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 eighth season as head coach of the women’s basketball team. The winningest coach in program history, Banghart has amassed a 169-67 (0.716) overall record with a 92-17 (0.844) mark against Ivy League opponents.
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 five of the last six years, capturing five Ivy titles in the process. Securing the best NCAA seed in Ivy history (No. 8) this past season, 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 five 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), 13 first-team All-Ivy picks, seven 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 six 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 nine 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
“I cannot imagine my college career playing for anyone other than Coach Banghart. Her first hand experience playing at Dartmouth gives her a unique understanding of the life of a student-athlete in the Ivy League and enables her to not only impart extensive insight on the court, but to act as a mentor to her players off the court as well. Coach Banghart’s unyielding passion for the game, unparalleled competitive nature, and sincere caring and devotion to her players was a constant source of inspiration for us to play harder, be a better teammate, and to constantly go the extra mile. I will be forever grateful to Coach Banghart for surrounding me with such talented and amazing people and for acting as our constantly selfless and inspirational leader.” - Lauren Polansky '13
"Coach Banghart exemplifies everything you hope for in a college coach. She is a competitor that does not settle for anything except the best. She truly understands how make her players reach their true potential by challenging us each and everyday. Her uncanny ability to consistently surround herself with a great compilation of coaches and players has led to the transformation of this program into one that is nationally respected. I took a chance on Princeton because of the fact I had faith in Coach Banghart’s plan. In the next four years she accomplished more than I could have ever imagined, which will later go down in Ivy League history. It was an honor to play under Coach Banghart, and I will always cherish the bond we created in those four years." - Niveen Rasheed '13
"Not many people can accomplish what Coach Banghart has achieved in the just five years. The transformation of the women's basketball program at Princeton from a 7th place finish in the Ivy League to three consecutive outright titles and NCAA appearances, and a top 25 ranking, is a direct consequence of the work ethic, buy in, and intellect of coach Banghart. She has been an incredible leader who is relentless in achieving greatness, while bringing out the best in her players along the way. Her unwavering support and dedication to the team is why the program is where it is today. There is a reason she is highly respected among the residents, faculty, and students in the Princeton community. People appreciate and praise what she has brought to Princeton. Her influence reaches far beyond the court in Jadwin, as she has made all of her players better, stronger, and more motivated people. She never settles when it comes to us- expecting more of us than just good plays and showing up. She demands and enables us to constantly exude excellence, a positive attitude, promptness, selflessness, gratefulness, and politeness. It has been a joy to play for Coach Banghart for four years. She has provided me with an unforgettable experience, and I cannot thank her enough for teaching me, pushing me, and believing in me. " - Lauren Edwards '12
"Coach Banghart has truly rejuvenated my dream to enter the college coaching profession. As a player under Coach Banghart, I got to experience first hand how powerfully a coach can impact a player. My senior year at Princeton, Coach Banghart's first year at the helm, I looked forward to going to practice every single day because I knew I was going to be put in positions to be successful . Don't get me wrong, playing for Coach Banghart wasn't all brownies and fairies. She demanded excellence from me, and she pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of on the basketball court. The reason I embraced these high expectations on a daily basis was because I knew that Coach Banghart believed in me. You can't fake sincerity, and this was the real deal. The respect she showed me and my teammates was never compromised or dependent our performance the week, day, or second before. If I influence one player even half as much as Coach Banghart influenced me, I will consider my career a success. She just gets it." - Alison Prichard '08
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|