Mangina retires after 25 seasons

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- Phyllis Mangina has resigned as Seton Hall's women's basketball coach after 25 seasons.

The Big East Conference school made the announcement Monday night as the NCAA was announcing the field for its women's tournament.

"I will forever cherish my time as the women's basketball coach at Seton Hall," said Mangina. "I have had the chance to develop so many special relationships over the years, and I could not be prouder of the success my players and I have shared on the court and in the classroom."

Mangina posted a 352-368 record at her alma mater, leading it to NCAA tournament berths in 1994 and '95 and three trips to the WNIT.

The Pirates were 9-20 this season, including a 1-15 regular-season mark in the league. They have had only five winning seasons in the last 15 years.

Athletic director Joseph Quinlan said the school would start a national search for a replacement immediately.

"Seton Hall owes Coach Mangina an incredible debt of gratitude for her years of service to the university," Quinlan said. "She has been a consummate professional while positively affecting the lives of countless young women and serving as a role model both on and off the court. Coach Mangina's contributions to the Seton Hall women's basketball program and the entire university community have been substantial and longstanding."

Quinlan said the university is talking to Mangina about a continued role at the school.

"She's a real responsible person who really works hard," a surprised Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said of Mangina. "She is a compassionate person, a Big East captain, always getting us on the phone, paying attention to detail. But I think Seton Hall is like everyone else, the way of the world is: 'What have you done for me lately.'"

"She is a good person and I will miss her," Stringer added.

A standout point guard from 1977 to 1981, Mangina led Seton Hall to a 93-28 mark during her four seasons. Each year the team advanced to postseason play, highlighted by a trip to the 1978 AIAW National Final. Mangina was team captain in both her junior and senior seasons, setting Pirate records in career assists (441), assists in a season (151) and career steals (269).

Currently 11th on the all-time scoring list with 1,195 points, she was one of 13 former Pirate student-athletes inducted into the Seton Hall Athletic Hall of Fame in November 1991.

Mangina's best seasons were in the mid-1990s.

The Pirates had the finest season in school history in 1993-94, posting a school-record 27-5 mark and attaining their first-ever national ranking and the program's first bid to the NCAA tournament.

They beat Vermont and Texas to reach the Sweet 16, where the season ended with a 64-60 loss to top-seeded Penn State in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

The following year, Seton Hall posted a 24-9 record and earned another NCAA tournament berth. The Pirates advanced to the second round, losing to North Carolina.

They qualified for the WNIT in 2003, 2004 and 2007, advancing to the second round on the latter two occasions. The 2006-07 team finished with 19 victories, the program's most since the 1994-95 season.