Spring 2014

Cimino to lead women’s basketball team



Feature Image
Jonathan Cohen
Linda Cimino is flanked by President Harvey Stenger, left, and Athletics Director Patrick Elliott as she shows off a Binghamton jersey during a news conference on April 11, at which she was introduced as the new Binghamton University women's head basketball coach.

Linda Cimino was introduced as the new head coach of the Binghamton women’s basketball team on April 11 at a press conference in the TAU Bearcat Room of the Events Center. She is the 13th head coach in the 41-year history of the program.

Cimino arrives from Caldwell College, where she led the Division II Cougars to a 128-100 record in eight years. This includes a 90-52 mark the past four years. She arrives with the reputation as a top-notch recruiter, a tireless worker and an excellent developer of talent.

“Linda really stood out to me as an established head coach,” Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott said. “She has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and student-athlete welfare. Everybody I talked to told me how great a recruiter she was. The other thing they told me that was special is that she just works. She is tireless. Going forward, our women’s basketball program is in great hands.”

“I was part of the process of interviewing the candidates,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said. “Every answer she gave to a question was perfect. She is going to fit in very well here.”

When she arrived at Caldwell in 2006, Cimino inherited a program that had won just eight games the previous season and had averaged just over nine wins a season the previous four years. After climbing to double-digit wins in her first campaign, Cimino boosted that total up to 18 wins in 2007-08, and the eight-game improvement ranked among the nation’s top-20. Her last four teams reached the 17-win plateau, highlighted by a 21-win team in 2010-11.

“Everybody that I talked to about the Binghamton job told me that it was the best mid-major job on the East Coast,” Cimino said. “I am honored to be standing here as the head coach. I think Binghamton is a sleeping giant in the America East and that we can do great things. I am really looking forward to building the program, developing the players that we have and bringing in some new players.”

A native of Lincoln, R.I., Cimino recruited and coached the 2014 Daktronics East Region Player of the Year, three straight CACC Rookies of the Year and 12 all-conference selections. Her teams played in the conference tournament seven straight seasons, reached the CACC title game in each of the last two seasons and also played in two ECAC Championship games.

In 2012-13, her squad went 15-4 in league play to claim the regular season title — the program’s second in a three-year span. That team also rattled off a school-record 15 consecutive wins.

After the 2012-13 season, Cimino briefly took a position as lead assistant at Hofstra to be closer to her Massapequa Park home. But the desire to be a head coach was too strong and she returned to Caldwell. In 2010-11, Cimino’s squad went 21-6, narrowly missed an NCAA at-large tournament berth. The team tied the school record for wins, broke the mark for win percentage, made the program’s first appearance in the national rankings and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the East Region.

Prior to her tenure at Caldwell, Cimino coached high school girls’ basketball for three years and then was the head assistant coach at her alma mater, Adelphi, for the 2005-06 season. She began her coaching career at Queensborough Community College in 2001-02, where she led the team to the CUNY championship game.

Cimino is a 2001 graduate of Adelphi. She earned her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and then received her master’s degree in health education from the school in 2004. Cimino also received a master’s degree in administration from Touro College in 2006.

She was an NCAA Division II scholarship player at Adelphi, where she ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in free-throw percentage and three-pointers. As a player, Cimino built a reputation for being a clutch performer, and she holds the record for most three-pointers in a game (six). As a scholastic athlete, she was an all-state performer in both basketball and softball at North Smithfield High (R.I.).

Away from the court, Cimino has had an equally successful career as an athletics administrator. In addition to her head basketball duties at Caldwell, she has served as the associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator for eight years. She had oversight of the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and organized much of the athletics department’s community service. In 2011, she was selected to participate in the NCAA’s Women and Minorities Mentor Program.

Among her committee work, she has served on the NCAA Women’s Basketball East Region Regional Advisory Committee, NCAA Division II USA Today Coaches Poll Committee and WBCA National Coach of the Year Award Committee.