UMass named Mike Leflar as the 12th head coach of the Women’s Basketball program on Monday afternoon. Leflar was chosen to replace Tory Verdi after he was hired at the University of Pittsburgh. Verdi departs the Minutewomen after seven seasons as the head coach.
Before UMass, Leflar worked at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Binghamton University, and Northeastern University either in an assistant coach role or an associate head coach role. Leflar was hired five years ago by Coach Verdi to help build the UMass program to where it is today. When he started at UMass, Leflar started as an assistant coach and was then promoted to associate head coach during the 2021-2022 season. Leflar was promoted to his first head coaching position with UMass.
The Athletic Director of UMass, Ryan Bamford talked about Leflar and all of his accomplishments at UMass. “Over the last five years, you could say that this has been a job interview. I will tell you that I oftentimes have a chance to meet with candidates for coaching positions, assistant coaching positions, and staff positions when they come to campus,” Bamford said based on Leflar’s accomplishment by moving up in the program with starting in the assistant coaching role.
Sam Breen and Destiney Philoxy took to Twitter after Verdi was hired at Pitt to promote Coach Leflar and push for him to be hired as the next head coach. Philoxy mentions that “Coach Leflar is a great person for this job, and he is a great person on and off the court.” Philoxy also said that “He deserves the support.”
Breen says, “He made it really easy to support him, and he has been consistent since he got here, and I think everyone knew that he was the obvious choice, but we wanted to make that known just in case.”
While Breen was playing Leflar was the coach that worked with her and the other post players. “We are going to be in communication often, and I know I have been he has been in my corner since I got here [at UMass] and he knows I’ve been in his corner.”
Breen and Philoxy both leave the program with big legacies that Leflar will talk about to his future players. Coach Leflar inherits an amazing program that made three straight Atlantic 10 championships, winning the title in 2021-2022. The Minutewomen won its first regular season title this past season. Leflar has three recruits that are still fully committed to UMass, even after the coaching change. Congratulations Coach Leflar and we are wishing you the best of luck in the head coach position at UMass!
Photo Credits: Chris Tucci, UMass Athletics