Harmony Ushers In New Era Of College of Charleston Women’s Basketball

Harmony Ushers In New Era Of College of Charleston Women’s Basketball
Robin Harmony was introduced as the new head women's basketball coach at the College of Charleston on Wednesday (CofC Athletics) (Source: College of Charleston Athletics)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Robin Harmony was introduced as the eighth all-time women’s basketball head coach at the College of Charleston on Wednesday at TD Arena.

A proven winner both as a player and as a head coach, Harmony joins former coaching greats at The College including former Tennessee Director of Women’s Athletics Joan Cronan (1974-76), Nancy Wilson (two tenures from 1976-84 and 2003-12), Scooter Barnette (1984-94), Kathy McCaskill-Rhein (1994-98), Melissa Slone (1998-2003) and Natasha Adair (2012-14).

“Robin is a proven winner on the court,” College of Charleston Director of Athletics Matt Roberts said. “In her six seasons at Lamar, her teams won three regular-season championships, had four postseason appearances and numerous all-conference selections. Robin will embrace our history and build upon it with the goal of taking our women’s program to its first-ever NCAA Tournament. She will do so by earning the respect of donors, alumni and the Charleston community. Most importantly, she will do so by focusing on our current and future student-athletes. Today is a new beginning and new era for College of Charleston Women’s Basketball.”

The 2018 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Harmony joins the Cougars after six seasons establishing Lamar University as one of the most successful women’s basketball programs in the Southland. This past season, she led the Cardinals to a 24-7 overall record, a regular-season title and second-straight Women’s NIT appearance.

Over her six seasons at Lamar, Harmony posted a 115-66 (.635) overall winning record including an 83-25 (.769) mark in Southland Conference games. Her 83 conference wins is a school record, while the .769 winning percentage is a program record.

Harmony guided the Cardinals to three Southland Conference championships and four national postseason tournaments. During her tenure at Lamar, the Cardinals won 42-straight home games at the Montagne Center – the second-longest active home winning streak in the nation behind the University of Connecticut.

Under Harmony’s guidance, 14 players were named all-conference selections and the Cardinals were the best in the nation in several NCAA Division I statistical categories. She and her staff also recruited top student-athletes to Lamar with several recruiting classes being ranked as the best in the Southland Conference.

“Our vision is – we want to win championships and want to bring national exposure to Charleston,” Harmony said. “It starts with our players. Not only do we want to win conference championships, but also we want to go to the NCAA Tournament and make a splash there. Coach (Earl) Grant has done it on the men’s side and we will try to mimic (that formula for success). As far as our style and philosophy of play, it is going to be an up-tempo game. When they (opponents) come off that bus, we are going to start pressing them. We are going to work hard and get after it.”

Prior to Lamar, Harmony spent six seasons as St. Thomas (Fla.) University’s first-ever women’s basketball head coach, posting an impressive 131-48 overall record. A two-time Sun Conference Coach of the Year, she led the Bobcats to three appearances in the NAIA National Championships.

The Bobcats never had a losing season under Harmony and went 27-4 with a perfect 14-0 Sun Conference record in her last season before losing in the first round of the NAIA National Championships.

Prior to her time as head coach at St. Thomas, Harmony spent 18 seasons on the coaching staff of her alma mater, the University of Miami (Fla.), the last 12 seasons as associate head coach. Harmony was interim coach for two games in her final season with the Hurricanes, posting victories in both contests.

During her time at Miami, Harmony helped the Hurricanes win three BIG EAST Conference regular-season championship and two BIG EAST Conference tournament championship titles. The Hurricanes reached the postseason seven times and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 on one occasion.

A former standout player for the University of Miami, she became the first women’s basketball player to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1997. Harmony totaled 1,308 career points, 750 rebounds, 445 assists and 314 steals in 125 games played for the Hurricanes from 1980-84 under Hall of Fame Head Coach Lin Dunn. She also set the school record for assists in a single game (14 vs. Florida International on Dec. 4, 1982) and remains among the career leaders in points and rebounds at Miami.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in education and recreation from Miami in 1984, Harmony played one season of professional basketball overseas in England. She helped lead the Avon Cosmetics to a league championship, while earning Most Valuable Player honors.

Originally from Hershey, Penn., Harmony later earned a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University. She is a graduate of Hershey High School, where she was a three-year starter.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT ROBIN HARMONY

“Robin was a winner as a player and has been very successful everywhere she has coached. She is a great competitor and a real student of the game. She will outwork you and she will beat you. College of Charleston fans are in for a treat.” – Former WNBA Head Coach and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Lin Dunn

“Robin is one of the best in the business. She is a winner. What she accomplished at Lamar is amazing and she will continue to do that at College of Charleston no doubt. She is a sincere person and cares about others. She will do great things there in Charleston.” – Central Arkansas Head Women’s Basketball Coach Sandra Rushing

“Robin will give College of Charleston her whole heart & soul. She is a wonderful person and her heart is as big as a pumpkin. We’re excited for her as well as her fans. She has a great following. I look forward to her new adventures in Charleston and cannot wait to come see her and watch her team in the Lowcountry.” – Retired University of Miami (Fla.) Head Women’s Basketball Coach Ferne Labati

“College of Charleston made a great hire. Robin will not be outworked and is an experienced head coach. She loves the game of basketball and loves working with kids. She has learned from the best and was a part of a great program at Miami (Fla.). Her unassuming manner will be a big help in recruiting, especially with her ties in Texas and Florida as well as on the East Coast. She is very down to earth and a good fit for Charleston. She has created her own style, so get ready to watch some great defense.” – Retired University of Pittsburgh Senior Associate AD and NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee Member Carol Sprague

“Robin did a tremendous job in her six years as our head coach at Lamar University and moved our women’s basketball program to the top of the Southland Conference. She is an excellent coach and an even better person. I can’t imagine the College of Charleston making a better hire than Robin Harmony.” – Lamar Associate AD / SWA Helene Thill

“I am excited to have Robin in the Carolinas. Robin Harmony knows how to build a championship culture. The College of Charleston community, alumni and student-athletes will love Robin’s genuine spirit and her passion for the game and the community. She is ecstatic about calling Charleston home.” – Felicia Hall Allen, President & CEO Felicia Hall Allen & Associates

HARMONY’S COACHING EXPERIENCE

Lamar University Head Coach (2013-19) – 115-66 (.635) – Three WNIT Appearances

St. Thomas (Fla.) University Head Coach (2005-13) – 131-48 (.732)

University of Miami (Fla.) Associate Head Coach (1993-2005)

University of Miami (Fla.) Assistant Coach (1988-93)

Fairleigh Dickinson University Assistant Coach (1987-88)

University of Miami (Fla.) Assistant Coach (1985-87)

HARMONY’S CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

• 2019 Southland Conference Regular-Season Champions (24-5 overall record, 17-1 in Southland Conference, Team RPI in Top 50).

• Eight 20-win seasons combined as a head coach at Lamar and St. Thomas (Fla.) University.

• Lamar ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.

• Coached 2019 Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Player of Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

• Lamar led the country in four NCAA statistical categories.

• Lamar led the Southland Conference in scoring offense averaging 77 points per game, scoring margin and scoring defense.

• Lamar currently boasts the longest NCAA Division I home winning streak behind UConn with 42-straight home wins at the Montagne Center.

• Lamar defeated a Top 25-ranked opponent in No. 16 Texas A&M on the road in College Station.

• Played for Hall of Fame Head Coach Lin Dunn at the University of Miami (Fla.) from 1980-84.

• Inducted into the University of Miami (Fla.) Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

• Honored as a ACC Women’s Basketball Legend in 2013.