Stephanie Gaitley, who led Monmouth University to 23 wins and a WNIT appearance this past winter, is the new head women’s basketball coach.
Gaitley signed a multi-year contract to lead the Rams in the Atlantic 10, a highly competitive conference that sent eight teams to postseason play in 2011, including three to the NCAA Tournament.
Gaitley arrives at Rose Hill with extensive head coaching experience, including some time in the Atlantic 10. She has guided teams from Monmouth, Long Island University, Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Richmond over the past 25 years. Her 464-270 career record (.630 winning percentage) over that span includes 12 seasons of at least 20 wins.
“After an extensive national search, we are excited to find someone like Stephanie Gaitley to lead our women’s basketball program,” said Frank McLaughlin, executive director of athletics at Fordham. “She has been a winner and has always had a conference championship-caliber team.”
Last year, Gaitley led Monmouth to a 23-10 record, 13-5 in the Northeast Conference, and helped the Hawks tie the school record for wins in a season and advance to the title game of the NEC Championship. Following the championship game loss, Monmouth received its first WNIT bid and its first postseason appearance since the 1983 NCAA Tournament.
Gaitley spent the past three seasons at Monmouth, recording a winning slate each year. She accomplished this with a trademark tough defense, allowing less than 60 points per game each year, including an NEC-best 55.7 this past season.
Her Monmouth teams also were successful in the classroom. In fact, the 2009-2010 squad was honored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) as one of the top academic teams in the nation. The Hawks ranked 15th in the country in the WBCA’s annual Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll, which is based on the highest grade point averages (GPA) for the entire season.
“Not only has Stephanie had great success on the court, she has always emphasized academic success and the full development of the student-athlete,” McLaughlin said. “Her outstanding career makes a strong statement that Fordham is serious about becoming one of the top women’s basketball programs in the Atlantic 10.”
Prior to her three years at Monmouth, Gaitley served for six seasons as the head coach at Long Island University (LIU), accumulating a 95-82 record. She left as the winningest coach in LIU women’s basketball history. In her final season at the school, she guided the Blackbirds to a school-record 24 wins and the top seed in the Northeast Conference Tournament.
Prior to coaching at Long Island, Gaitley led Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia for 10 seasons (1992-2001), including five 20-win seasons and two Atlantic 10 championships. Her time there included five NCAA Tournament bids and three at-large berths. She led the Hawks to a 196-88 mark, becoming the second-winningest coach in school history.
In 1992-93, Gaitley’s team at St. Joseph’s went 21-8, which kick-started a run of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in three of the next four years. Her teams in 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 went a combined 39-18, and her 1999-2000 team went 25-6.
Gaitley, a native of Ocean City, N.J., received a bachelor of science degree in education from Villanova in 1982 and was an Academic All-American that season. She received a master of science in secondary education from Villanova in 1983 and was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1993, three years after she was enshrined in the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame.