Fairfield University Head Women's Basketball Coach Dianne Nolan steps aside


Coach moves forward after 28 seasons at the helm of the Stags

Diane NolanFairfield University head women's basketball coach Dianne Nolan announced this afternoon her decision to step aside after 28 years at the helm of the Stags.

"I am very proud of what we have accomplished here at Fairfield during my tenure," Nolan said. "I have had the honor of coaching student-athletes who not only excelled on and off the court, but who have established very successful careers. The latter is probably the most gratifying, because basketball ends for all players at some point.

"I leave knowing that the program is on solid ground. Winning the MAAC and competing in the postseason have been the goals of the program we developed from Division III to being recognized as a class program in Division I. I wish the University well in the search for the new coach. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career."

Nolan posted a 456-359 (.560) record during her tenure with the Stags, leading the program to five postseason appearances. She led the Stags to four NCAA Tournament appearances, the most recent in 2001, which was an at-large bid, the first in school history. Fairfield captured three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament titles, in 1988, 1991, and 1998, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each season. The Stags were invited to the 2000 WNIT, after posting a school record 25 wins, a number they equaled a season later.

Nolan has received numerous coaching accolades during her tenure with the Stags, including the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) Distinguished Service Award in 2006. The MBWA named her its coach of the year in 2001, and she earned MAAC coach of the year honors five times.

"I am thankful for the 28 years of service that Dianne has provided this University as the face of our women's basketball program," said Director of Athletics Eugene P. Doris. "Dianne embodies the Jesuit ideal and has provided our student-athletes, as well as the youth of our community, with an excellent role model. Her teams have always competed at a high level on the court, and with great success in the classroom. Additionally, Dianne has always been an active member of the University and local community, giving her time and effort unselfishly. As we begin the search for our next head coach, we will build on the foundation provided by Coach Nolan and continue to strive towards the goals we have for the program."

Doris indicated that a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately, utilizing the resources of ChampSearch. ChampSearch, based in Northridge, Calif., will provide assistance in the development of a pool of top-flight candidates.

Nolan's coaching career has spanned 33 years, with her first five seasons at St. Francis (NY). She is one of only 32 NCAA Division I coaches to have compiled more than 500 career wins, and currently ranks 27th all-time with 517 victories. Her 33-year career record is 517-416 (.554).

Contact: Chris O'Connor at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2878

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 20, 2007