By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Drexel women’s basketball team will host William and Mary tonight at the DAC, looking to move to 14-12 on the season and improve their standing for what is sure to be a competitive CAA Tournament. In addition, head coach Denise Dillon will be looking for her 146th win as the Dragons head coach, which will have to work hard to be as memorable as her 145th victory.
That came on February 16th at Old Dominion, and it made Dillon the winningest coach in Drexel’s history at the Division I level. She passed Lil Haas for the record.
“I am excited for the honor and the recognition,” Dillon says. “A lot of great players have come through the program in my time here, I have the best coaching staff in the country , so it’s an accolade I share with all of them.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s full interview with Denise Dillon:
This is Dillon’s 9th season as the head coach at Drexel. Prior to that she spent several years as an assistant both with the Dragons and at her alma mater Villanova. She transitioned into coaching after a phenomenal playing career with the Wildcats, which ultimately got her enshrined into the Big 5 Hall of Fame in 2004.
So amid all her coaching success, what’s her favorite aspect of the job?
“The #1 thing, is seeing a player, her eyes light up when she ‘gets it’. That happens in practice, that happens in the game. But that is, by far, my favorite thing, when a player understands what you’re saying day in and day out. And once they understand it, it makes it so much easier for them out on the floor. And then they start enjoying the game that much more.”
Players also enjoy the game more when they are winning, and they do that a lot under Dillon. She is going for her fifth straight winning season at Drexel. Under her watch, Drexel has advanced to the WNIT twice and the NCAA Tournament in 2009. That NCAA birth came after her squad won the CAA Title and Dillon says that championship victory over James Madison is the most memorable of her 145 at Drexel.
“Absolutely. It’s the greatest win, winning that championship on JMU’s floor, against JMU, is something I will never forget. We’ve had some big ones out of conference, within the conference. But that one will always stay #1.”
Dillon’s Dragons and William and Mary will tip-off at 7:00pm.