Paige McCormick added to St. Lawrence Men’s Basketball Staff

Photo Courtesy St. Lawrence Athletics

An offer has been extended by head coach Chris Downs and accepted by Paige McCormick, who is set to join the St. Lawrence University men’s basketball coaching staff as a graduate assistant coach in August 2022.

“We’re hiring by far the best candidate in the pool,” said Downs. “She’s a Division I scholarship player, who was a 3.95 [GPA] student with a master’s degree, that’s a great assistant. There’s going to be a female head coach of a men’s basketball team in the Liberty League at some point. Paige was such a good player, she understands basketball, she’s worked really hard her whole life developing her skills. More than anything she’s passionate to work hard and she can do the job the way it needs to be done for us to be good.”

“Being one of the first females in the Liberty League, I’m going to have to prove to everybody that I deserve to be here, and I’m meant to be here,” McCormick said. “It’s going to be a shock to some people, I’m going to have to earn respect, but I’m totally up for it. My whole life I’ve been trying to prove people wrong. Coming out of high school I had one Division I offer, and I ended up starting for that university for a couple years. I proved to everybody and myself that I deserved to be playing at that level, and I enjoyed every minute of it, and now I hope to do the same as a coach.”

McCormick, a Heuvelton, New York native, is coming off of a graduate year at Merrimack College, where she started all 26 games for the Warriors and earned her Master’s Degree in Community Health Education. McCormick led Heuvelton to three straight Class D State Championships and was named the All-State Class D Player of the Year in all three seasons. She began her collegiate career at UMass. She played three seasons for the Minutewomen and started 42 games, before transferring to Roberts Wesleyan for her senior year.

With the Red Hawks she led the team in scoring, as they captured the East Coast Conference Championship, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

“Being a part of three different programs during my college days I’ve been able to absorb different coaching perspective and coaching styles,” McCormick said. “I’m really grateful for him taking a chance on me and I hope I can be a good compliment to Coach Downs.”

McCormick’s announcement is coming on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the 1972 federal law stating that no person in the United States shall be excluded from any education program or activity on the basis of sex. McCormick will be the first woman to be an assistant coach for a Liberty League men’s basketball team, and one of the few in NCAA basketball.

Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Fran Grembowicz, has been the head field hockey coach at St. Lawrence head coach at since 1998. “I am very excited and proud that St. Lawrence University and our men’s basketball program is taking this very important step forward with hiring a female coach for the men’s basketball program on such an important milestone in the history of women’s sports and Title IX. We continue to make progress towards fulfilling the promises of Title IX.”

“There’s still a long way to go, and it starts with getting more females in big time coaching roles,” said McCormick. “We have it in women’s basketball with Dawn Staley, Adia Barnes, but just because it’s a men’s team doesn’t mean you can’t have a female coach. We’re just as strong, we’re just as capable.”

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