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Harvard Announces The Friends of Harvard Women’s Basketball Head Coach Endowment

Photo by: Gil Talbot
Photo by: Gil Talbot

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Bob Scalise, the John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics, and Harvard University are pleased to announce the endowment of Harvard Athletics' 23rd head coach position, The Friends of Harvard Women's Basketball Head Coach.

"This is a remarkable day for Harvard Athletics as I am delighted to announce our newest endowment, The Friends of Harvard Women's Basketball Head Coach," said Scalise. "Thanks to the generosity of a group of 34 dedicated alumnae and their families, this gift honors the legacy of head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith and the impact she has had on Harvard women's basketball and its storied program. We are grateful for this very meaningful gift which will help us further the success of women's basketball at Harvard for years to come."

While the sport of basketball was first sponsored at Radcliffe College, Harvard assumed responsibility for all women's sports in 1974, including women's basketball. Since that time, the program has been prominent in the Ivy League. While earning 11 Ivy League championship titles, the program has made six NCAA Tournament appearances in its history. Each of those championships and tournament appearances came under the reign of current head coach, Kathy Delaney-Smith.

Delaney-Smith is in her 37th season at the helm of the program and she has expanded its reach both nationally and internationally as one of the longest tenured coaches in collegiate women's basketball. Her marks include 12 20-win seasons, a .500 record or better in 29 of the last 30 campaigns and 14 postseason appearances. Her 592 career wins and 345 Ivy League victories are the most of any head coach - men's or women's - in the Ivy League. 

"When I started coaching 37 years ago, I could never have imagined the honor of having an endowment bestowed upon me by our alumnae and friends of the program," said Delaney-Smith. "This endowment will be instrumental to the future success of our program and to all those who will wear the Crimson for years to come." 

Delaney-Smith has been an influential mentor to and advocate for her student-athletes and peers throughout her tenure. She has coached eight Ivy League Players of the Year, six Ivy League Rookies of the Year and 40 first-team All-Ivy League selections. Additionally, all 19 members of Harvard's 1,000-point club have been coached by Delaney-Smith.

Following in the footsteps of Harvard women's lacrosse, this endowment is the second all-alumnae driven effort to recognize a head coach in Harvard Athletics history. This endowment was made possible through the generosity of 34 donors, including former players or their parents: Laura J. Barnard '02; Tammy Butler Battaglino '95, MBA '00, EdM '01; Kelly S. Black-Holmes '97; The Black Family; Jeannie Boehm '20; Kristen M. Boike '01; Nancy W. Boutilier '84; Patricia J. Brown '87; Katie Gates Calderon '02; Maureen M. Coleman '06; Anna R. Collins '86, MBA '95; The Davis Family—Katy '96, Sharon, Bob and Sally; Erin Sugrue DiVincenzo '87 and John P. DiVincenzo '86; Deborah Flandermeyer Donlon '93; Jody Fink '90, MBA '95; Cara J. Frey '93; Laela J. Sturdy '00 and Rachel H. Garlin '96; Jessica C. Gelman '97, MBA '02 and Corbin Petro; Stuart W. Graham '67, JD '70; Lindsay F. Hallion '08 and Douglas W. Miller '10; Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women's Athletics; Maura T. Healey '92; Catherine Crisera Kelley '94; Stacie J. Kerrigan '81; Jennifer B. Monti '02 and Allison L. Harper '01; The Morey Family; The Phillips Family; Elizabeth M. Proudfit '96; Amy E. Reinhard '96, MBA '02; Lisa Kowal Rose '01 and Neil T. Rose '02; Erin Maher Salvador '93 and Doug Salvador MPH '04; Alison L. Seanor '98; Megan Basil Song '98, EdM '04 and Soyoun Song '98, MBA '06; and Gwill E. York '79, MBA '84.

Upon her retirement, the position will be re-named in honor of Delaney-Smith in recognition of her unparalleled tenure with the Harvard women's basketball program. 

The Friends of Harvard Women’s Basketball Head Coach Endowment Reception

PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP, ACADEMIC INTEGRATION AND COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE