The Vermont Cynic

Women’s basketball coach prepares for first season


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Women’s basketball has a new head coach for the upcoming season.

Chris Day, who was hired in May, is the eighth head coach in the history of the program, according to UVM athletics. He will be replacing Lori Gear Mc- Bride, who coached the Catamounts for the past six seasons.

Day is a native of Pennsylvania and a 1997 graduate of West Chester University.

Though this is his first head coaching position at the Division I level, Day has had past coaching experience. Prior to coming to UVM, Day was an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at the University of Pennsylvania.

He was there for three seasons and helped lead the program to an Ivy League Championship in both 2014 and 2016. With Day’s guidance, the Quakers earned a spot in the NCAA tournament for both of those seasons as well.

During his time at the University of Pennsylvania, the team was 67-21 and won a school record of 24 games.

Before assisting at UPenn, Day spent one season with Indiana University.

During his time there as an associate head coach, the program achieved twice as many conference wins as the previous season.

Day spent his longest coaching term as an assistant at Saint Joseph’s University. He spent seven years with the program and helped them to a 128-94 record during that time.

Day not only has coaching experience, but recruiting experience as well.

In 2013 he was able to sign the nation’s leading high school scorer for Indiana.

While at UPenn, he recruited nine All-Ivy League selections and two players who were selected as Ivy Player of the Year.

Day also scouted two current UVM players, sophomores forward Lauren Handy and guard Haley Robertson, while working for other programs.

Day feels UVM will be a great fit for him because of its similarity to UPenn, he said.

“The academics at UVM and the type of kids I can recruit are very similar to [UPenn],” he said, “so when Jeff Schulman called me, it seemed like a perfect match.”

Day said he is also inspired to change the program’s culture at UVM.

“One thing I want to change is the practice environment,” he said. “We get music going because I’m an energetic person, and I don’t want these kids to dread coming into the gym.”

Day said he hopes a lively and fun practice environment will translate into on-court success.

However, he also acknowledged there will be an adjustment period for the organization and that success on the court be not come right away.

“For the first year, we aren’t going to put a number of wins on this program,” Day said. “Right now the culture, the environment and the foundation is being set, but the vision is that in year three, we’ll be playing for an America East title.”

Despite the adjustment period, Day said the team can still make a splash this season and expects their strong front court to be a key reason for this.

“We’ve got three bigs who can shoot from outside,” he said, “which makes it tough for the defense to guard us. We also have great depth in the backcourt, so I’m excited to see where this season takes us.”

Handy is very excited about what the future holds with Day at the helm.

“It’s been refreshing for the program,” she said. “[Day] has an insane amount of energy, and I think that’s what we need- ed. Having him and his entire coaching staff here is tremendous for the program, and we love him a lot.”

The Catamounts’ first action will be an exhibition game against St. Michael’s College at home Nov. 5.

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Women’s basketball coach prepares for first season