Named head coach of the women’s basketball program on April 14, Cathy Inglese owns a 393-253 (.608) career coaching record in 22 seasons as a head coach. The Wallingford, Conn, native served as Boston College’s head coach from 1993-2008, registering a 273-179 (.604) overall record. She guided Boston College to seven NCAA Tournaments and one trip to the WNIT. Under her direction, the Eagles made three trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and posted a program-high national ranking of No. 14 at the end of the 2003-04 season.
Congratulations and welcome to URI.
I am extremely excited to be here, and a lot of that has to do with Thorr Bjorn, his leadership, vision and enthusiasm. I also enjoy the challenge of growing a program and helping to build new traditions. Another draw for me was the ability to compete in the Atlantic 10; the fact that eight teams qualified for the postseason this past year tells you a lot about the quality of the league.
I believe you have to surround yourself with good people. That starts at the top with the administration and includes working with a super staff. It is also important to reach out to people within the University and community to build that support network. Perhaps most important is to bring in the right student-athletes. It’s vital to have your team play as a group.
What will be your first duty as head coach at URI?
First, I need to get to know the players. I need to explain to them my focus, philosophy, and expectations. I’m also going to reach out to our incoming freshmen with phone calls to introduce myself. Other things I will do? Hire an outstanding staff and hit the recruiting trails.
What should Rhody basketball fans expect from a Cathy Inglese-coached team?
What is your recruiting philosophy?
I look for players who want to make a difference, who want to be a part of something greater than themselves, and who believe in us as much as we believe in them. The vast number of majors we have at URI is a huge plus. The campus is beautiful and the location is ideal. Playing in a strong, competitive conference like the Atlantic 10 is also an excellent selling point.
As proven by your 100 percent graduation rate, you emphasize academics. How have you been able to balance academics and athletics?
Initially when I recruit someone, I stress the academic end of things. My recruits come here to graduate in four years—that is the number one priority. Once they are here, it’s our responsibility to give them what they need to be successful. The academic advising staff is an incredibly important part of our program.
What are your thoughts on the Atlantic 10 Conference?
I really like the A-10. I’ve known Bernadette McGlade [commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference] for a long time; she’s a tremendous leader. I also like the geography of the league. The fact that we get to travel outside of the region to places like Charlotte, St. Louis, and Richmond, allows us to expand our recruiting area.