Dartmouth women’s basketball has chosen its third head coach since 2021.
Dartmouth athletics and recreation director Mike Harrity announced the selection of Linda Cimino as the program’s new head coach Tuesday.
Cimino is the final head coach in St. Francis Brooklyn history, serving in that role from 2018 to 2023. The school ended its athletic programs. Cimino was head coach at Binghamton from 2014 to 2018 and Caldwell, a Division II school, from 2006 to 2014.
In Cimino’s five seasons there, St. Francis Brooklyn went 58-73 (.443), including 42-40 (.512) in NEC play, peaking in 2021-22 with a 13-3 second-place record in conference action (17-10 overall).
Binghamton improved from a 4-26 finish in Cimino’s first season to a 22-12 record and third-place finish in the America East in her fourth and final campaign there in 2017-18. The Bearcats went 51-72 (.415) under Cimino.
“I’m honored and thankful to have the opportunity to build on the rich tradition and be the leader of this historic program in one of the best conferences in the country,” Cimino said in Dartmouth Athletics’ announcement of her hire.
“Linda fully embraces her role as an educator and her drive for excellence set her apart in our search,” Harrity said in the announcement. “We can’t wait to have her join us on campus.”
A Lincoln, R.I. native, Cimino takes over a program that struggled in two seasons under predecessor Adrienne Shibles, winning just two Ivy League games in her tenure. Dartmouth announced Shibles had stepped down on April 17.
Dartmouth has yet to qualify for an Ivy League Tournament by finishing in the top half of the conference since the tournament was instituted for the 2016-17 season.
In December 2020, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions issued Cimino a three-game suspension and two-year show-cause order after finding Cimino had 254 impermissible communications and 11 impermissible contacts with three student-athletes from Binghamton, her prior school.
Cimino hadn’t first obtained written permission or authorization through a notification of transfer process to make the contacts, the NCAA infractions panel found.
Cimino made impermissible inducements to the same student-athletes that included buying meals and providing lodging during visits, the panel found. Cimino believed the inducements were allowed because of her “close” preexisting relationship with the former student-athletes and parents, according to the panel.
The two-year show-cause order prohibited Cimino from participating in all recruiting communication contacts and off-campus recruiting for six weeks during the following contact period. St. Francis Brooklyn was placed on two years of probation through December 2022, and its number of women’s basketball scholarships was reduced by 7% during the 2021-22 academic year.
Cimino chaired the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee from 2018 to 2020 and served the same two years on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee.
Cimino played collegiately at Adelphi under current Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico, graduating in 2001.
1 thought on “Dartmouth names Linda Cimino new women’s basketball coach”
With Dartmouth’s late dismissal of Shibles and St. Francis’ late announcement of the end of its athletic programs, this has the feel of a marriage of convenience
As Coach Griffith mentioned throughout the last couple of seasons, if the league wants to be a consistent two-bid conference, it needs to be strong from top to bottom.
Looking at Cimino’s career:
Pros – Experienced head coach for > 20 years, including 9 years at the D-1 level; history of rebuilds at Binghamton & St. Francis; Top NEC finishes – 1 2nd place, 1 3rd place & 1 4th place; Top AE finishes – 2 3rd place, 2 Dartmouth players in the transfer portal have decided to return to Hanover
Cons – 3 winning seasons out of 9 at D-1 schools; only 1 20+-win D-1 season; Left Binghamton (AE) after the 22-win season for a program in an arguably weaker conference; NCAA penalty is bad & her explanation seems pretty weak; 1 post-season appearance, 4-12 record vs Ivy opponents
Shibles was new to D-1 but had many years of huge D-3 success at Bowdoin. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well for Dartmouth as they did for Princeton when they hired Berube from Tufts. There are a lot of reasons for that difference, most outside of Shibles’ control.
With Dartmouth being one of the weakest teams in D-1, Cimino should get them to improve over the next couple of seasons. That’s certainly a plus for the program, its fans & the conference.
However, unless the coach outperforms her past in a more challenging league & the school increased its commitment, it’s hard to see the Big Green breaking through to the top half of the conference.