Donovan, players react to her move to the Connecticut Sun
Her time with the women’s basketball team may have been short, but head coach Anne Donovan has made a positive impact on a basketball program that has been known as a perennial basement dweller in the Big East.
After three years as the head coach of the Seton Hall Women’s team, Donovan is once again taking her talents to the WNBA.
Donovan, a Ridgewood, N.J. native, is packing her bags at season’s end. She’s headed for her fifth stint as a coach in the WNBA, this time with the Connecticut Sun. However, according to Donovan that is the last thing that is on her mind.
“I’m really not focused on it at all,” Donovan said. “I’m going to enjoy this win (against Rutgers on Sunday) and then tomorrow I’m moving on (to the next game.)”
After being welcomed to the program in March 2010, alongside men’s basketball head coach Kevin Willard, Donovan has made this program her life. The dedication she has put in has clearly rubbed off onto her players, and it is really starting to show.
Each year since taking over at the helm, Donovan’s Pirates team has improved, and her players drive can be looked at as the main reason.
Senior guard Brittany Morris, who has played under Coach Donovan for the past three seasons, had nothing but great things to say about her coach’s impact.
“She has changed the culture and made us all competitive as individuals and as a team,” Morris said. “You see a different team than years before.”
Along with Morris, redshirt sophomore, Ka-Deidre Simmons, a recruit of Donovan’s, said she admired Donovan’s dedication to the program.
“Coach Donovan isn’t a lazy coach, and she’s tough,” Simmons said. “Every practice, every game, and every moment she is on us because she wants the best from us.”
In some cases when a coach is planning to leave, they lose the pulse of their team, but it appears that’s not the case with this gritty Pirates team.
After the team’s monumental win against Rutgers on Sunday, the first in 11 years, Morris said that the team is not going to quit on their coach.
“She is going to stay here and finish it out strong with us,” Morris said. “We owe her the same to stay to finish it as strong as we can.”
The Pirates have made a big improvement and have won three conference games, matching their total for the three previous seasons.
They are currently 10th in the Big East. The past two seasons they finished 15th overall.
Kenny Lenoci can be contacted at Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org.