Dan Leibovitz recently completed his 16th season as a coach at the NCAA Division I level and his second on staff at the University of Pennsylvania. With more than 500 games under his belt, he is a respected teacher of the game who serves as a tremendous resource for Head Coach Jerome Allen.
A 1996 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Dan Leibovitz returned to his alma mater in April 2010. However, Leibovitz' connection to Coach Allen goes beyond Penn, to when they were high school classmates and basketball teammates at Episcopal Academy under legendary coach Dan Dougherty.
"I think Dan's resume speaks for itself in this profession," said Allen at the time of Leibovitz' hiring. "More important to me, though, is the way he treats people in all areas of life. I have been fortunate to know Dan for 23 years -- not only do I know him in this profession, but he has always been someone I look up to as a person. To have him on our staff is great, I could not ask for a better person in that spot. Dan will be a great representative of our program and the University."
"Penn is a special place for me and my family," said Leibovitz. "It goes far beyond my graduating from here. My grandfather went here; my mother went here; my wife got her Master's here. This is an institution that has given all of us so much. I am honored for the opportunity to finally give something back."
Penn's turnabout has been dramatic during Coach Leibovitz' two season. The Quakers improved their overall record by seven games from 2009-10 to 2010-11, going 13-15. In Ivy League play, Penn went 7-7 and finished in the upper half of the league standings.
That surge continued in 2011-12. Penn went 20-13 overall this past season, its first 20-win season since the 2006-07 Ivy League championship squad went 22-9. In Ivy play, the Quakers finished 11-3 and were in the hunt for the Ancient Eight title until the final game. Along the way, Penn defeated every one of its conference foes at least once. Penn also played in the postseason College Basketball Invitational, defeating Quinnipiac in the opening round before falling to Butler in the quarterfinal round.
Prior to his return to Philadelphia, Leibovitz spent four years as the head coach at the University of Hartford. In those four seasons, he took the Hawks to new heights and changed the culture surrounding the men's basketball program. Teamwork, communication, heart and hustle all became trademarks of Leibovitz' squad.
In only his second season in 2007-08 Leibovitz experienced the best year in school history. He led the Hawks to a school Division I record 18 victories and their first-ever America East Championship finals appearance. Hartford also notched its highest regular-season finish in the America East Conference, tying for second place with a 10-6 record.
That season the Hawks ranked third in the conference in scoring (70.8 ppg) and set school and America East records with 312 three-pointers. Hartford finished the year ranked 17th nationally in three-pointers per game and also broke the school record for treys in a game (18).
After earning the second seed for the 2008 America East Championship, Leibovitz and the Hawks won back-to-back games in the tournament for the first time in program history. The following weekend, Hartford faced UMBC for the conference title in a game televised nationally on ESPN2.
In his first season, Leibovitz guided Hartford to a 13-18 overall record and the quarterfinals of the America East Championship. Along the way, the Hawks picked up more non-conference wins than any Hartford team since 1993-94. Leibovitz began the season with no returning starters and a team picked last in the coaches' poll and finished in a tie for 6th place. In his 1st ever conference game, the Hawks won at Maine while committing only 4 turnovers, with only 1 in the 2nd half.
Six players earned America East honors under Leibovitz. Both Joe Zeglinski (2008) and Bo Taylor (2007) were named to the all-conference first team and ranked in the top five in the league in scoring. As a redshirt-junior, Zeglinsk earned second team honors in 2010. Zeglinski was also an all-rookie team selection in his first year, as was Morgan Sabia in 2008. Rounding out the list of award winners are Michael Turner, an all-defensive team pick in 2008, and Jaret von Rosenberg, an all-academic selection in 2008 and 2009.
In his time at the helm, Leibovitz established a wide net on the recruiting trails. His four recruiting classes yielded players from California (5), Texas (3), Pennsylvania (4), Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Overall, Leibovitz went 46-82 in his four years in Hartford. The Hawks won at least one game in the America East Championship in three of Leibovitz's four seasons.
Formerly the top assistant coach at Temple University, Leibovitz became Hartford's head coach after spending 10 seasons with Naismith Hall of Fame head coach John Chaney.
Leibovitz joined the Temple staff at the start of the 1996-97 season and helped the Owls to 10 straight postseason appearances, including five NCAA Tournaments (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) and a pair of Elite Eight appearances (1999, 2001). Temple also won four Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002) and two conference championships (2000, 2001) during his tenure, which tied for the longest among A-10 assistant coaches at the time. As Chaney's right-hand man and top recruiter, Leibovitz' record while on the Owl staff was 201-124 (.618). He helped in the development of Temple greats Marc Jackson, Juan "Pepe" Sanchez, Lynn Greer, Mark Karcher and a host of others.
Leibovitz was named Best Assistant Coach in the Atlantic 10 by Street & Smith's magazine in 2005-06. During his time at Temple, he was responsible for recruiting the likes of future NBA player Mardy Collins and Dionte Christmas, a three-time all-conference first team selection and the A-10's leading scorer for three seasons from 2007-09.
In 2005, Leibovitz was thrown into the role of acting coach during the final three regular-season contests and the Owls' two Atlantic 10 Tournament games as Chaney served a suspension. The Owls won three of the five contests, including a conference tournament win over Dayton in Cincinnati. Leibovitz also served as the Owls' head coach for the final game of the 2005-06 season against Akron in the NIT, as Chaney did not coach the game in order to be with his wife, who was undergoing a medical procedure. This was the final game of John Chaney's tenure at Temple.
Leibovitz completed his master's degree in the Sport Management and Leisure Studies program at Temple in 1998. He began his coaching career at Episcopal Academy in 1994 while completing his undergraduate degree at Penn.
This past spring, Leibovitz spoke at the first ever Spring Beach Basketball Clinic in South Padre Island, TX alongside Louisiana-Lafayette Head Coach Bob Marlin and UT-Pan American Head Coach Ryan Marks. Leibovitz spoke on "Professionalism and Building Blocks to a Successful Program."
Leibovitz, 38 and his wife Nancy are the proud parents of 5-year-old daughter Kaiya Daisy and 3-year-old son Noah Chaney.