Date Posted:04/30/2008, 9:00AM
BRUNSWICK, Maine - Bowdoin College Associate Athletic Director and Head Women's Basketball Coach Stefanie Pemper has accepted the position of Head Women's Basketball Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
In her 10 seasons at Bowdoin, Stefanie Pemper established the Polar Bears as one of the premiere Division III programs in the nation, accumulating a record of 235-48 (.830). The most successful coach in Bowdoin women's basketball history, Pemper led the squad to NCAA bids in nine of her ten seasons, including an incredible six-year stretch from 2001-2007.
During those six seasons, the Polar Bears reached the "Elite Eight" of the NCAA Tournament every season, posting a mark of 164-14 (.921) and playing before some of the largest crowds in Division III basketball. They won the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship in each of those campaigns and reached the NCAA Championship game in 2004. Undoubtedly Pemper's finest team, the 30-1 National Finalist squad garnered her WBCA Division III Coach of the Year recognition.
"Stefanie Pemper is a wonderful teacher," said Athletic Director Jeff Ward. "Her teams had unbelievable success on the court, but her ability to help young women grow and flourish as people is even more impressive."
"What an amazing 10 years it has been," said Pemper. "I owe Bowdoin so much for giving me the opportunity to be a head coach, and I will miss this place tremendously. The success of our program has always been a collaborative effort. From the administration and the faculty to the athletic support staff, dining services, housekeeping, residential life, communications, alumnae relations, counseling and health, and admissions. It was a team effort. I especially want to thank Jeff Ward for his support and belief in me and the women in our program, and for giving me a variety of responsibilities to learn and grow. I want to thank Tim Gilbride for being a wonderful mentor to his counterpart on the women's side. Tim has such a strong leadership presence in the athletic department.
"I want to thank Barry Mills who I have tremendous respect for. I truly cannot imagine a better president for Bowdoin or any liberal arts college. He works so hard and has a broad, healthy vision for the community. Lastly I want to thank our players and our alums for all they've done for me and the program. I've always encouraged them to treasure their four years of college basketball and to take ownership in the team, to make it theirs. They've always done that and that's why the program is special. The team is in a great place with a talented group returning and a wonderful class of recruits coming. We weathered through a year of challenges this past season with great trust, focus, and maturity. We won some huge games, had fun, and played with a lot of pride in the NCAA's. What was already a strong group of young women was only made stronger by the 'character-building' season. Jeff will hire a fantastic coach and a very special senior class of Jill Anelauskas, Alexa Kaubris, and Maria Noucas, will provide wonderful leadership through the transition. This program is very healthy."
A national search has begun for her replacement.