Fordham hires Gaitley as women's basketball coach
Stephanie Gaitley is eager for her new challenge as the women's basketball coach at Fordham.
''I'm ecstatic and excited to take Fordham's program where it's never been,'' she told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Friday. ''I love the vision of the University.''
The school announced her hiring on its website Friday afternoon.
Gaitley spent three seasons at Monmouth, leading the Hawks to a 23-10 mark and second place finish in the Northeast Conference this past year. Their season ended with a loss to Syracuse in the first round of the WNIT.
''It was obviously a bittersweet situation,'' she said. ''I love my team and we're going to probably be the favorites to win the NEC next year. It's been an emotionally last 48 hours.''
Fordham finished 12-19 this year and coach Cathy Andruzzi announced in early March that she wouldn't return next season.
The Rams haven't had a winning year since 1994-95 when they were 19-10. They also lost 35 straight games, including going 0-29 in 2007-08 to set an NCAA record for futility in a single season.
''I was involved with that job five years ago and thought it was something you could win at, but the timing didn't work out then,'' said Gaitley, who signed a multi-year contract. ''They called me a few weeks ago and asked if I was interested.''
Before coaching at Monmouth, Gaitley spent six seasons at Long Island University where the Blackbirds won a school-record 24 games in 2007-08. Gaitley also coached in the Atlantic 10 at Saint Joseph's where she led that team to five 20-win seasons.
She has compiled a 464-270 record over her 25 years coaching.
''She has been a winner and has always had a conference-championship caliber team,'' Fordham Executive Director of Athletics Frank McLaughlin said in a statement. ''Her outstanding coaching career makes a strong statement that Fordham is very serious about becoming one of the top women's basketball programs in the very competitive Atlantic 10 Conference.''