|Title:||Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach|
|Previous College:||Southern California '77|
|Years at Yale:||10th Season|
With head coaching credentials that include stops at women’s basketball powers in the Pac-12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference, Chris Gobrecht came to Yale in 2005 with a reputation for turning programs around. During her nine seasons as the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball, Gobrecht has restored Yale's status as one of the premier women's basketball programs in the Ivy League.
With Gobrecht at the helm, Yale's standing as an annual contender for the Ivy League championship has intensified over the last five seasons. Gobrecht coached the Bulldogs to 56 wins in the last four seasons, tied for the second-most wins in a four-year stretch since Yale's Class of 1980 won a total of 57 games. Under Gobrecht's leadership, Yale has also recorded the top two marks for most Ivy League wins in a four-year span with 34 Ivy victories set by the Class of 2013 and 33 wins set by the Class of 2014.
The ninth coach in the 41-year history of Yale women's basketball, Gobrecht enters the 2014-15 season, her 10th season at Yale and 35th season as a head coach (all at the Division I level), with an overall career record of 529-458 (.536), ranking her 23rd among active coaches in career Division I victories. Gobrecht has more career Division I victories than any other active basketball coach in the Ivy League, men or women.
“I believe Yale is one of the finest institutions in the world, and to be involved with this university is a privilege,” Gobrecht said upon her arrival in New Haven. “I think my career has been leading up to this.”
During her tenure at Yale, Gobrecht has coached 26 players that earned Ivy League postseason awards, including two Ivy League Rookies of the Year (Sarah Halejian, 2011-12; Melissa Colborne, 2006-07), five All-Ivy First Team honorees (Halejian, 2013-14 & 2012-13; Megan Vasquez, 2011-12 & 2010-11; Colborne, 2007-08; Erica Davis, 2006-07), three All-Ivy Second Team honorees (Colborne, 08-09; Michelle Cashen, 09-10, Mady Gobrecht, 10-11), six All-Ivy Honorable Mention players (Vasquez, 2012-13; Janna Graf, 2012-13; Chinenye Okafor, 05-06 & 06-07; Cashen, 10-11 & 11-12), five All-Ivy Rookie Team players (Graf, 10-11; Vasquez, 09-10; Cashen, 08-09; Lindsay Williams, 07-08; Colborne 06-07) and seven Ivy League Academic Team honorees (Graf, 13-14; Cashen, 11-12; Cashen, 10-11; Haywood Wright, 09-10; Jamie Van Horne, 08-09; Stephanie Marciano, 07-08; Davis, 06-07). Prior to Gobrecht’s arrival in the Elm City, a Bulldog player had not earned All-Ivy League First Team accolades since Katy Grubbs following the 1997-98 campaign.
Gobrecht also coached two players who competed on the international level in Megan Vasquez, who was a part of Puerto Rico's attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, and Janna Graf, who led Germany's U-20 squad to a second-place finish in the European Championships. Gobrecht's tenure also included Yale's 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th 1,000-point scorers in the program's history in Vasquez, Davis, Colborne, Graf and Halejian.
Yale posted its fifth straight top-four finish in the Ivy League in 2013-14 with a 7-7 mark in Ivy play, while posting an overall mark of 13-15. Gobrecht became just the second coach in program history to record 100 victories at Yale with a victory at Columbia on Jan. 31, 2014. The Bulldogs ranked third in the Ivy League in scoring (65.6 ppg), while leading the league in turnover margin (+3.5) and turnovers caused (18.4). The season was highlighted by a pair of individual achievements. Senior Janna Graf became the 18th player in program history to score 1,000 career points when she scored 17 points at Kansas. Junior guard Sarah Halejian led the league in assists (3.6) and steals (2.4) en route to earning All-Ivy League First Team honors for a second time. Halejian became the 19th to score 1,000 career points when she reached the plateau against Princeton.
In 2012-13, the 40th season in the history of women's basketball at Yale, Gobrecht Yale to a 13-15 overall finish and an 8-6 fourth-place finish in Ivy League play. The season saw Yale finish third in the Ivy League in scoring (64.3 ppg.) and first in the Ivy League in 3-pointers made per game (7.0) and 3-point field goal defense (.252, 87-for-345). Yale was the only Ivy League team to allow fewer than 100 3-pointers. The season also included a historic night for Halejian, who scored a career-high 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting in the 69-66 loss at Harvard on Feb. 23, 2013, including a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range. The 29 points, 12 made field goals and 80.0 field-goal percentage are all the second-highest marks in Yale's record books.
The Bulldogs enjoyed their most successful season under Gobrecht's leadership in 2011-12, finishing with a 16-12 record and an 8-6 mark in Ivy League play in a season that included Yale's first-ever meeting with the nation's top-ranked team (No. 1 Baylor, Nov. 22, 2011). It was their winningest season since a 16-10 finish in 1993-94 and the third straight season with at least eight Ivy League victories. The season included several milestones, including Gobrecht's 500th career victory and the 1,000th career point for Vasquez, both of which happened on Feb. 10, 2012, against Cornell. Gobrecht also saw Halejian win six Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards during the season, tying a Yale record held by Melissa Colborne (2007) and Katy Grubbs (1996) for the most Rookie of the Week awards by a Yale player in a single season. Yale finished the season second in the Ivy League in scoring (65.6 points per game) and led the Ivy League in assists (13.9 assists per game), turnover margin (+4.36), and 3-pointers per game (6.4).
In 2010-11, Gobrecht guided the Bulldogs to their first-ever appearance in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) to cap off a successful season. The Bulldogs finished with a 14-15 overall record, which, until 2011-12, was Yale's highest win total since the 2001-02 season (14-13). Gobrecht coached the Bulldogs to the biggest win in program history, a 91-85 win over then-No. 14 Florida State. It was Yale's first win over a nationally ranked opponent in the program's 38-year history. She followed that historic victory by guiding the Bulldogs to a 10-4 finish in Ivy League play, which matched the most wins for Yale in League play (10-4, 1988-89). The 2010-11 Ivy League season included Yale's first sweep of Harvard since the 1993-94 season, which helped the Bulldogs finish in second place in the Ivy League standings for the first time since 1988-89, clinching the Ivy League's automatic berth in the WNIT.
In 2009-10, Gobrecht guided the Bulldogs to a 13-15 finish, the highest win total since the 14 victories in the 2001-02 season. Yale closed the 2009-10 campaign with an 8-6 record in Ivy League play, the best conference record since the 2001-02 season. It was the second time that Yale finished as high as fourth place in the Ivy League since 2001-02.
After posting a 3-24 mark in her first season with the Bulldogs, Coach Gobrecht led the team to 12 wins in the 2006-07. The nine-win improvement was one of the best in Division I that season. The 2006-07 season was highlighted by a six-game winning streak and a 15-point victory over a Marist squad that would reach the Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) of the NCAA Tournament. Yale was also the only Ivy League team to defeat league champion Harvard. In 2007-08, Gobrecht led the Bulldogs to a 7-7 record and fourth-place finish in the Ivy League, their best conference finish since 2001-02.
Though the 2008-09 Bulldog squad was hampered by a multitude of injuries, Gobrecht led her team to an 11-17 record, the team’s second-highest win total in the past seven seasons. 2008-09 also featured a landmark victory for the program over North Carolina State, Yale’s first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Gobrecht also reached a milestone 450th career coaching win last season.
After turning around the Cal State Fullerton program, Gobrecht moved on to the University of Washington. In 11 years, her teams went to the NCAA Tournament on nine occasions. The Huskies reached the NCAA Regional Semifinals four times during her tenure, and advanced to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) in 1990. She won at least 16 games every year at Washington, including eight 20-win campaigns (six consecutive), and is the Huskies’ all-time winningest coach with 243 victories. Washington won three conference championships and finished second four times during her tenure. A two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Gobrecht led Washington to a school-record 28 wins and a number-three national ranking in 1989-90. The Huskies were the only team to beat eventual NCAA Champion Stanford that season.
“My observation of Chris goes back to my days in the Pac-10 when I saw how well she developed the program at the University of Washington,” said Yale Athletic Director Tom Beckett. “She did a great job with the Huskies, and now she’s a Bulldog. We think it’s an absolutely perfect connection, and it’s definitely the right move for us.”
After 11 years at Washington, Gobrecht took over a struggling Florida State program in 1996. The Seminoles went 5-22 in Gobrecht’s only season before she left Tallahassee to take over at her alma mater, Southern California.
With USC’s win over Pepperdine on Dec. 4, 2002, Gobrecht became the 33rd active coach to reach the 400-win mark. In seven seasons with the Women of Troy, Gobrecht posted a 95-108 record. USC posted three winning seasons during her tenure, including a 15-13 mark in her final year, 2003-04. Two of her recruiting classes were ranked among the best in the country, and her teams regularly faced some of the best competition in the nation, including Pac-10 rival Stanford. In 2002-03 alone, the Women of Troy faced three of the previous four national champions: Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame.
Gobrecht began her Division I coaching career with a struggling Cal State Fullerton program in 1979-80. She coached the Titans for six seasons, posting an 84-82 record. She led Cal State Fullerton to an 18-12 record in her third season on the job. In the 1984-85 season, Gobrecht’s last with Cal State Fullerton, the Titans posted a 19-11 record and made their first appearance in the WNIT, making her a finalist for national Coach of the Year honors.
She served as an assistant for a USA Basketball select team that played in Czechoslovakia and Italy in 1990. In addition, six of Gobrecht’s former players have played professionally in the WNBA and ABL.
Her coaching career began in 1978 at Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) High School, where her team went 20-4 and made the CIF AAA playoffs. The next year, Gobrecht led Pasadena City College to a 25-5 record, a conference championship and second place in the state junior college tournament.
A Toledo, Ohio native and a graduate of Huntington Beach (Calif.) High School, Gobrecht earned a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from USC in 1977. Then known by her maiden name of Chris Geiger, she was a three-year starter for the Women of Troy from 1974-76 and also played two seasons of volleyball at USC. After graduation, she spent a year volunteering in the Peace Corps, where she worked as an English teacher at St. Mary’s College in Apia, Western Samoa.
She and her husband, Bob, the President and Managing Director of Special Olympics North America, have two children, Eric and Madeline. Eric is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a recent graduate of the Air Force's flight school. A Captain, he is a C-5M pilot stationed in Dover, Del. In October 2011, Eric married Catherine Cheney, a 2010 graduate of Yale. Mady graduated from Yale in 2011 after four standout seasons on the women's basketball team. She is currently a math teacher and learning specialist and the head coach of the varsity girls basketball team at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., as well as an assistant coach for the softball team.
Stacy McIntyre will enter her first season as an assistant coach for the Yale women's basketball program in 2014-15. She joined the Yale University women's basketball coaching staff in May 2014 with 10 years of coaching experience at the Division I level, including a seven-year run at the University of Southern California with Christ Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. McIntyre also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Nevada.
In her time at USC, McIntyre assisted in all facets of game preparation, oversaw NCAA compliance matters and was involved in all aspects of recruiting student-athletes. Her efforts helped assemble a pair of Top-10 recruiting classes that included Ebony Hoffman and Eshaya Murphy, who were taken in the first and second round of the WNBA draft, respectively. McIntyre also helped the program to a pair of postseason appearances in 2000 and 2002.
McIntyre began her coaching career at Nevada where she was in charge of all aspects of the recruiting process and also oversaw the team travel and recruiting budgets for the Wolfpack. McIntyre also has experience working with the Nike Women's Basketball Skills Academy where she oversaw all event and facility planning.
McIntyre enjoyed a standout career at the University of Kentucky and finished her career ninth all-time in scoring (1,215) and sixth in steals (189). A two-time captain, she led the team in scoring twice and was named to the All-SEC Second Team and was an All-Academic SEC selection in 1992. McIntyre also led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament in 1991.
McIntyre graduated from Kentucky in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and a minor in health. She also has a teacher's certification.
Clare Fitzpatrick, a 2013 graduate of Cornell University, joined the Yale University women’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach prior to the 2013-14 season.
This is the first coaching position for Fitzpatrick, who began her pursuit of a coaching career when she took part in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” program during the WBCA’s national convention at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four in New Orleans in April.
The Southbury, Conn., native left Cornell with her name inscribed all over the school’s record books. A three-time All-Ivy selection, she was named to the Ivy League All-Rookie team in 2010 and followed that with back-to-back Ivy League honorable mention selections in 2011 and 2012. As a senior, she was also named to the College Sports Madness All-Ivy First Team.
Fitzpatrick started a school-record 109 games during her career and finished ranked seventh overall in points (1,201), sixth in rebounding (609), fourth in free throws made (328), and fifth in blocked shots (68). One of the Big Red’s leading scorers and rebounders in each of her four seasons, she is just the second player in Cornell history, and first under head coach Dayna Smith, to reach 1,200 career points and 600 career rebounds.
Fitzpatrick lettered four times at the Canterbury School. She set the school scoring record with 1,521 points and eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau as a junior in just her 55th game. Fitzpatrick also set the individual game scoring record at Canterbury with a 43-point performance during the 2007-08 season. A three-time captain, she was named her team’s MVP all four seasons. Fitzpatrick led her team to the Class C New England Prep School Championship in 2009 and was named MVP of the championship game. She also earned NEPSAC All-Star team honors in her final three seasons. Fitzpatrick also lettered four times in field hockey and twice in softball.
Brandon Gade, who brings five years of coaching experience with him, will enter his first season as an assistant coach for the Yale women's basketball team in 2014-15. In August of 2014, he joined assistants Clare Fitzpatrick (second season) and Stacy McIntyre (first season) under Yale Class of 1954 Joel E. Smilow head coach Chris Gobrecht after spending the previous two seasons at close-by Albertus Magnus College.
While at Division III Albertus, Gade served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator of the women's basketball team. Gade helped the program to a 20-8 record in 2012-13, which included a trip to the ECAC Quarterfinals.
Prior to Albertus, he was an assistant coach for the women's team at Queens University of Charlotte, a Division II school. Gade made the move to North Carolina in 2011, the same year that he graduated from UConn with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies.
A native of Wallingford, Conn., Gade was very active in the sporting community while he was a student in Storrs. For one year, he participated on the practice squad for the UConn women's basketball team. During his final two years as a Husky, Gade was the head coach of the junior varsity girls' team at E.O. Smith High School, as well as an assistant for the varsity team.
Gade has four family members in the area: father, David, mother, Marcia, brother, Matt, and sister, Alyssa. Matt is 28 years old and Alyssa is 23.
"We are excited to be able to add Brandon to our coaching staff. He has a reputation for being an excellent teacher of the game and he has shown tremendous commitment to the sport of women's basketball," said Gobrecht.