John Mack chosen as Princeton’s new athletic director

Martha and the Vandellas asked for “Jimmy Mack” to come back to Motown in the winter of 1967, but Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber and the Tigers got their Mack to return to Old Nassau in the summer of 2021.

John Mack, a 2000 Princeton graduate, was announced as the school’s sixth director of athletics on Wednesday. Mack will replace Mollie Marcoux Samaan, Class of 1991, who will become the next commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). Mack starts his new position on Sept. 1.

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Yes, Virginia, there really are Ivy League schedules!

As COVID-19 numbers increase from early summer lows and masking recommendations return for the start of another pandemic academic calendar, the Ivy League gave fans a bit of positive news on Thursday with the release of the 2022 conference schedule.  After skipping the entire 2020-21 season due to safety concerns, the Ancient Eight curtain is set to rise on January 2 with eight games – a mere 666 days after the last league games on March 7, 2020.

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UNC, Maryland and Paradise Jam highlight Brown men’s basketball 2021-22 schedule

Feature: Tamenang Choh to Return to Men's Basketball in 2021-22 - Brown University Athletics
Tamenang Choh returns for one more year to lead Bruno to its first-ever Ivy Tournament appearance. (Brown Athletics)

After a year-plus hiatus, it looks like Ivy League basketball is ready to return!

The Brown men’s basketball team released its 2021-22 schedule on Wednesday with an early-season trip to Chapel Hill and a visit to the Spring Break capital of the northeast before New Year’s Eve.  Bruno will also head to the Virgin Islands before Thanksgiving to compete in the 2021 Paradise Jam.  (Hopefully, the Bears have a better travel experience than the Quakers did back in 2018.)

“This is probably the most challenging nonconference schedule our program has faced in my time as head coach and I think it is well timed,” head coach Mike Martin told Brown Athletics. “I believe that the roster we have in place will be prepared to take on every challenge and grow through the experiences as we ready ourselves for the Ivy League schedule.”

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Alanna Shanahan brings history of compliance oversight including Esformes scandal back to Penn

Alanna Shanahan | Vice Provost for Student Affairs | Office of the Provost | The Johns Hopkins University
Former Quaker lacrosse standout, Dr. Alanna Shanahan, will lead the Red & Blue Athletic Department on July 19 (Office of the Provost, Johns Hopkins University)

On a day when a disgraced men’s basketball coach was reported to be on the interview list for the Celtics head coaching job, the University of Pennsylvania hired his former supervisor as its new athletic director.

Just three months shy of the announcement that Grace Calhoun would be leaving Penn for Brown, her alma mater, Dr. Alanna Shanahan, a 1996 Penn graduate, was named Calhoun’s replacement on June 2.  Shanahan, a one-time captain and MVP of the lacrosse team, began a nineteen year association with the department as an assistant and interim head coach for her former program.

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Cy Lippold returns to the Ivy League as Columbia women’s assistant coach

Former Dartmouth standout Cy Lippold has joined the Columbia family. (Columbia Athletics)

After spending the last two years at Mercer University as a graduate assistant, former Dartmouth star Cy Lippold will be returning to the Ancient Eight as an assistant coach at Columbia.

The Bronx native, who was IHO’s Most Improved Player in 2017-2018 and Honorable Mention in 2018-2019, will be assisting with development of the guards as well as scouting, team strategy, recruiting operations and analytics, according to Columbia Athletics.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cy to the Columbia women’s basketball family,” coach Megan Griffith said. “Her strong background in leadership development and firsthand experience as an Ivy student-athlete are unmatched. I am confident she will make an immediate impact on our program.”

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Dartmouth names Adrienne Shibles new women’s basketball coach

Adrienne Shibles takes over at Dartmouth after winning more than 80% of her games over a 13-year span at Bowdoin. (Bowdoin Athletics)

Well, Ivy Hoops Online asked and Dartmouth answered.

After a nearly 10-week search, interim Director of Athletics Peter Roby hired Adrienne Shibles away from Bowdoin to become the fifth head coach in Dartmouth women’s basketball history. Shibles’s hiring makes her the second “Little Ivies” head coach to make the jump to the “Big Ivies” in the last three years.

(Shibles also becomes the second important Ivy League hire from Bowdoin in the last three months, after Penn selected Whitney Soule as its new Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions.)

“I’m excited to welcome Adrienne and her family to our Dartmouth community,” Roby said in a Dartmouth Athletics press release. “She is a proven winner with a commitment to empowering young women to reach their full potential in every way. She is well respected throughout college basketball and will provide our women’s basketball program with dynamic leadership for many years to come.”

Shibles leaves the Polar Bears after a highly successful 13-year tenure (2008-2021) with a record of 281-67 (80.7%) and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.  Her teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen eight times, including five of the last six competitive seasons, and the Final Four twice.  The 2019-20 team looked primed for a run to its third straight Final Four, entering the NCAA Tournament with a 27-2 mark, but the tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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What’s up with the Dartmouth women’s basketball search?

After leading the Big Green for the last eight years, head coach Belle Koclanes announced she was stepping down to become president of a nonprofit organization in Delaware.  While Koclanes’s last day was officially March 31, interim AD Peter Roby has actually been on the clock since the statement was released on February 24 – 68 days ago.

To put things into an Ancient Eight perspective, it took 29 days for Princeton to hire Carla Berube after Courtney Banghart left for North Carolina and 28 days for Brown to replace the departed Sarah Behn with Monique LeBlanc.  Looking at this year’s national coaching carousel, the Big Green now find themselves with the longest coaching search in the nation.

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Ivy Hoops transfers – continued …

Harvard’s Bush heads west, Haskett goes south

Two of the first three Harvard seniors to enter the transfer portal have made their graduate school decisions in November.

Jadyn Bush will be heading out west to join the University of California, Berkeley, and Rio Haskett will suit up for Hampton University.  There is still no reported decision from Danilo Djuricic.

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Final results of the Penn men’s basketball bribery scandal

After Penn parent Philip Esformes had his 20-year prison sentence for Medicare fraud commuted by fellow Quaker parent President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Ivy Hoops Online looks back at the people and departments, directly and indirectly, involved in the bribery scandal in which Esformes got former Penn men’s basketball head coach Jerome Allen to place his son, Morris Esformes, on the recruited athletes list for the fall of 2015.

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President Trump commutes sentence of Philip Esformes, mastermind behind Penn men’s basketball bribery case

The tail end of Tuesday afternoon’s statement on Executive Grants of Clemency from outgoing President Donald Trump brought news that caught the interest of Ivy hoops fans.  Philip Esformes, the father who bribed former Penn men’s basketball coach Jerome Allen to get his son, Morris, onto the recruited athlete list for the fall of 2015, had his 20-year prison sentence for Medicare insurance fraud commuted.

According to the statement, the commutation was supported by two former attorneys general, Edwin Meese (1985-1988) and Michael Mukasey (2007-2009). Meese was also joined by former attorneys general John Ashcroft (2001-2005) and Alberto Gonzalez (2005-2007), as well as Whitewater Special Counsel and former Baylor President Ken Starr, in supporting Esformes’s appeal of his conviction due to “prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege.”

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