Now in his eighth season at the helm Penn women’s basketball in 2016-17, Mike McLaughlin has established himself as one of the most respected and esteemed coaches in both the Ivy League and country while making the Quakers a nationally renowned program. McLaughlin was hired as the eighth head coach in program history on April 24, 2009.
The reigning three-time Big 5 Coach of the Year, McLaughlin has a career record of 518-153 (.772) and has posted 20 or more wins in 17 of his 21 seasons as a head coach, including six 30-win seasons. The Philadelphia native has won 12 conference titles, is a 16-time Conference Coach of the Year and won his 500th game as a head coach during the 2015-16 season.
McLaughlin has built the Penn women's basketball program into an Ivy League powerhouse. The Quakers have won 20 games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in program history, clinched an Ivy League championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 2013-14 and 2015-16, and won the program's first-ever Big 5 title in 2014-15. Penn has reached the postseason in each of the last four seasons (a school record) and just completed the winningest five-year stretch in program history.
2015-16 broke multiple records under McLaughlin’s tutelage. The Quakers concluded the year with 24 total wins and 11 non-conference victories (both school records) and finished the season with the highest RPI in program history at No. 27 to earn the Ivy League title. The team also posted eight wins over schools ranked in the top-100 of the RPI and finished the year with the highest NCAA tournament seed in school history (No. 10). Additionally, McLaughlin notched his 500th win as a head coach and his 100th as a Quaker during the course of the season.
Individuals also thrived under McLaughlin’s coaching environment. Sydney Stipanovich was named the 2015-16 Ivy League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year to become the first player in Ivy history to win both in the same season. Additionally, Stipanovich and Michelle Nwokedi were each named First Team All-Ivy and Big 5 honorees while the former entered the Red and Blue record books as Penn’s all-time blocks leader.
In 2013-14, the Quakers tied a school record for wins in a season and earned the outright Ivy championship with the second-best league mark in program history. The Quakers earned their first win over an ACC opponent (at Miami) and earned back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time ever. With that resume, the Red and Blue entered the NCAA Tournament against fifth-seeded Texas and led by as much as 15 and seven at the half before falling 79-61. Penn boasted the 2013-14 Ivy League Player of the Year, Ivy League Rookie of the Year and Ivy League Defensive Player of the year -- the first school to sweep all three awards. The Quakers also became the first school to sweep Big 5 Player, Coach and Rookie of the Year awards.
In 2011-12, the Quakers posted the best 10-game start in school history en route to the program's highest win total in seven years. That momentum carried into the 2012-13 season where the Quakers posted the program's second-highest win total of all-time and recorded the first two postseason wins in school history.
Five of McLaughlin's recruiting classes have produced the Big 5 or Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Prior to his tenure, only one Penn player had ever earned Big 5 Rookie of the Year accolades, but four have done so under his watch.
Penn's win total improved in each of McLaughlin's seven seasons as the Quakers went from two wins to a school-record 25 victories in that span. He entered the 2009-10 season with the highest winning percentage of any head coach in college basketball - man or woman, at any level. However, facing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in decades and inheriting a team that lost 74 percent of its scoring, including the Ivy League's top scorer, Penn finished last in the Ivy League in his first season at the helm.
A year later, with his first recruiting class in place, Penn turned in the largest single-season turnaround in program history. Alyssa Baron became the first freshman in Ivy history to lead the league in scoring and became just the second player in school history to earn Ivy League and Big 5 Rookie of the Year honors.
McLaughlin's Quakers have also been extraordinarily active off the court in support of local, national and international causes. The "Charge for a Cure" initiative raised nearly $10,000, which is in addition to the $6,500 raised for breast cancer awareness and the 400-plus pairs of shoes collected in 2010 for Haitian citizens in need after the nation's devastating earthquake. The Quakers also adopted 13-year-old Emily Miccarelli, a brain cancer survivor, through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation for the 2009-10 season.
Prior to Penn, McLaughlin had unprecedented success at NCAA Division II member Holy Family University, where in 14 seasons as head coach of the women’s basketball team he had a career equal to anyone who has coached the game. McLaughlin racked up an impressive record of 407 wins and 61 losses, a winning percentage of .870 which was the highest at any level of NCAA Basketball (men or women). Out of his 14 seasons as a head coach, McLaughlin was honored as the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Coach of the Year 13 times.
McLaughlin’s teams won at least 25 games in each of his 14 years as Holy Family’s head coach. In six of those years (1998, 2000-03, 2008), the Tigers won 30 games, including a pair of 32-win seasons (1998 and 2008). Holy Family reached 29 wins three other times (1999, 2006, 2007).
McLaughlin was a two-year assistant on the women’s staff at Holy Family before taking the reins as its third head coach in 1995-96.
In the classroom at both Holy Family and Penn, every one of his four-year players have graduated. McLaughlin’s Holy Family program was rated the best in Division II by the College Bound Student Athletes (CBSA) guide on two occasions.
McLaughlin lives with his wife Ginny and three children (Courtney, Michael and Kelsey).