Dartmouth Hires New Basketball Coach

Dartmouth Names McLaughlin New Men’s Basketball Coach

  • David McLaughlin was named the 28th head coach of Big Green men’s basketball on Monday, replacing Paul Cormier who was fired last month.

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hanover — Dartmouth College once had a president named David T. McLaughlin. Now it has a men’s basketball coach named David A. McLaughlin. 

The latter man was, until Monday, the associate head coach at Northeastern. He replaces Paul Cormier, who was fired last month with a year remaining on his contract. Cormier compiled a 55-116 overall record and a 23-61 Ivy League mark during a six-year stint with the Big Green, the second of his career.

McLaughlin “is a strong tactician with a terrific history of developing players,” said Dartmouth athletic director Harry Sheehy in a Monday press release.

McLaughlin parlayed a successful, nine-year run as head coach at NCAA Division II Stonehill (Mass.) College into the job at Division I Northeastern. The Huskies went 11-21 his first season but 23-12 the second, reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time in 24 years. The program was 18-15 last winter.

“The Dartmouth community provides its athletes a unique academic and athletic experience,” McLaughlin said in the release. “The leadership in place and commitment to excellence in the athletic department is palpable.

“I am looking forward to building relationships with the players as we begin our process of building a wining program.”

McLaughlin played four years at Maine’s Colby College, from which he graduated in 1997. He helped the coaching staff at Suffolk University in Boston while earning a master’s degree there and moved on to a full-time assistant’s job at Wesleyan for two seasons. 

Following three and a half seasons as an assistant at Stonehill, he took over as the Skyhawks’ interim head coach and remained atop that program until 2013. Stonehill is a private, Catholic institution of roughly 2,600 students founded in 1948 and located in suburban Boston.  

Stonehill, 11-45 the two seasons before McLaughlin took the head job, went 189-99 under his leadership and was 135-80 in Northeast 10 Conference play. He guided the Skyhawks to six 20-win seasons, including a program-record 27 victories during the team's 2005-06 NCAA Division II national semifinal run. Stonehill reached the NCAA tournament five times and won a conference regular season title and a conference tournament crown.

“David has the most complete blend of recruiting expertise, high-level player development and technical teaching I have encountered,” said Dick Whitmore, his college coach, in Dartmouth’s release. “His ability to bring groups together, on the player, alumni, community and staff level is superior. Success is on the horizon for the Big Green.”

Dartmouth was 10-18 last season and sixth in the eight-team Ivy League, which it has not won or shared since 1959. The Big Green was 14-15 during the 2014-15 campaign and reached the postseason for the first time in 56 years when it lost in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

Shortly after that game, however, Dartmouth junior guard Alex Mitola, an All-Ivy player and three-year starer, announced he would graduate early and transfer to George Washington, where he enrolled as a graduate student. The Colonials won the National Invitational Tournament this season with Mitola playing regularly.

Dartmouth was left to struggle with a freshman and an erratic senior as Mitola’s replacements. Cormier’s last team was 4-10 in the Ivies at a time when the league’s national profile has never been higher in men’s basketball. Harvard has flirted with top-20 status in recent years and Yale, the Ancient Eight’s representative in the current tournament, upset Baylor and played Duke tough in a second-round loss last weekend.

Dartmouth last finished with a winning record during the 1998-99 season, when it was 14-12. That was the Big Green’s third winning season during a four-year stretch but the coach at the time, Dave Faucher, was fired in 2004 after a 3-25 campaign.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or at 603-727-3227.