Dave Magarity will see a familiar face on the Holy Cross bench when he looks down the sideline this weekend.
Army’s women’s basketball team is set to play a pair of games against the Crusaders, at West Point on Saturday and in Worcester, Massachusetts on Sunday. And guiding Holy Cross this season is Maureen Magarity — Dave’s daughter.
According to the Associated Press, the coaching match-up this weekend between the Magarity’s is believed to be the first in Division I history featuring a father and daughter as the head coaches.
This is Maureen’s first season as the head coach at Holy Cross, so this is a series that will be looked forward to for the next few seasons. This season alone, Army plays Holy Cross four times. The next twin bill is set for Feb. 6 and 7.
“It’s going to be surreal,” Dave told the AP. “What’s unique about it — it goes without saying that not only is it possibly the first time it’s happened, but we’re in the same league. It’s one thing if we were playing in a tournament or it would have been nice to play in the NCAA Tournament or NIT. We’re in the same league, in this crazy season, we play each other four times.”
Dave has been coaching in college basketball since 1974, when he got a gig as an assistant men’s coach at his alma mater, St. Francis (PA). He became the head coach there in 1978 and lasted five seasons. After working as an assistant at Iona, he was hired as the head coach of the Marist men’s team in 1986. With NBA talent Rik Smits, Dave guided Marist to a pair of first place conference finishes and an NCAA tournament appearance in 1987. Magarity stuck around at Marist until 2004, and then worked for the MAC and MAAC for two seasons as an administrator.
In 2005, he joined the Army women’s basketball staff as an assistant under Maggie Dixon. After her tragic death in 2006, Magarity became the head coach at West Point. His best stretch leading the Black Knights came between 2012 and 2016, when Army went to a pair of WNIT’s and two NCAA tournaments. Army is 3-2 so far this season.
Throwing it on this Throwback Thursday— Army W.Basketball (@ArmyWP_WBB) January 7, 2021
We’ll see you on the court this weekend, @CoachMagarityHC #GoArmy #IGotYourSix pic.twitter.com/5z2YipeUTA
Maureen Magarity grew up on basketball courts and earned a scholarship to play at Boston College. But after one season, she transferred to Marist, where her father was nearing the end of his tenure as the men’s head coach. At Marist, she became a captain, led the team in scoring, was a Second Team All-MAAC selection and helped the team reach its first NCAA tournament in 2004.
When her playing days were over, Maureen followed her father’s footsteps and turned to coaching. After stints as an assistant at Marist, Fairfield and under her dad at Army, Maureen became the head coach at New Hampshire in 2010. In 2017, she was named America East Coach of the Year and given the Kay Yow Award after leading the Wildcats to a regular season conference title and a WNIT berth. This past offseason, Holy Cross hired her away from New Hampshire.
The Crusaders are 0-2 this season, so the 39-year-old’s first win as Holy Cross’s coach might come against her 70-year-old pops.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the rest of the Magarity family won’t be able to see the games in-person. Still, it’s sure to be special.
“I’ll try not to be emotional walking into that game,” Maureen told the AP. “I can’t help but be a little upset that, because of the pandemic, my kids can’t be there, my sister and brother, my nieces and nephews and mom can’t come. His friends and my friends. It’s going to be special, but kind of a bummer they can’ t be there.”
Both games on Saturday and Sunday tip-off at 3 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.