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Pat Coyle new Saint Peter's women's hoops coach

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Saint Peter's College has hired Pat Coyle as its women's basketball coach Thursday.

Coyle spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Pittsburgh before being let go in April. Before her stint at Pitt, Coyle was the head coach of the New York Liberty for five seasons. She steered the Liberty to the playoffs in four of those years, including two Eastern Conference Finals appearances.

The Philadelphia native is no stranger to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, guiding Loyola from 1992-99. She led that team to back-to-back tournament championships in 1994 and 1995.

''She has had some big-time experience and she has been successful,'' athletic director Joe Quinlan said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ''I think that is something that deservedly will impress students. To play for someone who has coached and been successful at a high level both collegiately and professionally is a big plus. She was also a good player (Rutgers) and let's not kind of diminish that. She has a combination of things that will help our students. She is someone who has a real energy and a real passion for women's college basketball.''

Coyle is getting a late start on recruiting, but Quinlan said she knows the New York-metropolitan area very well.

''Patty has great drive and energy and great foundation in basketball and recruiting,'' Quinlan said. ''I think she is a good judge of character and will make some good decisions quickly.''

Coyle replaced Stephanie DeWolfe, who resigned in March after leading the team for nine years. The Peahens were 2-28 last season with both of their victories coming in MAAC play.

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