Mike Harrity, Dartmouth’s Haldeman Family Director of Athletics and Recreation, has announced the hiring of Linda Cimino as the new Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82 and Family Head Coach of Women’s Basketball.
“I’m excited to welcome Linda as the new leader of our women’s basketball program,” Harrity said. “Linda fully embraces her role as an educator and her drive for excellence set her apart in our search. We can’t wait to have her join us on campus.”
Cimino joins the Big Green after a successful five-year stint at St. Francis Brooklyn. During the 2018-19 season, her first with the Terriers, she led the team to a historic finish with 12 conference victories — a program record at the time. Cimino’s 2021-22 team topped that feat with a 13-3 conference mark and upended Michigan State during non-conference action for the program’s first-ever win over a Power Five opponent. St. Francis Brooklyn has produced four winning conference records in the program’s 50-year history, and Cimino was at the helm for three of those campaigns.
The 2001 Adelphi graduate coached 10 All-NEC performers, including Amy O’Neill, who earned first-team honors and led the nation in assists per game during the 2018-19 season. In addition, two of her players were named the NEC Rookie of the Year — Nevena Dimitrijevic (2019-20) and Fruzsina Horvath (2020-21).
Cimino previously spent four seasons as the head coach at Binghamton, where she took the Bearcats from four wins in her first season to 20 in her last. In 2015-16, she was named America East Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year after orchestrating one of the nation’s biggest turnarounds, having raised the team’s win total by 10 games. In 2017-18, Cimino’s final season, Binghamton topped 20 wins for the first time in its then-17-year history as a Division I program. The historic campaign culminated in a trip to the Women’s Basketball Invitational, where the Bearcats played in their first-ever Division I national postseason game, defeating Youngstown State in the opening round. Binghamton averaged better than 15 wins and played at or above .500 in conference play during each of Cimino’s final three years.
In four years under Cimino, Binghamton landed all four of the America East’s major awards at least once (Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year) and was the only program in the conference to do so in that span. Imani Watkins was named America East Player of the Year in 2018 and was the first Bearcat to earn the award since 2002. Alyssa James became just the second three-time Defensive Player of the Year honoree in America East history, joining Watkins as a major award winner in 2018.
Cimino was the head coach at Division II Caldwell University for eight years, beginning in 2006, before entering the Division I ranks. She is the program’s all-time winningest coach with 128 victories, including 90 in her final five seasons. Caldwell had won just 39 games in the four years prior to Cimino’s arrival. She also filled the roles of associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator during each of her eight years with the Cougars.
Cimino began her collegiate head coaching career in 2001 at Queensborough Community College, where she spent one year. After coaching girls’ basketball for three seasons and volleyball for four at Calhoun High School in Merrick, New York, she returned to the collegiate ranks as an assistant coach at her alma mater for the 2005-06 campaign.
In addition to her illustrious coaching career, Cimino chaired the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee from 2018-2020 and served a two-year term on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee during the same years.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to Mike Harrity, Kristine Fowler and the entire search committee for choosing me to lead this storied program,” Cimino said. “I’m honored and thankful to have the opportunity to build on the rich tradition and be the leader of this historic program in one of the best conferences in the country.
“I look forward to bringing my energy and passion to the Upper Valley and The Ivy League. I will inspire our student-athletes to compete at a high level as we will be prepared, work hard, play with energy and instill a sense of pride in our culture. I’d like to thank all the great players and coaches who came before me, especially Gail Koziara Boudreaux, and I’m excited to build relationships with the alumni, community and loyal fan base.
“I understand and value the history and all that makes Dartmouth a great place. I am eager to empower the players on and off the court to become the best versions of themselves. Go Big Green!”
A native of Lincoln, Rhode Island, Cimino played collegiately at Adelphi under current Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico and obtained her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 2001 before earning a master’s in health education in 2004. Cimino was inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Hall of Fame in 2019.