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Ed Swanson
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Sacred Heart
Graduating Year: 1989
Experience: 1 Year
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Swanson Videos
Ed Swanson Bio
Courtesy: TribeAthletics.com
Release: 05/07/2013
Ed Swanson became the fifth Division I head women’s basketball coach in William and Mary history on May 7, 2013. Prior to coming to Williamsburg, he spent 23 years transforming Sacred Heart University from a Division II program into a one of the top teams in the Northeast Conference. Over his 14 years in Division I, Swanson has averaged 20 wins per season.

Swanson owns a career record of 406-264 (.606) and ranks 40th among active Division I head coaches in victories. A four-time NEC Coach of the Year, he led Sacred Heart to five postseason bids, including three NCAA Tournament appearances. He guided the Pioneers to four NEC regular season crowns and three NEC tournament championships. SHU posted 20-win seasons seven times during his tenure, including five of the last eight years.

He oversaw Sacred Heart’s transition from Division II to Division I in 1999-00, and the program took off under his direction. Over Sacred Heart’s 14 years in Division I, Swanson led SHU to a 280-145 record (.664), including a 190-62 (.754) record in the NEC. He departed as the NEC’s all-time winningest head coach with all of his SHU teams finishing third or higher in the league standings. Swanson-lead teams have posted 13 straight winning seasons and 12 straight campaigns with 18 or more victories, including six with 20 or more wins. In 2009, he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. 

In total, Swanson-coached players earned 19 All-NEC honors, including nine first-team awards, nine NEC All-Tournament Team honors, eight NEC All-Rookie Team selections, four NEC Rookies of the Year, three NEC Tournament MVPs and three NEC Players of the Year.

His teams have also enjoyed success in the classroom. On five occasions, the Pioneers were selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll, which has recognized outstanding academic performances from the top teams in each of the five collegiate divisions since 1995-96. On eight occasions since 2003, one of his players was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and two Pioneer players were named NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

In 2012-13, Swanson led Sacred Heart to its third straight postseason appearance, and in the process, recorded his 400th career victory. His milestone win came on Feb. 12, 2013 as the Pioneers defeated Fairleigh Dickinson. SHU completed the season at 22-11, finishing second in the NEC with a 13-5 ledger and garnering a berth in the program’s first Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

Sacred Heart claimed its third NEC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12. The Pioneers also ranked 23rd nationally in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll with a team GPA of 3.35. SHU compiled a season mark to 25-8, winning both the regular season and postseason crowns in the league as Swanson was named NEC Coach of the Year for the fourth time.

The Pioneers earned a berth in the 2011 Women’s Basketball Invitational and finished the year at 18-13 with a 12-6 mark in the NEC. After a 0-5 start to the 2008-09 season, Swanson’s Pioneers reeled off a 21-game winning streak, the longest in school history and second longest in the country, before finishing with 25-8 record. SHU completed the NEC regular season with a perfect 18-0 mark, becoming just the third team in the history of the conference to accomplish the feat. Swanson earned NEC Coach of the Year honors as Sacred Heart finished off an amazing season by capturing its second league title and trip to the NCAA Tournament over a four-year span. During the 2008-09 season, Swanson moved past former Mount St. Mary’s head coach Bill Sheahan (124) as all-time leader in Northeast Conference wins and eclipsing the 300-win plateau in his career.

The 2005-06 season saw Swanson lead the Sacred Heart program to its first NCAA Tournament, capturing the NEC Championship in just its seventh season at the Division I level. Swanson guided the Pioneers to a school record 26-5 record, including a 16-2 NEC ledger. He also garnered career victory No. 250 during the season.

Under his leadership, Sacred Heart was one of the toughest teams on its home court, the William H. Pitt Center, which opened in 1997. During the Pitt Center's opening 16 seasons, Swanson’s teams won 81.9 percent (185-41) of its home games. In 2011-12, SHU went 15-1 at home, a season bested only by a perfect 15-0 in 2005-06 and 14-0 in 2003-04. During the stretch, the Pioneers’ home winning percentage at the Pitt Center ranked among the best nationally. 

After directing the Pioneers to a 20-7 record — the program’s first 20-win season — in 1995-96, Swanson was voted Coach of the Year in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) District I.

Swanson took the reins of the Sacred Heart University women’s basketball program in 1990 and built the Pioneers into one of the top teams in the Northeast. He joined Dave Bike’s men’s basketball coaching staff at SHU in 1989, and, after becoming head coach of the Pioneer women’s program in 1990, did double duty for three seasons before becoming the University’s first full-time women’s coach in 1993. Prior to Swanson’s arrival, the Sacred Heart women’s team compiled a 4-21 record. Under his guidance, the climb to Division II respectability was accomplished within three seasons, from 8-19 to 11-16 and, in 1992-93, to 16-13 — the program’s first winning record in 11 seasons. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Sacred Heart in 1989. Also during his tenure at SHU, Swanson served as the moderator for the Pioneer Student-Athlete Council from 1998-01 and was the annual coordinator of commencement exercises since 2000. Swanson and his wife, Marion, have two sons, Connor and Matthew.

Swanson’s Career Record
Year Overall Conference   Conference Finish
1990-91 8-19 3-11   7th - New England Collegiate Conference
1991-92 11-16 5-9   T5th - New England Collegiate Conference
1992-93 16-13 7-7   4th - New England Collegiate Conference
1993-94 12-15 8-8   5th - New England Collegiate Conference
1994-95 11-16 7-9   5th - New England Collegiate Conference
1995-96 20-7 16-4   T2nd - New England Collegiate Conference
1996-97 14-14 10-8   5th - New England Collegiate Conference
1997-98 19-7 13-3   2nd - New England Collegiate Conference
1998-99 15-12 12-6   3rd - New England Collegiate Conference
1999-00 14-14 11-7   T3rd - Northeast Conference
2000-01 15-14 11-7   T3rd - Northeast Conference
2001-02 18-11 13-5   T2nd - Northeast Conference
2002-03 18-10 12-6   T3rd - Northeast Conference
2003-04 21-8 14-4   2nd - Northeast Conference
2004-05 18-11 14-4   2nd - Northeast Conference
2005-06 26-5 16-2   1st - Northeast Conference
2006-07 22-10 15-3   T1st - Northeast Conference
2007-08 19-11 14-4   3rd - Northeast Conference
2008-09 25-8 18-0   1st - Northeast Conference
2009-10 19-11 14-4   3rd - Northeast Conference
2010-11 18-13 12-6   T3rd - Northeast Conference
2011-12 25-8 15-3   1st - Northeast Conference
2012-13 22-11 13-5   2nd - Northeast Conference
Career 406-264 (.608) 257-127 (.669)  
Division I 280-145 (.659) 190-62 (.754)  
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