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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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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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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