Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Nan Carney-DeBord has announced the hiring of Maureen Hirt as the next Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Denison University. Hirt replaces Sara Lee who stepped down in April after a 33-year tenure leading the Big Red.
Hirt is the eighth coach in Denison’s history of the women’s basketball program. She comes to Denison after spending last season as the Associate Head Coach at Oberlin College, her third year on staff as an assistant for the Yeowomen.
“We are thrilled that Maureen will be joining the Denison family,” said Carney-DeBord. “Her experience as a student, student-athlete, coach, and mentor in the NCAC serves as a wonderful foundation for leading the Denison women’s basketball program. Maureen is a fierce competitor with the uncanny balance of embracing difference in a highly demanding academic environment. Our students and student-athletes will thrive under her mentorship and leadership prowess.”
At Oberlin, Hirt helped lead the Yeowomen to one of the most successful seasons in program history in 2021-22 as the squad finished 21-4 overall and 13-3 in the North Coast Athletic Conference, tying the program record for overall wins and conference wins in a season. The Yeowomen got off to the best start in program history at 8-0, went undefeated in non-conference play at 7-0, and qualified as the No. 2 seed for the NCAC Tournament, the highest seed in program history. The team shot a conference-best 43.4 percent from the field, and ranked 18th in the nation in assists per game at 17.4. Hirt helped coach three all-conference players in 2021-22, including the NCAC Newcomer of the Year in Camille Zinaich.
During her second year at Oberlin, Hirt was one of 10 Tara VanDerveer fellows across the country to be a part of the 2020 cohort for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s advancement of women in coaching.
Hirt was also a Co-Advisor for the Oberlin Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), working with Oberlin’s SAAC officers to help guide and coordinate events both on and off campus such as Play Like A Girl, Black History Month SAAC Celebration, DIII Week, and more.
Hirt is the Co-Founder and Owner of Ohio Champion Basketball (OCB), a basketball skills and performance training company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since November of 2015, OCB has trained athletes from the middle school to professional level. Hirt began her coaching career as the Guardian Angels eighth grade boys’ head basketball coach, a position she held for four seasons from October 2014-February 2018.
“I’m so honored and excited to be the next Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Denison University,” said Hirt. “I would like to thank Associate V.P., Director of Athletics, Nan Carney-DeBord, and the search committee for trusting me with this opportunity. Also, a very special thank you to Coach Sara Lee for creating such a tremendous tradition here at Denison over the past 33 seasons. The commitment to excellence both academically and athletically at Denison is outstanding, and I’m really looking forward to joining this remarkable community.”
Hirt graduated cum laude from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and economics in May, 2014. She was a four-year member and two-time team captain of the women’s basketball team where she helped Kenyon advance to four North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournaments. The 2014 NCAC Conference Player of the Year, Hirt was a four-time All-NCAC player and three-time first-team all-conference selection, and is still the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,819 career points. After her senior season, she was recognized as a D3 Women’s News Third-Team All-American and first-team all-region performer, along with being a third-team all-region selection in 2012. As a junior in 2013, Hirt led all of Division III in free-throw percentage at 92.3%. Hirt was named the 2014 Kenyon Female Athlete of the Year and was Kenyon’s 2014 Pam Smith Award nominee, which also serves as a nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Hirt received the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and earned her master’s degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Linder School of Business in June 2018.D3 Dennison