The Drexel Athletics Department and Women’s Basketball Head Coach Denise Dillon have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the full terms of which were not disclosed.
Dillon, the unanimous choice for Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2017-18, will soon embark on her 16th season as the head coach of the Dragons. The winningest coach in program history, she has 282 career victories and has led Drexel to postseason play in nine of the last 10 years. That run includes two CAA regular season championships, the school’s first CAA Tournament title, an NCAA Tournament appearance and the 2013 WNIT championship.
“Denise continues to be an outstanding role model to our student-athletes and a leader in our University community,” said Deputy Athletics Director Nick Gannon. “Her extraordinary presence and vision have inspired others to truly believe in Dragons. We are so proud of the accomplishments of our women’s basketball program and are thrilled to keep Denise in University City for years to come. As good as our program’s past has been, the future for the Dragons is even brighter.”
“Any success I’ve been able to achieve at Drexel has been thanks to the leadership of President Fry, Dr. Zillmer and Nick Gannon, as well as the tireless efforts of my coaching staff and players,” Dillon said. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity they have given me and the trust they have placed in our program. Drexel is a special place thanks to their leadership and the people I get to work with every day. I can’t wait to get back on the court as we strive for another championship.”
Dillon returns a solid core group from last year’s squad which went 27-9 en route to a CAA regular season championship. The Dragons netted a program-best 24 regular season victories, eventually earning an automatic bid to the WNIT and winning their first-round game. Dillon’s charges included the CAA Rookie of the Year in point guard Hannah Nihill, and just the fifth player in program history to earn All-CAA accolades in each of her first two seasons in Bailey Greenberg. Aubree Brown, who started every game as a sophomore last year and earned the program’s first-ever National Player of the Week nod late in the regular season, also returns to the 2018-19 lineup.
The Broomall, Pa. native has won three CAA Coach of the Year awards. Prior to last year’s honor, Dillon had been named the league’s top coach in 2005 and again in 2009. Dillon is the conference’s active career wins leader, and her 187 career league wins stand fourth all-time. In addition to guiding the Dragons to success on the court, Dillon has mentored five Dean Ehlers Leadership Award winners, more than twice the number produced by any other women’s coach in CAA history. Dillon was also a standout in her own right during her playing days, and is a member of the Philadelphia Big Five, Delaware County Athletics and Villanova Athletics Halls of Fame. She is also slated to be inducted into the Cardinal O’Hara High School Hall of Fame later this year.