Cimino Named Binghamton Head Women’s Basketball Coach
VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton University has chosen eight-year head coach Linda Cimino (pronounced SIM-in-oh) as its new women’s basketball coach, the University announced on Thursday. Cimino will be introduced at a press conference at 2 p.m. Friday in the Events Center TAU Bearcat Room.
Cimino, a dynamic coach with strong Northeast recruiting ties, comes directly from Caldwell College (N.J.), where she built a winning program and departs as the school’s all-time leader with 128 victories.
“Linda has proven to be a successful head coach with a relentless work ethic,” Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott said. “She’s demonstrated a commitment to academic and athletic excellence while instilling a great sense of energy and enthusiasm within her program. We’re excited to welcome her to Binghamton.”
At Caldwell, Cimino’s teams won an average of 18 games over the last five seasons. Competing at NCAA Division II in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC), her teams had winning records in six of her eight years at the helm. This past season, the Cougars went 18-12, advanced to the CACC title game for a second-straight year and then received an ECAC tournament berth.
Off the court, her student-athletes achieved a 3.4 GPA during the 2012-13 year. During her eight-year Caldwell tenure, her teams averaged a 3.2 GPA.
When she arrived at Caldwell in 2006, Cimino inherited a program that had won just eight games the previous season and had averaged just over nine wins a season the previous four years. After climbing to double-digit wins in her first campaign, Cimino boosted that total up to 18 wins in 2007-08 and the eight-game improvement ranked among the nation’s top-20. Her last four teams reached the 17-win plateau, highlighted by a 21-win team in 2010-11.
“I’m very excited and honored to become the new head coach at Binghamton, the best public university in the Northeast,” Cimino said. “I look forward to building our program into a contender in the America East Conference. I also can’t wait to get out in the community, meet Binghamton’s strong and passionate fan base and share my enthusiasm and vision for our future.”
A native of Lincoln, R.I., Cimino recruited and coached the 2014 Daktronics East Region Player of the Year, three straight CACC Rookies of the Year and 12 all-conference selections. Her teams played in the conference tournament seven straight seasons, reached the 2013 and 2014 CACC championship game and also twice earned selection to the ECAC tournament (2008, 2014).
In 2012-13, her squad went 15-4 in league play to claim the regular season title – the program’s second in a three-year span. That team also rattled off a school-record 15 consecutive wins. After the 2012-13 season, Cimino briefly took a position as lead assistant at Hofstra to be closer to her Massapequa Park home. But the desire to be a head coach was too strong and she returned to Caldwell. In 2010-11, Cimino’s squad went 21-6, narrowly missed an NCAA at-large tournament berth. The team tied the school record for wins, broke the mark for win percentage, made the program’s first appearance in the national rankings and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the East Region.
Prior to her tenure at Caldwell, Cimino coached high school girls’ basketball for three years and then was the head assistant coach at her alma mater, Adelphi, for the 2005-06 season. She began her coaching career at Queensborough Community College in 2001-02, where she led the team to the CUNY championship game.
Cimino is a 2001 graduate of Adelphi. She earned her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and then received her master’s degree in health education from the school in 2004. Cimino also received a master’s degree in administration from Touro College in 2006.
She was an NCAA Division II scholarship player at Adelphi, where she ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in free throw percentage and three-pointers. As a player, Cimino built a reputation for being a clutch performer and she holds the record for most three-pointers in a game (6). As a scholastic athlete, she was an all-state performer in both basketball and softball at North Smithfield High (R.I.).
Away from the court, Cimino has had an equally-impactful career as an athletics administrator. In addition to her head basketball duties at Caldwell, she has served as the associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator for eight years. She had oversight of the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and organized much of the athletics department’s community service. In 2011, she was selected to participate in the NCAA’s Women and Minorities Mentor Program.
Among her committee work, she has served on the NCAA Women’s Basketball East Region Regional Advisory Committee, NCAA Division II USA Today Coaches Poll Committee and WBCA National Coach of the Year Award Committee.