The fastest coach in the history of women's college basketball to reach 400 victories, Mike McLaughlin begins his sixth season as the head women's basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014-15. McLaughlin was hired as the eighth head coach in program history on April 24, 2009.
The reigning Big 5 Coach of the Year, McLaughlin has a career record of 473-139 (.773) and has posted 20 or more wins in 15 of his 19 seasons as a head coach, including six 30-win seasons. Including the 2013-14 Ivy League championship, the Philadelphia native has won 11 conference titles and is a 14-time Conference Coach of the Year.
McLaughlin has revitalized the Penn women's basketball program. The Quakers have improved their win total every year under his guidance and the climb from the bottom to the top of the Ivy League culminated on the final day of the regular season in 2013-14 when the Quakers clinched their first Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament berth in 10 years.
McLaughlin entered the 2009-10 season with the highest winning percentage of any head coach in college basketball - man or woman, at any level. However, facing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in decades and inheriting a team that lost 74 percent of its scoring, including the Ivy League's top scorer, Penn finished last in the Ivy League in his first season at the helm of the Quakers.
A year later, with his first recruiting class in place, Penn turned in the largest single-season turnaround in program history and earned its first Big 5 win in six years. Alyssa Baron became the first freshman in Ivy history to lead the league in scoring and became just the second player in school history to earn Ivy League and Big 5 Rookie of the Year honors.
In 2011-12, the Quakers posted the best 10-game start in school history en route to the program's highest win total in seven years. That momentum carried into the 2012-13 season where the Quakers posted the program's second-highest win total of all-time and recorded the first two postseason wins in school history.
Then in 2013-14, the Quakers tied a school record for wins in a season and earned the outright Ivy championship with the second-best league mark in program history. The Quakers earned their first win over an ACC opponent (at Miami), tied a school record with two Big 5 wins, matched the best two-year stretch in school history with 40 wins (1999-01) and earned back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time ever. With that resume, the Red and Blue earned the best NCAA Tournament seed in program history (No. 12) led fifth-seeded Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by as many as 15 and by seven at the half before falling 79-61.
Penn boasted the 2013-14 Ivy League Player of the Year, Ivy League Rookie of the Year and Ivy League Defensive Player of the year -- the first school to sweep all three awards. The Quakers also became the first school to sweep Big 5 Player, Coach and Rookie of the Year awards.
All four of McLaughlin's recruiting classes have produced the Big 5 Rookie of the Year. Prior to his tenure, only one Penn player had ever earned that honor and no Big 5 school had ever produced more than two straight Rookie of the Year honorees.
In his five seasons, McLaughlin's Quakers have been extraordinarily active off the court in support of local, national and international causes. In its third year, the "Charge for a Cure" initiative, has raised nearly $10,000, which is in addition to the $6,500 raised for breast cancer awareness and the 400-plus pairs of shoes collected in 2010 for Haitian citizens in need after the nation's devastating earthquake. The Quakers also adopted 13-year-oldEmily Miccarelli, a brain cancer survivor, through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation for the 2009-10 season.
McLaughlin’s teams have also had success in the classroom. At Holy Family and Penn, every one of his four-year players have graduated. McLaughlin’s Holy Family program was rated the best in Division II by the College Bound Student Athletes (CBSA) guide on two occasions.
Prior to Penn, McLaughlin had unprecedented success at NCAA Division II member Holy Family University, where in 14 seasons as head coach of the women’s basketball team he had a career equal to anyone who has coached the game. McLaughlin racked up an impressive record of 407 wins and 61 losses, a winning percentage of .870 which was the highest at any level of NCAA Basketball (men or women). Out of his 14 seasons as a head coach, McLaughlin was honored as the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Coach of the Year 13 times.
In 2008-09, McLaughlin won his 400th game as a head coach faster than any other women’s basketball coach in NCAA history, doing it in 459 games. The Division I record is held by Leon Barmore, who needed 463 games to reach the milestone at Louisiana Tech, while the Division III record is 464 games set by Nancy Fahey at Washington University (Mo.).
McLaughlin’s teams won at least 25 games in each of his 14 years as Holy Family’s head coach. In six of those years (1998, 2000-03, 2008), the Tigers won 30 games, including a pair of 32-win seasons (1998 and 2008). Holy Family reached 29 wins three other times (1999, 2006, 2007).
Holy Family won six CACC Tournament championships with him at the helm (2000-02, 2005, 2007-08) and four NAIA conference crowns (Southeastern - 1996; Northeast - 1997, 1998; North - 2003). As an NAIA member, the Tigers made four trips to the national quarterfinals (1998, 2001-03), and after joining NCAA Division II in 2003-04, the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament every season.
In his final season at Holy Family, McLaughlin went 26-6 overall and was a perfect 18-0 in the CACC -- the fourth straight year the Tigers went undefeated in the regular season in conference play. Holy Family’s season ended in the NCAA East Region second round against Stonehill (Mass.).
In 2007-08, Holy Family started the season unranked, but had earned national respect by year’s end after finishing the season with a 32-1 mark. The Tigers won the CACC Tournament championship and made its fifth appearance in the NCAA Northeast Regional Tournament. For the first time, the Tigers earned the region’s top seed and were selected as the host institution for the tournament. Holy Family reached the NCAA Northeast Region final for the first time. During that season, Holy Family ranked as high as fourth nationally in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, and ended the year ranked ninth.
McLaughlin has had his tremendous success with tough, hard-nosed defense. In five of the last six seasons at Holy Family, the Tigers finished in the top-10 in Division II in scoring defense and led the nation in that statistic in 2003-04 (51.8 ppg), 2007-08 (50.7 ppg), and 2008-09 (48.5 ppg). During the same time span, Holy Family ended the season in the top-five in field goal percentage defense five times and twice led the nation.
McLaughlin was a two-year assistant on the women’s staff at Holy Family before taking the reins as its third head coach in 1995-96.
A graduate of Holy Family, McLaughlin received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. From his stellar playing career at Holy Family, he remains fifth all-time in scoring with 1,710 points and third with 755 assists. McLaughlin also remains the best three-pointer shooter to wear a Tiger uniform, connecting on 57.7 percent (161-of-279) of his attempts in his four seasons. He also holds the top two three-point shooting percentages for a season - in 1989 McLaughlin hit 59.3 percent of his shots, and in 1988 he was a 58.5-percent shooter.
McLaughlin also spent three seasons with the Washington Generals/Harlem Globetrotters, where he served as the Generals’ team captain as he played in more than 50 countries throughout the world.
McLaughlin lives with his wife Ginny and three children (Courtney, Michael and Kelsey).