Ivansheck Named Women's Basketball Head Coach
NEW LONDON, Conn.--After an extensive national search, Alex Ivansheck has been named the head coach of the women's basketball team at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Ivansheck spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Ithaca College where she helped the Bombers post a 116-50 record, including a 81-11 mark in Empire 8 games. Ithaca made three NCAA playoff appearances, won four conference regular-season titles and two postseason tournament championships and recorded the league's first 16-0 record ever in any sport during her time there.
She is no stranger to Southeastern Connecticut, growing up in Salem and graduating from Norwich Free Academy in 2000. While at NFA, she played for legendary coach Bill Scarlata and won a pair of Class LL state championships while the team qualified for the ECC and state championship in each of her four seasons on the basketball team. Ivansheck was also a four-year member of the cross country team that participated in both the state and New England Championships for four consecutive seasons.
"I'm confident and excited that our women's basketball program will return to a high level of success and achievement under the leadership of Alex Ivansheck," said Tim Fitzpatrick, Coast Guard Academy Director of Athletics. "Her credentials as a coach and a student-athlete are very strong indeed. She is a person of great enthusiasm, basketball knowledge and integrity whose presence will immediately elevate our program - a proven winner in each and every way. Our cadet-athletes will benefit greatly from her expertise and guidance. We are very pleased to welcome Alex to the Coast Guard family!"
Prior to arriving at Ithaca, Ivansheck spent the 2005-06 season with the women's basketball staff at William Smith, where she helped the Herons to a second round of the NCAA playoffs. William Smith finished 22-8 and won the Liberty League's regular-season and championship tournament titles.
Ivansheck played at Ithaca from 2000 to 2005 (an injury sidelined her for all but five games of her senior season; she received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA and played a fifth season while pursuing a master's degree). A point guard, she helped the Bombers to a record of 109-28 during her career, with NCAA playoff berths each season. Ithaca won Empire 8 titles in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. In her career, Ivansheck scored 567 points and pulled down 309 rebounds. Her career totals of 333 assists and 253 steals are both fourth on the program's all-time lists (she was third in both categories after finishing her career). She received honorable mention to the Empire 8 all-star team in 2002 and 2005.
She interned with the Women's Sport Foundation as an undergraduate at Ithaca. Ivansheck earned her bachelor's degree in sport management, with a minor in coaching, in 2004 and received a master's degree in business administration in 2005 at Ithaca. Ivansheck will also serve as an instructor in the Academy's Health and Physical Education program.
"I am excited for the opportunity that Athletic Director Tim Fitzpatrick and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have provided me to be the next head coach of the women's basketball program," said Ivansheck. "It is a privilege and an honor to represent such an outstanding service academy. Although I am sad to leave Ithaca College, I am very grateful for the many opportunities I've had that prepared me for this new phase of my career."
Coast Guard was 5-19 overall last season and 1-17 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) after going 3-21 overall and 1-17 during the 2010-11 season.
The Bears return all five starters from last year's team and will open the season at home on Thursday, Nov. 15th vs. Mitchell.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ALEX IVANSHECK
Bill Scarlata - NFA Girls' Basketball Head Coach (Ivansheck's high school coach)
"We are all very excited about Alex becoming the women's basketball coach at Coast Guard. Alex was always a hard working individual with a very high basketball IQ. She commanded respect of both the coaching staff and her peers. I have a former player who played for Alex at Ithaca and she was impressed with Alex as her coach. I have no doubt that Coast Guard has chosen an outstanding coach in Alex and are looking forward to seeing her develop as a head coach. As a player Alex was always well prepared and I'm sure her team will be equally well prepared."
Dan Raymond - Ithaca College Women's Basketball Head Coach
"It's difficult to describe what Alex means to the Ithaca College women's basketball program. Her contributions – first as a player, then as a coach – are immeasurable. She poured her heart and soul into our program for 11 years and has been the cornerstone for what the program has become. The Coast Guard Academy has chosen a true leader in Alex and there's not a doubt in my mind that their program will see tremendous growth as she leads the Bears the same way she led the Bombers."
Ken Kutler - Ithaca College Director of Athletics
"Alex has been an outstanding assistant coach for our women's basketball program. I know that her contributions to our team's success will be missed. We wish Alex the best as the new head coach at Coast Guard."
Tara Ruckh - SUNY Potsdam Women's Basketball Head Coach and Chair of NCAA Division III Women's Basketball East Region - (Former Assistant coach at Ithaca while Ivansheck was a player)
"I'm very excited and pleased that Alex was named the head coach of the women's basketball program at Coast Guard. I know her hard work and dedication will pay off dividends as she takes on this new position. Alex brings with her a tradition of success as a player and a coach, and will be a tremendous asset to Coast Guard women's basketball program."