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Mechelle VoepelESPN.com.


Mechelle Voepel includes the WNBA, women’s basketball and other university sports for espnW. Voipel started playing women’s basketball in 1984 and joined ESPN in 1996.

Even for a family as competitive as hers, Maureen Magarity, the women’s basketball coach of the Holy Cross, was initially distraught and tried to remember if she had ever met her father, Dave Magarity. That’s when she got the idea.

You know what a sack of beans is? Maureen said, laughing at the cornhole game. A few years ago, my dad and I threw a party for someone’s birthday. I remember thinking: We’ve never played each other 1-1 before.

The stakes will be higher this weekend when their teams meet in what will be the first Division I varsity father-daughter basketball game, according to The Associated Press. Dave, whose coaching career includes both men’s and women’s matches and dates back to 1974, leads his Black Knights army in two Patriot League matches against the Morin Crusaders. Saturday’s game is at West Point and Sunday’s game is at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Both at 3:00. And on ESPN+.

In men’s basketball, fathers have coached their sons at least 18 times, according to the PA, with Rick Pitino (then in Louisville) facing his son Richard Pitino (Minnesota) in 2014 as a recent example.

Maureen, 39, said her family, including her brother David Jr. and sister Katie, enjoys the national recognition that the game enjoys. Maureen’s mother and Dave’s wife Rita are a little nervous about it.

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She’s nervous, Dave says, smiling. I said if I beat our daughter’s team, I’m not sure I’m going home. But seriously, my wife has handled everything you’re going through incredibly well with the coach’s support – first with me and then with Maureen.

Dave, who turns 71 this month, is a rarity because he has had a long career in men’s and women’s basketball. He and Speedy Morris of La Salle are the only coaches who coach teams in both NCAA tournaments. Dave’s in his 15th year. Season with the army wives: a record 261-175. In 23 seasons as head coach of the men’s team he was 313-334, first with his alma mater, St. John’s, and then with his alma mater. Francis (PA), then to Marist. Rick Smits, who will continue his 12-year NBA career with the Pacers, was his star player with the Red Foxes.

Maureen remembers her earliest memories of basketball games and the child’s emotional ups and downs being a coach who so strongly encouraged her father’s teams. When she was a little older, they had time to talk about basketball on long drives from Poughkeepsie, New York, where Marist is based, to Queens for training and matches for Maureen’s club team.

Now that I have two children of my own, I think: How did he do it? – says Maureen, mother of her daughters Charlotte, 8, and Caroline, who turns 5 this month. He is a Division that I coach and drives me to town twice a week and travels all over town for his work. He sacrificed himself so that I could have a great experience that helped me get to where I am now.

Maureen started her playing career at Boston University. She loved it there, but because of injuries she didn’t leave and decided to switch to Marist, where David Jr. would play for her father. Coincidentally, coach Brian Giorgis of Morin High School was hired by Marist, who reached the NCAA tournament in his final year in 2004.

Fault! The file name is not specified. In 2004, Maureen Magarity, pictured here with her father Dave and mother Rita, helped Marist win the MAAC Championship and her first NCAA tournament. Experienced Maureen Magarity

Towards the end of Maureen’s career, Dave said, he realized she was going to coach.

I’ve seen her do something behind the scenes, how she deals with situations, Dave said. I was thinking: She understands that very well. It’s part of his DNA and his past, but that’s when I first felt it: She’d be very good at it.

Maureen understood the depth of the commitment a coach has to make when looking at her father. But Dave gave her the warts, and she liked it.

My father doesn’t make things weaker, Maureen. He’ll be brutally honest. If my team has a bad game and they’re watching, he says: What were you thinking? And we’ll talk about what’s great.

Dave was involved in sports administration for several years after his term as a Marist ended in 2004. He was then called upon to be Maggie Dixon’s assistant in her first year with the Army Women’s Team in 2005-06, which was a magical season. The Black Knights won the 69-68 Patriot League tournament against Holy Cross and played the championship match in the army. The cadets had a joyous victory and Dixon celebrated the school’s first participation in the NCAA tournament for both men and women.

A month later, Dixon, sister of then Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, died of heart complications at the age of 28. It was a tragic blow to her family, the army and the women’s basketball community who saw her as a rising star after just one season as a head coach. The Maggie Dixon Award is now awarded annually to the best female novice basketball head coach.

Dave was planning to go to the NBA after a season in the army and Dixon had already found a replacement for Maureen, who worked as a coach for Marist. Instead, Dave Mourning became head coach and thanks Maureen for his help as his assistant.

She was a blessing to me when I took over after Maggie died, Dave said. I’ve been head coach for men for 23 years, but I’ve only been assistant coach for women for a year. I told the team: You all think I’m a big, cute teddy bear, but I’m not a head coach. I’ll look you in the eye more. Maureen sometimes has a different way of communicating with people, a very good way.

I’ve seen how she does things behind the scenes, how she deals with situations. I was thinking: She understands that very well. It’s part of his DNA and his past, but that’s when I first felt it: She’d be very good at it.

Dave Magarity, who realized at the end of Maureen’s playing career that she would become a coach….

Dave ran women’s basketball camps in the 1970s when he was a men’s basketball coach at St. John’s, Newfoundland. And he is friends with many female coaches, including triple AIAW Immaculata champion Katie Rush. His sisters Anna and Rosemary played in La Salle and Villanova respectively, and his cousin Regan Magarity ended her career with Virginia Tech in 2019. (Regan’s father and Dave’s brother, Bill, played in Georgia and then professionally abroad).

Dave sees no difference in the education of men and women. He feels that coaching the West Point women, who have obligations far beyond basketball, has been particularly beneficial to him.

Maureen took the lead for New Hampshire in 2010, and she remembers her relationship with Dave in her first season, when she bridged the gap in responsibility and became an assistant.

He’ll be the first person I call, she said. For example: Daddy, what should I do? We can’t break the zone. And over the years I’ve learned and become much more confident. I still call him once in a while, but he’s inspired me with that trust.

Maureen did not intend to leave New Hampshire after ten seasons, but the position on the Holy Cross opened. Dave encouraged her to go, even though it meant they would be at the same conference and would have to meet.

Army 4-3. The Holy Cross, like most members of the League of Patriots, only started in January and is 0-2. Both coaches say they have similar styles and philosophies.

One thing’s for sure: Nobody will know them better than they do, says Texas women’s coach Vic Schaefer. The reports on Scouting will be very extensive.

Schaefer’s daughter, Blair, played for him in Mississippi and is now director of basketball operations in Texas. Her goal is to become head coach, and Schaefer said he can’t imagine having to play against her.

It would be really special, but at the same time it could be unbearable, Schaefer said. You’d encourage it, but you have a primary obligation to your own team. But I’m sure Dave is incredibly proud. He saw his daughter thrive and learn. You know, they grow up, but they’re still your children, and they keep growing up as colleagues in the business.

The Magaritans have been fighting among themselves for years, so it wouldn’t be entirely strange to sit on opposite benches. In addition, Maureen said the game will become very familiar as the season progresses, as they will play twice more in February.

In the meantime, it is: Oh, yeah, we’re still playing dad, she says.

But this weekend will be memorable for the basketball family and its two programs. Maureen might even get revenge for the beanbag contest her father won.

I am who I am as a coach because I learned so much from him, Maureen said, congratulating her mother on all her support. I know I can call or text my dad whenever I want because he’s always awake to stretch his brain or just blow off steam. I’ve been incredibly lucky with him every step of the way.

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