Hudson Valley Sports Report

MAGARITY TO STEP DOWN AS ARMY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH

Former Marist Men’s Coach Will Retire At Season’s End

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

WEST POINT – Dave Magarity, the winningest coach in Army women’s basketball history, said Friday he will call it a career at the end of this season.

Magarity, also the winningest coach in the history of Marist College men’s basketball, has walked a sideline for almost five decades, including 39 as a head coach.

“I discussed my decision with my wife Rita and my family, as well as with Athletic Director Mike Buddie and my coaching staff this past summer,” Magarity said in a statement. “I felt after 47 years as a college coach it was the right time.”

Magarity’s tenure has been one of the best periods in Army’s women’s basketball history. Under his direction the team earned four postseason berths – two in the NCAA Tournament and two in the Women’s NIT – and has gone 263-167 during his time as head coach. Army has had nine winning seasons under his direction, with 11 players receiving all-Patriot League honors.

“These past 16 years at West Point have been some of the most rewarding ones of my career. I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to be around unbelievable people in every area of this community as a head coach,” Magarity said.

“Coach Magarity did more than win basketball games. He taught our women how to lead and excel at the highest levels,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent of United States Military Academy. “His players exhibited the values we expect at West Point and in the Army. His leadership will be missed and I wish him and his family well.”

Magarity began his head coaching career in 1978 at his alma mater, St. Francis (Pa.), going 60-76 in five seasons before being hired at Marist. With the Red Foxes, he coached for 18 years and went 253-258 with one appearance in the NCAA Tournament – his first year, 1986-87, with eventual NBA No. 2 draft pick Rik Smits at center. He was let go at Marist after the 2003-04 campaign.

Just before the 2005-06 season, he was asked by a dynamic young Army women’s coach, Maggie Dixon, to provide some veteran leadership as an assistant on her staff. That year, the Black Knights advanced to their first NCAA Tournament appearance at the Division-I level that season, finishing with a record of 20-11.

But less than a month after Army was eliminated by Tennessee in the first round of the tournament, Dixon collapsed and died at the age of 28 from what an autopsy proved was an enlarged heart and a problem with one of the valves.

Magarity – stunned by what he said at the time was like losing a daughter – was hired as the head coach, kept the team together in the wake of tragedy, and thrived over the next 15 years.

“There are so many people that have had a profound impact on my career,” Magarity said. “I can’t imagine surviving this challenging business for so long without the love and support of my wife and family.”

Army West Point Director of Athletics Mike Buddie added, “We cannot thank Dave Magarity enough for everything he has done in his time at West Point. The program witnessed remarkable success on the court during his tenure, but more importantly he has played a vital role in developing leaders of character and helping prepare young women to be officers in the United States Army. I know I speak for everyone in the West Point community when I say that we will miss seeing him on the bench during games, but wish him the best in his retirement.”

 

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