The wait is over.
Twenty-nine days after former Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart took the same position at North Carolina and with just two full days left until June, Princeton named Banghart’s successor Wednesday evening.
Carla Berube has been named the 10th head coach in Princeton women’s basketball history, succeeding Banghart after serving the past 17 seasons as head coach at Tufts, a Division III university.
Berube led Tufts to the NCAA Final Four in four consecutive seasons from 2014 through 2017, reaching the championship game in 2016 and 2017. Berube was the 2015 United States Marine Corps / Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.
In 2017, Berube was selected head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee, leading the team to a 5-0 record at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Americas Championship in Argentina and a gold medal, setting the stage for a subsequent gold medal win in the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.
Berube has also coached internationally with USA Basketball, leading the U.S. Under-16 national team to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas and the Under-17 national team to a gold medal at the World Championships.
Tufts has played solid defense under Berube, placing sixth nationally in scoring defense last season and second nationally in 2017.
Berube is also a three-time regional Coach of the Year, a four-time NESCAC Coach of the Year and a two-time USA Basketball Development Coach of the Year.
The Jumbos went 384-96 in 17 seasons under Berube.
“We are so thrilled to welcome Coach Berube to our Tiger team,” Princeton athletic director Mollie Marcoux Samaan said upon Princeton Athletics announcing her hire. “Her track record of success as a national champion player at UConn and as a coach at Tufts and with USA Basketball is truly remarkable. What impressed us most throughout the process, however, were the genuine relationships that she has built with her student-athletes. In addition to her fierce competitiveness, she is fully committed to our most important value of Education Through Athletics and is passionate about helping our amazing student-athletes reach their peak potential on the court, in the classroom and in life. We could not be more excited for the future of Princeton women’s basketball.”
Princeton Athletics noted that Berube’s players have been active in the community and that the Tufts women’s basketball team recently adopted two Team IMPACT teammates – a 12-year-old with leukemia and a 15-year-old with sickle cell anemia – partnering with the nonprofit organization that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams. Many of Berube’s players have also been Big Sisters to local children, Princeton Athletics said.
Berube acknowledged the “remarkable job” that Banghart did establishing the Tigers as an Ivy League power in her 12 seasons at the helm. Banghart left Princeton with 254 career victories and seven Ivy League championships, leading Princeton to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance and then seven more.
” … I am looking forward to building upon the winning tradition of the program on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Berube said in part. “I am drawn to Princeton’s values and philosophies, evident through Education Through Athletics and the remarkable undergraduate experience, values that directly align with my own. It took a special university like Princeton to incent me to leave Tufts University, the place I’ve called home for the past 17 years.”
Carla and her wife, Meghan, are the parents of a son, Parker, and daughter, Brogan. They are expecting their third child any day.
Berube inherits a team that will look to win its third straight Ivy League championship with a strong roster including two-time reigning Ivy Player of the Year Bella Alarie, fellow All-Ivy first-teamer Carlie Littlefield.
Berube graduated in 1997 from Connecticut, and the Huskies went 132-8 during her four years playing for the Huskies, including a 35-0 mark and a national championship during the 1994-95 season. Berube was an assistant coach at Providence before taking the head coaching position at Tufts.
Carla and her wife, Meghan, are the parents of a son, Parker, and daughter, Brogan, and are expecting their third child any day.