By Jerry Del Priore
On a beautiful, sun-kissed Monday afternoon in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, St. Francis College Women’s basketball fans, administrators, and media alike gathered to greet its new Women’s Basketball head coach Linda Cimino to its school at a press conference.
Cimino is taking over the reigns from John Thurston, who retired after guiding the team for six years.
Cimino is the 13th women’s hoops coach in school history and leaves a successful stint at Division I Binghamton University, where she led the Bearcats to a team-record 20 wins in the 2017-18 campaign.
St. Francis College administrators could not stop singing Cimino’s praise, while being optimistic regarding the school’s hoops program’s future with her at the helm.
“We could not have asked for a better individual to lead our Women’s Basketball program,” St. Francis College Director of Athletics Irma Garcia said in a press release. “Linda embodies so many of the values we pride ourselves in here at St. Francis College. We are excited to see her continue the high standard of excellence coach Thurston and his staff brought to our Women’s Basketball program. Her commitment to encourage female athletes to succeed on the court and in the classroom, as well as her mentoring of each player to become well-rounded members of their communities are what we most look forward to as she joins our Terrier community.”
Cimino expressed the same positive vibes and love for the College as it did for her and said that all indications pointed to Remsen Street as she was mulling her decision, especially when she visited Assisi, Italy–the birthplace of Saint Francis.
Other than fielding a winning product on the court, Cimino said she is going to work on molding her young female student-athletes into all they can be in life.
“I’m really happy to be here. I chose to be here, and I’m really happy for that,” Cimino told the people in attendance at St. Francis College. “When Irma called, I kept seeing signs about St. Francis. It felt like home when I came on campus. I really like the faith-based mission. I like the small community; everybody knows everybody. I’m really excited and happy to be here, to get started and I look to try and empower these young women and build them into strong, confident, independent women that can take on the world, take on any challenge, and go out there and do whatever they want to do.”
Before coaching Binghamton, Cimino guided Caldwell University for eight years. The Lincoln, Road Island, native enjoyed a healthy measure of success at the school, as she’s the Cougars’ all-time leader in wins with a 128-100 (.561) overall record. This includes a 90-52 (.633) mark in her final five years in front of the bench, averaging 18 victories per season after Caldwell went 39-71 in the four years before her tenure.