The Joe Haigh Era at St. Francis (PA) has indeed come to an end.
Per High Post Hoops, the head coach of the St. Francis (PA) women’s basketball team has made the decision to step down. Under coach Haigh, the Red Flash were 93-100 overall and 66-42 in the Northeast Conference. The Red Flash also were able to accumulate three postseason berths. Of those berths, the Red Flash won an NEC conference tournament championship and the program’s first postseason win.
“Joe Haigh and I have discussed this, and I know this was not an easy decision for him,” stated Dr. Frank Montcolvo, Vice President for Innovative Partnerships and Student Development at St. Francis (PA), in a statement on the athletics website.
Significantly, this decision comes months after Haigh was granted a leave of absence on November 13. During that time, Susan Robinson-Fruchtl was able to assume the role of head coach during that time.
“I’ve always tried to leave any place and situation in a better, happier space than when I arrived. I feel like I’ve been able to do that with Saint Francis,” Haigh noted in an email to High Post Hoops. “When I was hired as an assistant coach, we had gone three years with four conference wins or less, and in the ensuing ten years that I’ve been an assistant and head coach, we’ve had a great run.”
While he was coach, St. Francis (PA) was able to play with an up-tempo pace. Last season, the Red Flash averaged 79.9 points per game (17th nationally) and made 353 three-pointers (fourthth nationally).
His players was able to perform to their best potential.
Notably, Haigh was able to coach 13 NEC All-Conference team selections and one NEC Player of the Year (Jessica Kovatch). Along with that, he was able to coach three players who were ranked in the top five nationally in scoring.
“Over the past ten years, especially as head coach during the last six plus seasons, I have given virtually all my time and energy to coaching and developing young women at Saint Francis,” Haigh stated on the athletics website. “Most of my waking moments have been dedicated to some aspect of the basketball program, and have applied tremendous pressure to myself and especially during last season’s Championship run, and in the ensuing months leading into the 2018-19 academic year.”
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