Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Louise O’Neill, dies at 83.

Louise O’Neill, one of the most prominent figures in Connecticut women’s basketball, passed away on September 17 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. O’Neill was 83 years old.

O’Neill developed the Southern Connecticut women’s basketball program into a national powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s with a defensive pressure-and-breakthrough style ahead of his time, resulting in the Booms’ record at 144-37 from 1962 to 1976 and eight consecutive times. in the National Women’s College Championship. She then coached the Yale women’s basketball team to its only Ivy League championship in 1979.

In southern Connecticut, O’Neill’s teams advanced to all six of the AIAW’s national collegiate championships, advanced to four finals and finished third nationally among all divisions in 1971, 73, and 74. Two of her players are in southern Connecticut, Mary Ann O. Connor and Sue Rojcewicz competed for the 1976 US Olympic Team.

In 1976, O’Neill became the assistant director of athletics and coach for women’s basketball at Yale University for three years. During that time, the Bulldogs took from fifth best to the Ivy League title. Yale qualified to play postseason in each of its three seasons.

“Louise O’Neill was a great coach and leader… Long before her time,” Joanne Bonvicini tweeted, “She’s a WBHOF member and that’s why I became a coach at Women’s BBall. Rest easy Louise.”

Bonvinci, one of 18 coaches to reach 700 career victories in women’s basketball, played for O’Neill from 1971 to 1975. She trained in Long Beach State, Arizona, and Seattle and worked as an analyst for several networks.