Amy Mallon, a fixture on Drexel’s bench for the past 16 seasons, has agreed to terms to become the head women’s basketball coach at Drexel University. Mallon will become just the sixth head coach since the school became a Division I member.
“I am honored to be the next women’s basketball head coach at Drexel University,” Mallon said. “Drexel has been my home for the last 16 years and I cannot wait to get started as the next leader of the program. I was fortunate to work alongside Denise Dillon to build something special and am eager to take over the reins. As a staff, we worked hard to build a nationally recognized program. I am excited for Denise and even more excited to continue our winning ways at Drexel. I want to thank President John Fry, Dr. Subir Sahu, Dr. Eric Zillmer and Nick Gannon for this opportunity.”
Mallon joined the Dragons in 2004 as an assistant coach before becoming the associate head coach in 2007. Charged with forging Drexel’s defense, Mallon galvanized DU into a formidable defensive adversary for opponents, pushing the Dragons to become one of the best defensive programs in the country.
“First of all, I want to wish Denise Dillon the best of success at Villanova,” Dr. Subir Sahu, Drexel’s Senior Vice President for University Student Success said. “We are very grateful for her leadership at Drexel. At the same time, we know that Amy Mallon, who has been the number-one assistant to Drexel’s basketball program for 16 years, is an amazing basketball tactician and an even better person. I personally look forward to closely working with her to ensure that the best for women’s basketball is yet to come.”
“Amy is a great choice to be Drexel’s next head coach,” Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel’s Director of Athletics said. “I know her very well and I think the world of her.”
Mallon played a significant part in seven 20-win campaigns during her time as a Drexel coach including five in the last six seasons. Drexel went 23-7 in 2019-20, capping off the conference schedule with a 16-2 record to claim the No. 1 seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships and a share of the conference’s regular-season title. At one point during the CAA slate, the Dragons put together a 13-game winning streak, the third longest in program history.
Drexel has won three regular-season CAA titles with Mallon on the bench. Prior to this season, DU previously earned a share of the regular-season championship in 2017-18 and the outright title in 2008-09. The Dragons have made 10 postseason trips in the last 11 seasons including a 2009 NCAA Tournament appearance and nine WNIT bids with a WNIT Championship in 2013.
In her playing days, Mallon was one of the CAA’s all-time greats. She helped lead the Richmond Spiders to back-to-back conference championships in 1990 and 1991 and was named to All-Conference teams in both seasons and also made the CAA All-Defensive team in 1991. Mallon helped lead the Spiders to three consecutive postseason appearances, including two NCAA bids, and a 72-18 record during her three seasons with the team. Her experience as a member of one of the last teams to defeat Old Dominion in a conference tournament, proved to be a rallying point for the 2009 Drexel women’s basketball team when the Dragons upended the Lady Monarchs in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament, ending what had been a 17-year reign by ODU in conference tournament play. The 1990 Richmond women’s basketball team was recently inducted into the University of Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019 as a team of distinction.
Mallon transferred to Saint Joseph’s for her senior season in 1992-93 and put together one of the best single seasons in the history of Philadelphia Big 5 women’s basketball, leading to her induction into the Big 5 Hall of Fame in 2002. Mallon led the Hawks to a 21-8 record, a Big 5 Championship and was named the league’s Player of the Year after averaging a double-double for the season. She was also an All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection, a member of the Academic All-District Team and an Honorable Mention All-American.
In addition to her on-court expertise, Mallon has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Drexel program internationally. Her recruiting efforts have helped to bring top-level talent to Drexel from around the globe. She was integral in the recruitment and coaching of Gabriela Marginean, a Romanian-native who was the 2009 CAA Player of the Year, a three-time First Team All-CAA selection, the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2006-07 and the first Drexel player to be drafted in the WNBA. In addition, her efforts have also helped to procure players hailing from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Ivory Coast, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
Mallon has had her finger on the pulse of collegiate women’s basketball for over two decades, playing as a Nike-sponsored athlete and working as a representative and consultant for the company from 1997-2001. She has been an ambassador for the game since her playing days, speaking at schools and clinics throughout the nation since 1993. Her passion for the game continues to inspire new generations of student-athletes to strive for success.
Photo Courtesy Drexel AthleticsAmy Mallon CAA Drexel