Carly Thibault-DuDonis Named Head Coach of Fairfield Women’s Basketball

Carly Thibault-DuDonis Named Head Coach of Fairfield Women’s Basketball

Carly Thibault-DuDonis

Thibault-DuDonis most recently served as associate head coach at the University of Minnesota.

A veteran of two Final Fours and one of the nation's top recruiters, Carly Thibault-DuDonis has been named the head coach of the Fairfield University Women's Basketball program, as announced on Monday by Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann. Thibault-DuDonis most recently served as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Minnesota.
 
"I am absolutely thrilled to introduce Carly Thibault-DuDonis as the Head Coach of Fairfield University Women's Basketball," said Schilckmann. "In what was a comprehensive search process, it became abundantly clear that Carly embodies who we are and who we aspire to be — as a University, as an Athletics department, and as a championship-caliber women's basketball program. She has achieved exceptional results at every step of her journey as a student-athlete and as a coach, consistently adding great value and making those around her better. Carly has astutely aligned herself with hall of fame mentors and effectively coalesced their best qualities into the person we hire today. She possesses a relentless work ethic, exudes an impressive basketball acumen, has established herself as an elite recruiter, and articulates an authentic desire for the holistic development of young women. At this pivotal moment in our history, we are excited to have Carly at the helm of our women's basketball program."
 
In four seasons at Minnesota alongside newly minted Naismith Hall of Famer Lindsay Whalen, Thibault-DuDonis brought three nationally ranked recruiting classes to Williams Arena — including a current incoming class that ranks 10th in the nation — and the first two five-star recruits in program history. On the court, she was integral in the development of All-Big Ten First Teamer and WNBA draft pick Kenisha Bell, as well as All-Big Ten Second Team guards Sara Scalia and Destiny Pitts. Thibault-DuDonis was the team's defensive coordinator and assumed the role of interim head coach in 2022 while Whalen was on medical leave.
 
"I am honored to be named the next head women's basketball coach at Fairfield University," said Thibault-DuDonis. "In my coaching journey, it has always been my goal to be in places where I could positively impact young women's lives and be surrounded by others who wanted to do the same. Here at Fairfield, I've found a perfect fit. From the moment I first spoke with President Nemec, Paul Schlickmann, and Zach Dayton, their passion for women's basketball was apparent, and it was clear that our values aligned. I cannot thank them enough for entrusting me with the women's basketball program at this illustrious university. I cannot wait to get on campus to meet our student-athletes and begin developing relationships with them. We will continue to build a program that Fairfield can be proud of — one rooted in selflessness. It takes a village to be successful, and we will be ingrained in the Fairfield community in a noticeable way as we build a championship program together."
 
Her first foray into the Power 5 world brought Thibault-DuDonis to Mississippi State University, where the Bulldogs made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Championship Game and brought the first-ever SEC Regular Season Championship to Starkville. During her tenure on Vic Schaefer's coaching staff, Thibault-DuDonis was the recruiting coordinator that secured the top two classes in MSU history. Charged with the development of the Bulldogs' back court, Thibault-DuDonis worked alongside 2018 First Team AP All-American Victoria Vivians, who went on to be the eighth overall selection in the 2018 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.
 
"Our women's basketball program is clearly on the rise, having won our conference and competed energetically in the NCAA Tournament this past year, " said University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD. "As we continue to advance as a modern, Jesuit Catholic university of national prominence, we are taking our athletics programs to greater heights. I had the pleasure of meeting with Carly Thibault-DuDonis and came away impressed with her integrity and her ambition. With her roots in the region and her extensive experience coaching and recruiting at the highest level, she is well-prepared to be the leader who will propel the program ever more forward, building upon the excellent foundation that we have established."
 
Prior to her time at Mississippi State, Thibault-DuDonis was on Head Coach Tory Verdi's coaching staff at Eastern Michigan University from 2014-2016, during which time the Eagles made a pair of WNIT appearances as well as a trip to the 2015 Mid-American Conference Championship Game.
 
She began her collegiate career at Florida State University as director of Recruiting Operations for Head Coach Sue Semrau in the 2013-14 season. In that role, she signed both the 11th-ranked high school recruit and the top-ranked junior college recruit in the nation to join the Seminoles. She also served as an interim assistant coach for several months during that campaign.
 
A standout at East Lyme High School in Connecticut, Thibault-DuDonis played collegiately at Monmouth University. She earned All-Northeast Conference Third Team honors and was named the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior, and helped the Hawks to a WNIT berth in her sophomore season. Thibault-DuDonis was the valedictorian of the Class of 2013 at Monmouth, graduating with a 4.0 GPA as a psychology major with a double minor in Spanish and health studies.
 
Thibault-DuDonis married her husband Blake DuDonis in the summer of 2017. Her father Mike Thibault is currently the head coach of the WNBA's Washington Mystics. The three-time WNBA Coach of the Year previously coached the Connecticut Sun and has been an assistant coach in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
 
Thibault-DuDonis takes the helm of Fairfield Women's Basketball as the third Division I head coach, and sixth head coach in program history. This past season, the Stags won the program's first MAAC Championship since 1998 and made their first NCAA postseason appearance since 2001 in the 15th and final campaign led by Head Coach Joe Frager.
 
A day, time, and on-campus location for Thibault-DuDonis' official introduction to the campus community will be announced shortly. The event will be open to the public and also will be streamed live on the Stags Sports Network on FairfieldStags.com.

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Last modified: 04-13-22 12:00 AM

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