Official West Liberty Release: Don Clegg
WLU Hall of Famer Lands ACC Coaching Job
After leading the University of Albany’s women’s basketball team to back-to-back 20-win seasons, West Liberty University Hall of Famer Joanna Bernabei-McNamee has accepted the head coaching position at Boston College.
“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity,” she said in a press release from the Boston College sports information department. “Boston College has a nationally renowned reputation and I am honored to be a part of it.”
A record-setting All-American during her playing days with the Hilltoppers, the Weirton, W.Va. native takes a sparkling 125-66 (.654) head coaching record to the Atlantic Coast Conference school after going 45-20 in two highly-successful seasons with the Great Danes.
Bernabei-McNamee led Albany to an America East Conference title and NCAA Tournament berth in her first year at the New York school and followed that up with a 24-8 season and trip to the Women’s NIT this winter.
An assistant coach with the University of Maryland’s 2006 national championship team, Bernabei-McNamee also had assistant coaching stints at Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia University before launching an impressive three-year run as head coach at Pikeville (Ky.).
The former Hilltopper led the perennial NAIA powerhouse to a pair of NAIA national tournament bids and a trip to the 2016 NAIA Final Four before making the jump to the NCAA Division I level at Albany two years ago.
An all-state point guard and 1992 West Virginia Class A Player of the Year at Weirton Madonna High School, Bernabei-McNamee made an immediate impact on the West Liberty women’s program.
She set NCAA Division II records for career assists (1,107) and single-game assists (24) that still stand more than two decades later. The only four-time first-team All-WVIAC selection, she was also the only woman in West Virginia Conference history to surpass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career.
Joanna and her husband, Joe McNamee, are the parents of two children, Luke and Caden.