PHILADELPHIA – Fresh off leading the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team to the program’s fourth Ivy League Championship, Head Coach Mike McLaughlin was named the Ancient Eight Coach of the Year on Friday.
McLaughlin was at the forefront of one of the best seasons in program history in 2015-16. The historical campaign was capped off by a 62-60 win at Princeton on Tuesday night, to earn Penn’s second Ivy title in the last three seasons. The victory also signified a berth into the 2016 NCAA Tournament, and the first season sweep of the rival Tigers since 2001.
In addition to Tuesday’s coronation, McLaughlin and the Quakers have seemingly been breaking records at every turn this season. Penn tallied a school-record 24 wins, including a program-high 11 in the non-conference. McLaughlin also posted his 500th career victory in December, as well as his 100th win at Penn in January. The Quakers are currently slotted No. 27 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which is the highest-ever for Penn at the end of the regular season.
McLaughlin, now in his seventh year, has brought the Penn women’s basketball program to unprecedented success during his tenure. He has helped the Quakers to three-straight 20-win seasons for the first time in history, as well as four-straight postseason appearances. He piloted the Red and Blue to the school’s first-ever Big 5 Championship last season, en route to winning his second-consecutive Big 5 Coach of the Year award.
Following Penn's Ivy title in 2014, McLaughlin and the Quakers earned the program’s highest NCAA seed (No. 12) and played fifth-seeded Texas in College Park, Md.
The Red and Blue will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday Night, as it will be announced live on the Women's Basketball Selection Special on ESPN at 7 p.m. The Red and Blue will be hosting a “Watch Party” in The Palestra—open to the public—with the doors opening at 6:15 p.m.