New Coach Announced for UVM Basketball Team

Mike Lonergan, an assistant coach at the University of Maryland who led Catholic University to the 2001 NCAA Division III national championship, has been named head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Vermont. Dr. Robert Corran, director of athletics, made the announcement today. Lonergan, 39, who also spent three years as an assistant coach at Colgate University, succeeds Tom Brennan, who is finishing up a 19-year run as head coach at Vermont this season.

“I am delighted that Mike Lonergan will be joining us as our new head men’s basketball coach,” said A. John Bramley, provost and senior vice president. “He combines great success as a head coach with experience in a very competitive conference at the University of Maryland. I am very impressed by his enthusiasm to work with great student-athletes and his commitment to continue the tradition of combining excellence in the classroom with competitiveness on the court.

“Tom Brennan is a tough act to follow,” Bramley continued, “but I know that the program will be in great hands with Mike Lonergan.” Lonergan, who joined Coach Gary Williams’s staff at Maryland in April of 2004, led the Catholic University Cardinals to seven consecutive NCAA Division III Tournament appearances and nine overall from 1992 to 2004.

He compiled a 251-88 (.740) record during his 12-year tenure and his squad averaged 24.7 victories per season over his last seven years. He is the only coach in the country in any division to have won the regular-season conference championship each of the seven-year span from 1998 to 2004, and was honored at the 2004 Final Four at the NABC Champions Luncheon. A 1988 graduate of Catholic University, Lonergan earned a B.A. in history. He went on to attain a master’s degree in criminal justice at American International College in Springfield, Mass., while working as an assistant coach during the 1988-89 season.

“We’re thrilled and excited to have Mike join our staff,” Corran said. “The values, experience, and record of success which he brings to UVM will enable us to sustain our program as a leader within America East and the Northeast region and as a model for the role of athletics within higher education. We look forward with great enthusiasm and optimism as Mike assumes the leadership of our men’s basketball program.”

Before returning to his alma mater, Lonergan served as an assistant coach at Colgate University for three seasons from 1989-1992. There he served as the top recruiter for his former college coach, the late Jack Bruen, who was named Patriot League Coach of the Year in Lonergan’s final season with the Red Raiders.

“I am very excited about becoming the next head coach at the University of Vermont,” Lonergan said. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to become a Division I head coach at a great academic institution like UVM. The program Coach Brennan, his players, and his staff have built, and how they have built it, represents everything I believe in. I am very grateful to Dr. Corran and the selection committee for giving me this opportunity. My wife Maggie and I are very excited about raising our kids in Burlington, Vermont. We feel truly blessed by my hiring and look forward to getting started.”

Lonergan was the head coach at Catholic from the 1992-93 to 2003-04 seasons, leading the Cardinals to nine of the 11 NCAA appearances in the history of the program, all while graduating 100 percent of his players and taking on Division I foes such as Princeton, American, Davidson and William & Mary. Catholic’s victory over the University of Albany at the America East Conference in 2000 was the program’s first over a Division I school since 1981. He has coached a Division III All-American in each of the last five seasons, and is the only coach in the nation to have led his team to seven consecutive regular-season conference championships.

A native of Bowie, Md., Lonergan is married to Catholic University’s women’s basketball coach, the former Maggie Meagher, who led her squad to its finest season ever in 2003-04 and just finished the 2004-05 season with a 20-7 record. They have two children – a son Jack (5), and daughter Margaret (4). Lonergan has signed a five-year contract with Vermont, with a base salary of $110,000 per year.

In addition to his coaching work, Lonergan has also been active in community and professional organizations. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), has served as a spokesperson for the America Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program, was co-chairman of the Coaches vs. Cancer Three-Point Shootout Committee, and has volunteered with the Special Olympics. A board member of the St. Gabriel Parish Youth Organization, he was also a member of the Catholic University Alcohol Awareness Advisory Committee.