Dartmouth Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy announced on April 25, 2016 that David McLaughlin was hired as the 28th head coach of the Big Green men’s basketball program.
“It is my great pleasure to bring David on board as our men’s basketball coach,” Sheehy said. “He brings a wealth of experience along with great passion for the game. He is a strong tactician with a terrific history of developing players. I could not be more excited looking to the future for Dartmouth men’s basketball.”
The first season of that future in 2016-17 had the Big Green in the race to qualify for the inaugural Ivy League Tournament going into the final day of the season. Although Dartmouth ultimately came up short with a road loss to undefeated Princeton, McLaughlin had rewarded the Big Green faithful with an exciting season featuring a mostly youthful roster. Dartmouth finished the season 7-20 overall and 4-10 in the Ancient Eight, including just the second season sweep of Penn in the previous 58 years, while Evan Boudreaux earned all-district honors from both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
McLaughlin came to Dartmouth after serving three years as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern University, during which time the Huskies posted a combined record of 52-48. In 2014-15, he helped guide the Huskies to a 23-12 overall record and a regular season co-championship in the Colonial Athletic Association, as well as the CAA Tournament Championship to secure the school’s first bid to the NCAA Tournament in 24 years.
Three of Northeastern’s players earned a total of five All-CAA honors, including Scott Eatherton who was the 2013-14 CAA Defensive Player of the year and Quincy Ford who garnered the CAA Tournament MVP award in 2014-15. McLaughlin also secured eight student-athletes for the classes of 2019 and 2020 from six different states, including Massachusetts, Florida and California.
Prior to his tenure at Northeastern, McLaughlin was the head coach at Division II Stonehill College in the Northeast-10 Conference. Under his tutelage, the Skyhawks — which had been 11-45 in the two seasons before he took over — enjoyed terrific success with a combined 189-99 (.656) record in his nine-plus seasons (2004-13), including a 135-80 (.630) mark in conference play. Six times Stonehill won at least 20 games, topping out at 27 during the team’s run to the national semifinals in 2005-06. The Skyhawks qualified for the NCAA Tournament on five occasions (2006, ’09-12), twice winning the East Regional Championship to advance to the Division II Final Four (2006, ’12). McLaughlin also led Stonehill to two NE-10 regular-season championships (2006, ’10) and an NE-10 Tournament championship (2012), as well as a spot in the top-10 national rankings in four years.
The NABC Regional Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2011, and the NE-10 Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2010, McLaughlin is the all-time wins leader at Stonehill. He mentored a total of 14 All-Northeast-10 Conference players, including three first-team selections, as well as a player who received the NCAA Elite 89 Award for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the teams competing at the 2012 Division II Elite Eight.
He produced three-straight NE-10 Defensive Players of the Year to highlight the program’s regular place atop the NE-10 and NCAA Division II defensive charts. Three Skyhawks earned NE-10 All-Rookie Team status during his tenure, and he produced three-straight NE-10 Defensive Players of the Year (2010-12).
McLaughlin was named Stonehill’s interim head coach in January 2004 after three-and-a-half seasons as an assistant coach, and hired on a permanent basis later that year. In his first full season, he navigated the team to a 20-8 finish in 2004-05. Every one of his players graduated during his time as the head coach, spanning nearly a full decade.
“I could not be happier or more excited to have the privilege of leading the Dartmouth men’s basketball program,” McLaughlin said. “The opportunity to work at an elite institution with tremendous student-athletes has always been a goal. The Dartmouth community provides its athletes this type of unique academic and athletic experience. The leadership in place and commitment to excellence in the athletic department is palpable, and it is a work environment that I am thrilled to be part of. I am looking forward to building relationships with the players as we begin our process of building a winning program.”
Before joining the staff at Stonehill in 2000, McLaughlin served as an assistant coach at Wesleyan University for two seasons. He also spent time on the Suffolk University staff and was the head coach of the gold-medal-winning Northeast entry of the 1999 Bay State Games. McLaughlin served as a head coach at the Collegiate Basketball Invitational for four years, coaching top Division II senior players.
McLaughlin was a four-year letterwinner at Colby College, graduating in 1997 with a degree in history and going on to earn his Master of Education from Suffolk in 1999. In May 2000, McLaughlin earned partial certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
He and his wife, Jenna, have three children — Sydney (10), Ryan (9) and Colin (7).