Thursday May 09, 2013
Following five seasons as an assistant coach with the Saint Michael’s College women’s basketball program, South Burlington’s Shannon Kynoch was appointed the sixth head coach in program history last week, Director of Athletics Geri Knortz announced. Kynoch succeeds Jennifer Niebling, who resigned in March, and will be just the program’s third head coach in a 38-season stretch when the Purple Knights tip off in November.
“I would first like to thank Geri Knortz, President Jack Neuhauser and Vice President of Student Affairs Dawn Ellinwood for giving me this amazing opportunity,” said Kynoch, who has run the program’s day-to-day operations since Niebling’s departure. “I have learned a tremendous amount during my time as an assistant and take great pride in being part of the Saint Michael’s community. I believe in this program and our athletes, and am thrilled to take on this new role. Saint Michael’s is truly an incredible place. With its rich tradition of academic success paired with a competitive basketball program, I am confident we will continue to attract outstanding student-athletes that will take us to the next level.”
Kynoch served for her first five years under Niebling, holding a role as a part-time assistant coach in 2008-09 before being promoted to the full-time, first assistant position in August 2009. She has been heavily responsible for the daily operations of the program during her tenure, from serving as the recruiting coordinator and summer camp director to scouting opponents and creating game and practice plans. “Over the past five years, Shannon has proven herself as a valuable contributor to both the basketball program as well the Athletics Department overall,” said Knortz. “Her significant experience in the Northeast-10 Conference will serve her well in the transition to head coach, and her strong bonds with and knowledge of the student-athletes should keep the program moving in a positive direction.”
In addition to serving as the part-time coach in 2008-09, Kynoch was a para-educator at her alma mater, SBHS. She served as an assistant coach for the SBHS varsity softball team in 2009, and also has served as an assistant coach for the South Burlington High School Unified Sports Special Olympics program.
Kynoch is in the midst of pursuing her master’s degree in education from the College, working through the School Leadership program. A 2008 undergraduate of the University of Southern Maine, Kynoch majored in social work while playing four years for the Division III powerhouse. She was a four-year member of Southern Maine’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), serving as president for her final two years, when she was also the school’s representative to the Little East Conference’s (LEC) SAAC. Kynoch earned the Husky Achievement Award, Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award, USM Outstanding Student Leader Award and William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete Award during her career.In five seasons with the Huskies, which included a medical redshirt year, Kynoch helped Southern Maine go 144-14 overall and 68-2 in LEC play, winning five regular-season crowns and four postseason championships while making five NCAA Tournament appearances. A captain in 2006-07, Kynoch’s squad was the national runner-up in 2005-06 after also making a Final Four run in 2004-05. She compiled 706 points, 482 rebounds and 101 blocks in 117 career games. As a student at South Burlington High School, Kynoch was named all-state three times by the Burlington Free Press.