WRITTEN BY JUSTIN WORSLEY
St. Francis College women’s basketball head coach Brenda Milano resigned after nine seasons with the Terriers on Thursday.
Milano leaves St. Francis with a career record of 58-184 including three appearances in the Northeast Conference tournament. The Lady Terriers, however, failed to achieve a winning season under Milano and won just one postseason game, a shocking upset where the eighth-seeded Terriers knocked off top-seeded LIU Brooklyn 2007. The upset served as the first time in NEC tournament history that an eighth-seeded team won the opening round game In the past four seasons, the women’s basketball program has only won 12 games.
Replacing Milano will be John Thurston, who has spent the previous two seasons serving under Milano as the associate head coach.
“Although we are sad to lose Brenda, I’m excited about the impact John will make as head coach,” St. Francis College Athletic Director Irma Garcia said in a press release. “In just two seasons, he’s helped make great strides in all facets of the program. Our recruiting has improved tremendously and he’s brought fresh ideas with regards to practice, preparation and game strategy.”
Thurston will be entering his 40th overall season as a basketball coach and has mentored players on all college levels, including men and women. In 1987, Thurston was named the coach of the year for the Colonial Athletic Association while serving as head coach of the James Madison University men’s basketball program.
“I would like to thank President Dugan, the members of the Board of Trustees and most especially AD Irma Garcia for the opportunity they have given me to lead this program,” Thurston also said in a press release. “I want to personally thank Brenda Milano for her support, without which this opportunity would not have occurred. Brenda is an outstanding young coach, the nicest person I have ever worked with and someone the coaching profession needs. I’m look forward to continue working with the outstanding young women on our team. Their enthusiasm, desire and work ethic are the building blocks upon which we will base our program. Go Terriers!”
“I would like to thank St. Francis College, the athletic administration, Ed Aquilone, Irma Garcia, Dr. Macchiarola and President Dugan for the opportunity to be the women’s basketball coach at St. Francis College,” Milano said in a press release. “I have had an unbelievable experience and will miss working with my players and colleagues. Although leaving is bitter sweet, I couldn’t be more proud to have John take over the program. It has been a pleasure working with him for the past two years, and I have no doubt that the team will have a promising future for years to come.”
The athletic department will host a meet and greet for Thurston on Monday, March 26 at 12:20 p.m. in the Alumni Office. For more information, visit sfcathletics.com.