On Friday afternoon, Brown Athletic Director Jack Hayes announced the hiring of Monique LeBlanc as the Bears’ new women’s basketball coach, the fifth in program history.
LeBlanc, a native of Cumberland, R.I., will arrive in Providence after a nine-year tenure at Merrimack College. This past season, when the Warriors made the jump from Division II to Division I, LeBlanc had her best season with a 20-10 record and a 13-5 third-place finish in the Northeast Conference.
In addition to leading Merrimack on the court, LeBlanc also held the position of Associate Athletic Director from 2012-2020. Prior to joining the Warriors, she was an assistant coach at Northern Arizona from 2008-2011 and Bucknell from 2005-2008. At her alma mater, she helped the Bison to two Patriot League championships in 2007 and 2008, as well as an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008.
In her nine years as a head coach, LeBlanc has an overall record of 129-121 with a 109-112 mark during her time leading the Warriors in the Northeast 10 (NE10). In those first eight years, her team made it into the league’s conference tournament 5 times with its best result a semifinal appearance in 2013.
In his choice of LeBlanc, Hayes made his second straight pick of a former NE10 head coach who transitioned her team into Division 1. Sarah Behn was in charge of UMass-Lowell as she moved the River Hawks into the America East Conference in 2013-2014 before coming over to Brown.
Behn, who resigned her position on March 23, led the Bears for six seasons, compiling a 74-96 (20-64 Ivy) record with her best season coming in 2016-17 with a tie for fourth and an appearance in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.
There is also an on-the-court connection between LeBlanc and Behn, as Tyler Patch, a Brown assistant from 2014-2018, was Merrimack’s lead assistant for the last two seasons.
There is no word at this time on whether Patch, a former guest on Inside Ivy Hoops, will return to the sidelines of the Pizzitola Center.