RICHMOND, Va. – VCU has hired former Stony Brook coach Beth O'Boyle to lead its women's basketball program. O'Boyle was introduced Tuesday in a press conference at the Tommy J. West Club inside the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
She becomes the 13th coach in program history and replaces Marlene Stollings, who resigned earlier this month to become head coach at Minnesota. O'Boyle inherits a VCU program that was 22-10 a year ago and has reached the postseason six times since 2007-08.
"My expectations will be high, but my goals will be simple," O'Boyle said. "I want our players to excel in the classroom, to be the best student-athletes that they can be. On the court, they will compete. We will practice hard. We will get after it in the Atlantic 10. I think the Atlantic 10 is one of the best conferences for women's basketball in the country."
O'Boyle assumes the reigns at VCU after she led Stony Brook to a remarkable turnaround in three seasons on Long Island. The Seawolves improved by 10 wins in each of the last two seasons, including the 2013-14 campaign, when O'Boyle guided the club to a school Division I record 24 wins (24-9), and a WNIT bid, the program's first postseason appearance since 2006. Stony Brook reached the America East Championship Game last season, the school's first appearance in the final since 2001-02. O'Boyle was also pivotal in the development of 2014 America East Defensive Player of the Year Chikilra Goodman.
In 2012-13, Stony Brook's 10-win turnaround was the seventh-best in the country. O'Boyle was 42-51 overall in three seasons with the Seawolves.
During O'Boyle's tenure, Stony Brook was known for its stout defense. In each of her three seasons, the Seawolves ranked in the top 50 nationally in scoring defense. In 2013-14, SBU allowed just 60.5 points per game, the 45th-best mark in the country. The Seawolves also ranked 20th nationally in rebounding margin (+7.7).
"We had a lot of really good candidates. A lot of high-level coaches, a lot of high-level people had interest in the job, and what it really told us was what we already knew, VCU is the place to be," said VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin Tuesday. "One person rose above everyone else in this search, not only because of what she has done as a coach, but what she has done as a person and where we think she can take us in our women's basketball program."
Prior to guiding the Stony Brook program, O'Boyle spent four seasons as an assistant at Canisius. She helped steer the program to its best season in 2008-09, when the Golden Griffins won 24 games and advanced to the MAAC Championship Game. Canisius also received a WNIT bid for the first time in program history.
Hired as an assistant coach at Canisius in 2007, O'Boyle was elevated to associate head coach in November 2009. Responsible for all recruiting activities, as well the development of the Golden Griffin guards, O'Boyle coached seven All-Conference players at Canisius, including 2009 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Defensive Player of the Year Brittane Russell, 2009 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year Ellie Radke and 2011 MAAC Rookie of the Year Jamie Ruttle.
O'Boyle has also shown a commitment to developing the total student-athlete. Dani Klupenger earned America East All-Academic status in 2012-13 for her work on the court and in the classroom. At Canisius, she monitored the academic progress of a Golden Griffins team that was recognized in the NCAA Top 25 for team grade point average. In total, Canisius has had 18 selections to the MAAC All-Academic team since O'Boyle's arrival, including Marie Warner, who was also named a ESPN the Magazine third-team Academic All-American in 2009.
O'Boyle came to Canisius after serving as the head coach at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., for three seasons. O'Boyle led the Red Hawks to the ECAC Division III Metro Women's Basketball Championship in 2006-07 and was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season. She compiled a 51-33 record in her three seasons there, and the Red Hawks also produced their first All-American in 15 seasons under O'Boyle's guidance.
Prior to taking over at Montclair State, O'Boyle spent four seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Rochester. During her first two seasons, Rochester won back-to-back ECAC Upstate New York championships and in her last two seasons, the team made consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Final Four. In 2004, the team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for a three-week period according to the USA Today/ESPN/WBCADivision III poll and the D3hoops.com poll.
A 1998 graduate of Gettysburg College, O'Boyle earned four letters with the basketball and soccer programs at Gettysburg and served as a two-time captain in each sport. O'Boyle earned her master's degree from the Rochester's Warner School of Education in 2001. O'Boyle is a native of Rockville, Md., and attended the Academy of the Holy Cross High School in Kensington, Md.