13th-seeded Army vs. 4th-seeded Maryland in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.
A Hudson Valley coaching veteran chosen to lead an up-and-coming program at one of the nation's most prestigious institutions. That's the storyline that unfolded in April 2006 when the leadership at the United States Military Academy announced Dave Magarity as Army's eighth women's basketball head coach in program history.
Magarity was chosen to take the reins following what had been a "Cinderella" storybook season in 2005-06 for the Black Knights until their head coach, Maggie Dixon, died suddenly that spring.
Magarity spent the 2005-06 season on the bench with Dixon, serving as associate head coach and playing an integral role in the Black Knights' magical campaign during which the team won its first-ever Patriot League Tournament title, accompanied by an NCAA Tournament berth.
Magarity has since been writing his own story in the West Point history books, one that has maintained a rich winning tradition as one of the Academy's most celebrated women's sports.
Leading Army to its second NCAA Tournament appearance and arguably its best season in 2013-14, Magarity became the program's all-time wins leader, showing a 146-97 record through eight seasons at the Academy. Magarity surpassed Lynn Chiavaro (132 wins) to become Army's wins leader after his team defeated Holy Cross on Jan. 15, 2014. The 32-year coaching veteran reached the 400 career win threshold in 2011-12 and shows a 459-431 record.
Magarity guided Army to a 25-8 finish in 2013-14, setting the program's Division I record for victories in a season. The 25 wins equaled the team's all-time wins mark that Army established as a Division II program in 1983-84.
After finishing tied for second in the regular season, the Black Knights claimed their second Patriot League Tournament championship, thanks to a seven-game winning streak that was capped by a 68-58 win over Holy Cross in the conference title game. Army advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time as a Division I program, and for the fourth time overall.
By leading Army to the NCAAs, Magarity became just the second coach to take both a men's and women's program to the NCAA Tournament, after he guided the Marist men's team to the dance in 1987. He joins William "Speedy" Morris, who reached the NCAA Tournament with the men's and women's basketball teams at La Salle.
Sophomore Kelsey Minato joined Lisa Russell (USMA '95) as the only Army player to earn back-to-back Patriot League Player of the Year nods following her record-setting season. Minato established Army single-season records in points (725), free throws (207) and three-pointers (82), while also topping Academy single-season marks in points per game (22.0) and free throw percentage (92.4). Joining Minato as All-Patriot League performers were senior Jen Hazlett (second team) and freshman Dani Failor (All-Rookie Team).
Faced with an unthinkable challenge after the loss of Dixon, the Black Knights honored their late coach and ushered in the Magarity era with a stellar 24-6 record. Army posted an 11-3 mark in conference play, further cementing the fact that the Academy made the right decision in Magarity's hiring and that the program was in more than capable hands.
Seasons of 18-12 and 19-12 marks followed in 2007-08 and 2008-09, respectively, as Magarity continued to challenge his players with two of the most rigorous nonconference schedules in program history. Army faced top-25 teams in Connecticut, Rutgers and Ohio State over the span of two years in order to best prepare the team for Patriot League play in January.
A young Black Knight squad without a single senior on the roster posted an 11-18 mark in 2009-10. However, Magarity's club still managed to finish in a tie for fourth place and capture the fourth seed in the Patriot League Tournament.
The Black Knights' senior-dominated unit went 13-16 in 2010-11, bowing out to Bucknell in the Patriot League Tournament after tying the Bison for fourth place in the regular-season standings.
After graduating the team's top two scorers and four starters from the 2010-11 team, Magarity and his staff worked hard to exceed all expectations in 2011-12. Three months after being selected seventh in the Patriot League preseason poll, the Black Knights finished the regular season tied for third, clinching home-court advantage for the conference tournament. Army was narrowly edged out by Holy Cross in the quarterfinals to end the season 14-16.
The 2012-13 campaign was one of the most successful in program history. Magarity became the first head coach in Army's Division I history to record multiple 20-win seasons as he led a young Black Knight squad to a 22-9 record, just their second Patriot League regular-season title in program history and the program's first WNIT bid.
Army became the first team in conference history to sweep all major awards, with Magarity claiming the league's Coach of the Year. In addition to his coaching honor, freshman Kelsey Minato became the first in league history to be voted both the Player and Rookie of the Year, while senior Anna Simmers was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year. Minato was the first Rookie of the Year and second Player of the Year to be mentored by Magarity, while Simmers was the second Defensive Player of the Year.
Minato and Simmers were honored with All-Patriot League first-team selections, while Minato and classmate Aimee Oertner were unanimous picks to the All-Rookie Team. Army had multiple first-team selections for the first time in program history, while the two newcomer nods were also a program first.
Magarity is one of just four active Division I women's basketball coaches to make the transition from the men's side to coaching women. The short list also includes Paul Westhead (Oregon), Alan LeForce (Coastal Carolina) and Dennis Wolfe (Virginia Tech).
Magarity has mentored five 1,000-point scorers at Army, including Jen Hazlett '14 and Kelsey Minato, who both reached the plateau in 2013-14. The other players to reach the 1,000-point mark under Magarity's watch, Cara Enright '08, Alex McGuire '09 and Erin Anthony '11, make up one of the most celebrated trios in Army history, as they represent the program's second, third and fourth-leading scorers, respectively. Magarity's marquee recruit from day-one, Anthony wrapped up a decorated career ranked second on Army's career rebounding list. A two-time CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America selection, Anthony was a four-year all-league performer and three-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Along with Anthony, Enright and McGuire, Magarity groomed 2007-08 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Maragree King '08. His players have combined to win 15 All-Patriot League citations, seven All-Rookie Team honors and three Player of the Year (Enright, Minato) awards.
One of the most well-respected and recognizable faces in the basketball community, the honors and awards for Magarity are plentiful. In addition to 2013's Patriot League honor, he was presented with the Anaconda Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Men's Basketball Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. In his first season at Army, the N.Y.-Metropolitan Basketball Writer's Association named Magarity its Coach of the Year. Following the landmark 2005-06 campaign, the Army team was bestowed with the Jimmy V Foundation Comeback Award, AT&T National Sportsmanship Award and Patriot League Sportsmanship Award, further rooting Magarity's influence on the program.
Magarity added to his coaching accolades when he was named the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Division I Women's Basketball Coach of the Year following the 2013-14 campaign.
A mainstay on the banks of the Hudson with 30-plus years of head coaching experience, Magarity's respect for West Point runs deep.
"I have had many opportunities to bring men's teams that I coached to West Point, and I have always held a strong feeling for the Academy as an outsider," Magarity said upon taking his current position. "To be given this opportunity is one of the most special gifts that I could receive as a coach. The commitment and dedication to excellence here is outstanding. I am honored to be a part of this great tradition."
Magarity arrived at West Point in October of 2005 following a brief stint as the Assistant Commissioner/Director of Men's Basketball Operations for the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Magarity was responsible for basketball scheduling, working closely with the MAC coordinator of officials and served as a liaison between the league office and the 12-member institutions. Prior to joining the MAC, he held a similar position with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) based in Edison, N.J.
"It was a tremendous honor and thrill for me to be named the head coach at West Point," Magarity said. "Maggie Dixon and I, and the staff, started something very special. It's an honor for me to embrace the opportunity, continue what we started and expand on that success for years to come.
"The decision I made to stay here was probably one of the smartest decisions I have made in my life, professionally," he continued. "To be at West Point with the support of the athletic administration and surrounded by some of the finest young cadet-athletes in the country, is an opportunity I am excited and absolutely thrilled about as we move forward."
In 23 years as a men's head coach, including 18 just 31 miles north of West Point at nearby Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Magarity tallied an overall record of 313-334 (.484), with 253 of those victories coming with the Red Foxes.
During his coaching tenures at Marist and St. Francis University (Pa.), Magarity was honored as Coach of the Year in four different leagues. He was first named Coach of the Year at St. Francis in 1981, earning NABC Division I District III accolades, before garnering recognition at Marist during the 1986-87 season when he won ECAC Metro honors.
He was honored again following the 1994-95 campaign, being dubbed the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year, and the following season was recognized by the NABC for the second time in his career. He would again earn NABC Coach of the Year honors following the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. Magarity was selected the MAAC Coach of the Year in 2001-02 by the league's coaches. He won CollegeInsider.com's top coaching honor three times (2000, 2001, 2002) and the Sport Magazine New York Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Award once in 1988.
Under his direction from 1986 to 2004, the Red Foxes saw unparalleled success as he led his teams to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1987 and to the National Invitational Tournament in 1996. Of the 18 Marist teams he coached, 15 of them reached double digits in wins and two eclipsed the 20-win plateau, including a 22-win performance during the 1995-96 season. His squads played in two conference tournament championship games and won the ECAC Metro Conference regular-season title in 1987-88.
His coaching career began at St. Francis in 1973 as a graduate assistant and then as an assistant coach until taking over the reins of the program in 1978, becoming the youngest Division I head coach in the nation at the time (27). In his third campaign, Magarity led the Red Flashes to a 17-10 mark, the most wins in a season for St. Francis in a dozen years, and earned District III Coach of the Year honors as a result.
Magarity began his Empire State coaching career as an assistant at Iona College under then-head coach Pat Kennedy. While a member of the Gaels coaching staff, Magarity helped Iona to a pair of 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances (1984, 1985). After three successful years at Iona, Magarity headed up the Hudson River to take over the program at Marist.
In his first season at the helm of the Red Foxes in 1986-87, Magarity made a name for himself, leading that group to the institution's first-ever 20-win season (20-10) and the team's second consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament. Magarity's squad ranked 11th in the country in field goal percentage defense (.425) and scoring defense (62.9). The Red Foxes won 14 of their last 15 games that season as Magarity took home ECAC Metro Coach of the Year honors.
In his sophomore campaign, Magarity and the Red Foxes continued to impress as they finished 18-9 overall and earned a share of the ECAC Metro Conference regular-season crown with a 13-3 conference mark. Marist continued to show that defense was a key to Magarity's coaching philosophy, ranking second in the nation in field goal percentage defense holding opponents to 40.1 percent shooting from the floor. Marist also showed that it could score, connecting on 45 percent of its three-point attempts to rank 13th nationally. The Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association honored Magarity by presenting him the second annual Mike Cohen "Good Guy" award. That June, Magarity saw Marist gain national prominence when Rik Smits was the second pick overall of the 1988 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. Smits played 13 seasons in the NBA and was selected to the East squad for the NBA All-Star Game in 1998. He retired in 2000 ranked second in the Pacers' franchise history in points (11,125), rebounds (4,601) and blocked shots (959).
Magarity led Marist to only its second 20-win season in 1995-96, compiling a school-record 22 wins, and posted a school-record .759 winning percentage (22-7). The Red Foxes earned the program's first bid to the NIT, and Magarity was recognized as the NABC District II Coach of the Year. Four players from that squad were named All-Northeast Conference.
The Red Foxes and Magarity won a share of the MAAC regular-season title in 2001-02, the first since joining the league prior to the start of the 1997-98 campaign. Marist went 13-5 in MAAC action on its way to an overall 19-9 record.
During his 18 seasons at Marist, Magarity coached a total of 11 Red Foxes who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for their careers. But his tenure was marked by more than just playing success. Magarity coached two Academic All-Americans and graduated better than 95 percent of his players who completed their NCAA eligibility.
Magarity left the coaching ranks following the 2003-04 season to serve as director of athletic development at Marist from April through September 2004 before accepting his position at the MAAC, where he stayed until moving over to the Mid-American Conference in June 2005.
A 1974 graduate of St. Francis in Loretto, Pa., Magarity earned a bachelor's degree in business management and marketing.
Magarity, who hails from Philadelphia, Pa., and his wife, Rita, have three children: Maureen, Katie and David, Jr., and two granddaughters, Charlotte and Taylor. All three Magarity children are Marist graduates, while Maureen served as her father's assistant and eventually associate head coach at Army before departing to take the head women's basketball coaching position at the University of New Hampshire in May 2010.
Head Coaching Background 2006-Present: Head Women's Coach, Army (146-97, .601) 1986-2004: Head Men's Coach, Marist (253-258, .495) 1978-83: Head Men's Coach, St. Francis (Pa.) (60-76, .441)
College Women's Coaching Record: 146-97 (.601), eight seasons College Men's Coaching Record: 313-334 (.484), 23 seasons
Assistant Coaching Experience 2005-06: Associate Women's Head Coach, Army 1983-86: Assistant Men's Coach, Iona 1974-78: Assistant Men's Coach, St. Francis (Pa.) 1973-74: Graduate Assistant Men's Coach, St. Francis (Pa.)
Administrative Experience 2005: Assistant Commissioner, Mid-American Conference 2004-05: Assistant Commissioner, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 2004: Director of Athletic Development, Marist