Monday May 17, 2010

BURLINGTON -- Newly hired University of Vermont women’s basketball head coach Lori Gear McBride was introduced to the media and campus community at a press conference at Patrick Gymnasium on Monday.

Gear McBride spoke to the crowd about how much she has "revered" UVM and watched the program from her hometown of Lennoxville, Quebec, just three hours from Burlington.

When it came time to make a decision to attend college, Gear McBride’s choices came down to UVM and the University of North Carolina. She decided on Chapel Hill over Burlington and went on to win a national championship as a freshman, but she still followed Vermont and when the head coaching position opened up she jumped at the opportunity.

"I grew up watching and just loving Vermont women’s basketball, that was really my first taste of NCAA basketball. I’ve always had such a great appreciation for the tradition and the success that Vermont women’s basketball is about. Being able to have the opportunity to lead this program and to continue the level of success is just so exciting to me," said Gear McBride.

Gear McBride’s teams have been extremely successful in the classroom as well as on the court, and she explained what her vision of Vermont basketball will be in the months ahead as she takes over the program.

"What you will see right away is a continued commitment to success both in the classroom and on the basketball court, because I firmly believe they go hand in hand," said Gear McBride. "You will also see a program committed to sound fundamental basketball and tough defense. I talk often about controlling the controllables and that starts with defensive intensity and rebounding."

Gear McBride is the seventh head coach at Vermont since 1979. She takes over a program that went 27-7 last season and won its second straight America East Championship.

The Catamounts also posted their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory with an upset win over No. 7 Wisconsin in the first round at Notre Dame.