grateful to be able to call her my coach and forever thankful that she surrounded me with such incredible teammates and coaches that have shaped me into the person I am today." - Amanda Berntsen '16
"Coach Banghart is an inspiration. Her enthusiasm, fearlessness, and passion for the game is obvious to everyone around her. If a team plays to the personality of its leaders, this team is tenacious, competitive, supportive, smart, and always hungry for the best. Her teams do "impossible" things (a 30-0 season, the first at-large bid for an Ivy) because she has established a culture of excellence here. Four years under Coach Banghart's tutelage have made me a stronger, smarter, tougher, more skilled player; a better listener, communicator, and leader; and a wiser mentor, friend, and teammate to those around me. She is truly outstanding. And best of all, I'm confident that my relationship with Coach will continue long after I graduate: I will always be a part of this Tiger family she has created." - Alex Wheatley '16
"I have been so blessed to have Coach Banghart as my mentor and friend these past four years. Everything she does has our best interest in mind, always. She not only has dedicated herself to make me and my teammates the best versions of ourselves on the court, but takes the time to ensure we are our best off the court. She has created a culture of excellence, hard work and support that puts all of her players in a position to succeed. She pours her heart into what she does and brings her everything she has to each practice, meeting, game, you name it. The time, energy and enthusiasm she puts forward daily drives us to also give our all and push one another to greater heights. She is what makes this team strong and I will be forever grateful to her and this program for making my four years at Princeton so victorious and so special." - Annie Tarakchian '16
1. What’s your favorite book: Anything non-fiction
2. What’s your favorite holiday and why: Thanksgiving. There’s something right about a day of
3. What was a fad you were involved in during high school that many would be surprised to learn: I’m always the last one to find out about fads.
4. How do you spend your free time: Traveling.
5. If you could be on any reality show, what would it be and why: Amazing Race with my brother - we’d win.
6. What’s your go-to junk food: Chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
7. What are your pregame rituals: Blow a kiss to the sky at the end of the National Anthem, for all those that have changed my life and watch over me.
8. What’s your most memorable experience as a head coach: Anytime I see my team. I know how lucky I am.
9. What was the best coaching advice you ever received: “Success is peace of mind that your players are getting the best of what you have, always.” That and, “Leaders can aim to be uniformly liked- but in doing so, they will be respected by few. A good coach hopes the basketball experience has made his/her players better on and off the court, no matter how hard the journey.”
10. What’s your favorite road trip of the season and why: Any one where we win two games.
|Alma Mater:||Dartmouth '00|