Belle Koclanes steps down as Dartmouth women’s coach

Belle Koclanes is leaving Dartmouth to become the president of a Delaware nonprofit focused on leadership development. (Ivy League)

Belle Koclanes is moving on.

After eight years at the helm of Dartmouth women’s basketball, Koclanes announced on Wednesday her departure from the program to become the President of Strive: How You Lead Matters, a Wilmington, Del.-based nonprofit.

“This is an extremely unique opportunity for me to continue to share my passion for leadership development with an organization that inspired me to pursue a career in coaching back in 2002,” Koclanes said in a statement posted to the Dartmouth Athletics, noting that three program alumnae who played for Koclanes, Nicola Zimmer ’14, Emily Slagle ’18 and Lakin Roland ’16 (an assistant under Koclanes since 2018) have all participated as young coaches in Strive’s foundational program, Sports Challenge.

“Leaving Dartmouth for Strive is an inside foot pivot,” Koclanes said.

Koclanes will stay on at Dartmouth until March 31 before beginning her new position. A national search for Koclanes’s successor will start immediately, the school announced.

Dartmouth went 77-117 (.396) overall and 34-64 (.347) under Koclanes starting with the 2013-14 season, when she took over for Chris Wielgus, who became the all-time winningest coach in 28 seasons across two stints leading the Big Green from 1976 to 1984 and 1993 to 2013.

The Big Green never won an Ivy League championship or made a postseason or Ivy League Tournament appearance under Koclanes, coming just short of the tourney with fifth-place conference finishes in 2018 and 2019. Still, the Big Green were typically strong defensively under Koclanes, and 11 of Koclanes’s former players are now high school or college coaches.

Dartmouth’s other assistant under Koclanes is Kelcie Rombach, who like Roland joined the staff in 2018. Past assistants under Koclanes include Princeton ’11 standout player and assistant coach Addie Micir, who is currently associate head coach at Lehigh, and Portsmouth, N.H. native Maria Williamson, who took over at Chicago last season after five years as an assistant at Loyola Chicago and saluted Koclanes in a statement Wednesday.

“Her focus on having a growth mindset, being solution-oriented, and positive motivates all around her to act in this same way,” Williamson said. It is unique, special and why Coach Belle’s impact at Dartmouth will be felt for a long time to come. I’m excited for her to lead and develop the Strive community in the same way.”

Yale head coach Allison Guth also applauded Koclanes in a statement.

“This is a bittersweet day as I congratulate someone who is most deserving of her exciting endeavor as the newest President of Strive,” Guth said. There is no doubt she will tackle this opportunity with the same passion and character as she did coaching her young women at Dartmouth.

Strive focuses on character-driven leadership by partnering with young people and adults nationwide in schools, athletic leagues and community organizations to develop leaders, according to the nonprofit’s website.

“I’d like to thank the college, athletic department and our Dartmouth women’s basketball family across every generation and roster for the opportunity to wear the Green,” Koclanes said. “It was an honor to lead our women’s basketball program these past eight seasons, and I look forward to celebrating our 18th championship in the very near future.”

 

Ivy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:

We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:

  • As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
  • When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
  • Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
  • We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
  • Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.

This is just the beginning.

Read moreIvy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

Yale completes season sweep of Cornell, takes sole possession of third place

If revenge was the motive, then call it mission accomplished for Yale.
Cornell swept Yale last season to knock the Bulldogs out of Ivy League Tournament contention. Yale completed this season’s sweep of the Big Red last night at John J. Lee Amphitheater, 65-51.
The game was nip and tuck early on, but Yale (16-6, 6-3 Ivy) ended the half with a 32-27 lead behind the clutch shooting of Ellen Margaret Andrews. The Bulldogs were 4-for-6 from 3 in the first half. Andrews posted 18 points for the game to lead her squad.

Read moreYale completes season sweep of Cornell, takes sole possession of third place

No. 25 Princeton stymies Yale, 55-39

There are 13 people on a basketball court at any one time. One never should focus on three of them.
Unfortunately, the focus was on them in the first half of the Princeton-Yale battle at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
And they were equal-opportunity malfeasants. You won’t hear that from Princeton coach Carla Berube or Yale coach Allison Guth. They are too classy.
But the officials made some mind-jarring calls which led to both Yale standout Roxy Barahman and Princeton star Bella Alarie ending up on the bench early.
Princeton, ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll, beat Yale, 55-39, before a sparse crowd of 551 at JLA. Princeton (18-1, 6-0 Ivy) had a large and vocal following behind its bench. Former UConn great and National Player of the Year Kara Wolters was present to support her former college teammate Berube.

Read moreNo. 25 Princeton stymies Yale, 55-39

Yale women continue to gather momentum with 73-40 rout of Brown

Yale’s on a roll.

The Bulldogs shut down Brown with authority in a 73-40 rout at the Pizzitola Sports Center Saturday, completing a season sweep of the Bears after having beaten them 79-72 last Friday.

Yale (12-3, 2-0 Ivy) held Brown (6-9, 0-2) to five points in the first quarter and 15-for-57 (26.3%) shooting for the game.

Read moreYale women continue to gather momentum with 73-40 rout of Brown

Yale bests North Carolina, hands Tar Heels their first home loss under Courtney Banghart

Watch out, Princeton and Penn. Yale is lurking in the background in plain sight.

The Elis upset favored and high scoring UNC, 66-63, Saturday at fabled Carmichael Arena, before a crowd of 2,632. It was the lowest point output of the season for the Tar Heels, coached by former Princeton coach Courtney Banghart.

Read moreYale bests North Carolina, hands Tar Heels their first home loss under Courtney Banghart

Q&A with Yale forward Camilla Emsbo

Camilla Emsbo is averaging 15.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and an Ivy League-leading 2.6 blocks per contest through nine games. (Yale Athletics)

Hailing from Lakewood, Colo., Camilla Emsbo is a sophomore star for the 6-3 Bulldogs. She is the highest-rated high school player to ever commit to Yale, having been ranked No. 34 by ESPN. Her identical sister Kira plays at Princeton. Emsbo is Yale’s second-leading scorer at 15.8 points per game (just behind senior guard Roxy Barahman’s 16.6) and also averages 9.4 rebounds per game.

Read moreQ&A with Yale forward Camilla Emsbo

Q&A with Yale coach Allison Guth

IHO writer Richard Kent caught up recently with Yale women’s basketball coach Allison Guth as she enters her fifth season helming the Bulldogs, who have registered winning campaigns each of the past three seasons. (Ivy League Digital Network)

Ivy Hoops Online: Tell us a bit about your freshmen and how much contribution you expect to get from them.

Read moreQ&A with Yale coach Allison Guth

Ivy League women’s basketball preseason power rankings

Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy women’s and men’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the women:

Read moreIvy League women’s basketball preseason power rankings