Shocking Ivy hoops fans, Dartmouth men’s basketball coach David McLaughlin and Penn women’s basketball coach Mike McLaughlin revealed Saturday that they had switched places the entire 2016-17 season and coached one another’s team – and nobody noticed.
“It’s really disappointing,” Mike McLaughlin said. “It shows how few fans, even Penn folks, are paying attention to the women’s game.”
“I still don’t think anybody knows who I am,” David McLaughlin said.
Mike McLaughlin was stunned to learn upon his arrival in Hanover that the last basketball owned by Dartmouth Athletics had been eaten by sheep, and it took him a while to adjust his style of coaching during practices without any basketballs, resulting in a 0-9 start.
David McLaughlin worried occasionally about turning his program over without having a single season in Hanover under his belt, and he really missed the Big Green’s video equipment.
“When you’re on a court, you’re on a court. They’re all the same,” McLaughlin said before bursting out laughing. “Except if one is Leede Arena and the other is the Palestra,” he added.
Both McLaughlins attributed their team’s disappointing season finales – Dartmouth’s 85-48 defeat at Princeton and Penn’s epic fourth-quarter collapse in the NCAA Tournament – to the switch.
“We were both gassed from trying to do each other’s job, and we’re going back to where we belong.” David McLaughlin said. “Those sheep aren’t going to handle themselves.”