Eshe lays roots down at Yale as Princeton women’s coaching tree grows

Dalila Eshe takes over a Yale women’s basketball program that reached new heights under Allison Guth but is looking to to supplant Princeton as the conference’s premier program. Eshe is the latest Ivy head coach to come from Princeton. (Yale Athletics)

The Princeton tree continues to sprout women’s basketball coaches in the Ivy League.

Yale named Princeton assistant Dalila Eshe as the 11th head coach in program history Monday. Eshe replaces Allison Guth, now head coach at Loyola Chicago.

Former Tiger assistants are now the head coaches at Yale, Harvard (Carrie Moore) and Columbia (Megan Griffith).

And it makes sense.

The Tigers are as close to a dynasty as one might find in the corridors of the Ancient Eight. Princeton won Ivy titles in 2018, 2019 and 2022, the last three years that the title has been contested, and have gone 40-2 during that period in the Ivy.

Eshe impressed at her opening presser today at John J. Lee Amphitheater. She gave immediate kudos to Yale president Peter Salovey, an American social psychologist who Eshe could identify with as a former college psychology major. She also credited Yale athletic director Vicky Chun and deputy athletic director Ann-Marie Guglieri on a very professional search.

“It is an honor and a dream come true to accept this position,” Eshe said, adding that the Bulldogs “will pride ourselves on putting in the work to win championships.”

Eshe comes to Yale from Princeton where she spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping Princeton to a No. 24 national ranking and a NCAA Tournament first-round win over favored Kentucky.

The Tallahassee, Fla. native was a WNBA player with the Washington Mystics and Atlanta Dream and coached at Loyola Maryland, East Carolina and La Salle before her stop at Princeton. She knows talent when she sees it, having secured La Salle’s first-ever top 100 recruit. During her recruiting tenure at Princeton, the Tigers boasted three consecutive top-40 classes.

Eshe made it clear that she is a defense-first coach who also values the significance of a top-flight post presence like 6-foot-5 Yale junior Camilla Emsbo. Eshe knows her well, having coached her twin sister Kira at Princeton. The new Yale coach values post players who “can stretch out.”

The Florida alumna noted that in her first meeting with her new team on Tuesday night, team members urged her to help with community outreach to bolster women’s basketball attendance at Yale. Eshe also recognizes that the league has been, and can be in the future, a two-bid NCAA conference. With that in mind, Eshe wants to play a challenging yet realistic out-of-conference schedule.

Yale returns Emsbo and a large part of the squad which compiled a 16-11 record and a 9-5 mark in the Ivy this past season before falling in the Ivy League Tournament to Columbia.

Yale women’s basketball names former Princeton assistant Dalila Eshe its new head coach

Dalila Eshe is the new head coach for Yale women’s basketball after three years as an assistant coach at Princeton. (Yale Athletics)

The Dalila Eshe era has begun in New Haven.

Yale Athletics named Eshe head coach of Yale women’s basketball Monday, 17 days after Loyola Chicago announced that Allison Guth was leaving Yale to take over there.

Eshe comes from Princeton, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons under Carla Berube.

Eshe will be introduced at a press conference Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., inside John J. Lee Amphitheater, Yale Athletics announced.

Guth had won 99 games in six seasons, during which the Bulldogs set the single-season program win record twice during her tenure at Yale.

Now it’s up to Eshe, a former WNBA Draft pick, to build on that success.

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Allison Guth leaves behind strong legacy of winning, big shoes to fill for Yale women’s basketball

Allison Guth went 99-74 over seven years as Yale’s head coach, leading the Bulldogs to a program-record 19 wins in 2017-18 and 2019-20 and the 2018 WBI championship. (Ivy League Digital Network)

Allison Guth, arguably the most successful women’s basketball coach in the history of Yale’s program, is now the new head coach at Loyola Chicago.

Guth said that her decision to leave Yale was “a personal one,” as most of the Arlington Heights, Ill. native’s family resides in the greater Chicago area. Guth herself is an Illinois native and played college basketball at Illinois.

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Allison Guth leaves Yale women’s basketball to take over as head coach at Loyola Chicago

Allison Guth leaves Yale for Loyola Chicago in her home state of Illinois after seven years and a 99-74 record at the helm in New Haven. (Ivy League Digital Network)

After seven years at Yale women’s basketball’s helm, Allison Guth is headed home.

Loyola Chicago announced Friday that Guth has taken over as head coach of the Ramblers after winning 99 games and setting the single-season program win record twice during her tenure in the same role at Yale.

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Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Days 1 & 2

Ivy Madness became Ivy Gladness for Princeton women’s basketball after its 72-67 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.”  Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing.  The opposite is true.  It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this.  It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there.  There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go.  It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton

Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:

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Ivy League Tournament: Men’s semifinals preview

 

“The expectations (for winning) are always there, they just felt even heavier this year (due to the pandemic).  There should be several asterisks next to it (being at the Ivy League Tournament) and that’s true of all the teams.” – Princeton coach Mitch Henderson

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“We’re not done”: Columbia throttle Yale in Ivy League Tournament women’s semifinal

Columbia junior forward Hannah Pratt and the Lions savored their Ivy League Tournament semifinal romp over Yale at Lavietes Pavilion Friday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)
The time-honored expression that it is difficult to beat a team three times in a season was debunked by Columbia Friday night in the second Ivy League Tournament semifinal at Lavietes Pavilion.
The high-flying Lions completed the season sweep with a 67-38 wire-to-wire win.
“I hope you all enjoyed watching Columbia play today,” Columbia coach Megan Griffith said to open the Lions’ postgame press conference. “We’re not done.”

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Ivy League Tournament: Women’s semifinals preview

 

“Is there even a clock in March?” – Yale head coach Allison Guth in response to a question about the possibility of playing two games against higher seeds in 26 hours

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Harvard women best Yale in pivotal meeting in Ivy League Tournament race

First-year guard Harmoni Turner tied a career scoring high with 25 points in Harvard’s win over Yale Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

In a game that had the feel of a battle for third place in the Ivy League and a chance to avoid Princeton in the first round of the conference tournament, Harvard outlasted Yale, 65-59.

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Yale women best Brown off buzzer-beater from Christen McCann

Now that was a finish to remember.

Yale overcame a slow start and the absence of all-everything Camilla Emsbo to injury to beat Brown at John J. Lee Amphitheater Monday, 69-67, on a layup by Christen McCann with 1.8 seconds remaining.

 

Jenna Clark, the Ivy assist leader, dished on the winning bucket.

The winner was set up by a Klara Astrom steal with five seconds remaining. Coach Allison Guth then called a timeout to set up the winning shot.

McCann played a full 39 minutes and led her team with 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting. The Port St. Lucie, Fla. native also added eight rebounds.

Versatile senior forward Alex Cade took over for Emsbo at center and led Yale (10-6, 3-1 Ivy) with 11 rebounds while standing out with a career-high 18 points.

First-year guard Isabella Mauricio led Brown (5-11, 0-4) with her own career high of 23 points.

Brown carried a 41-37 lead into the locker room off of a torrid 53% shooting from the field. The Bears had taken a 22-21 lead at the end of the first quarter on a Mauricio trey at the buzzer and then went on a 12-0 run to start the second quarter.

Both Mauricio and freshman forward Amanda Latkany had eight in the half and Yale was paced by Jenna Clark with seven. Latkany had missed both the Harvard and Princeton losses.

Yale outscored Brown over the third stanza, fueled by an 8-0 run. Brown carried a narrow 56-55 lead into the last period.

Brown entered the game averaging only 55 points per game but shot 47% from the floor.

Yale outrebounded the visitors 43-31 and held a 16-1 advantage on the offensive glass to claim its third straight win.

Brown hosts Columbia and Yale hosts Penn next Saturday, both at 2 p.m.